Sunday, June 11, 2017

Interview with Clara Carija from Victoria's Kingdom

With a unique design aesthetic inspired by Japanese lolita and all things gothic and vintage, Clara Carija's work stands out with it's antique  charm and dark glamour. Her indie jewellery label Victoria's Kingdom shows a passion for ornate details. More recently she has been working with designer Julianne Ting for her fashion line, set to launch later this year.

When and how did Victoria's Kingdom get started?
Vk started over coffee and cake with my friend Samantha, we enjoyed craft projects and making Lolita jewellery and a Lolita shop approached us and asked us to make items for them to sell. That was in 2010.

What kinds of things inspire your work?
I love everything about Lolita Fashion and the inspiration of the subcultures are Victorian and Rococo period clothing, often many things like clothing and jewellery styles from the periods 1500 through to the 1940s. I find a lot of the Belle Epoch and romantic eras heavily influence my work as a jeweller.

What kind of people buy your products/what kind of people do you envision buying your products?
I have regular customers that commission work for crystal therapy and I also have boutique customers that spend a lot each time I release a new collection. I make my jewellery to suit people like me who may have allergies to anything less than Silver and gold. And the same goes for my fashion brand, I want to cater to people my size. Make the best quality fashion from what I can source and make it in Australia. I make sure it's sustainable and ethically made and sourced.

Tell me a bit about the design and production process.
My first collection was inspired by a book and film, the jewellery was styled after the Victorian mourning era. The clothing after the dresses in the film. I make all the jewellery myself, Julianne designs the clothing. We select designs we would wear ourselves.

How do you manage your time?
I dedicate 2 days a week from 9am-5pm to vk work, other days I care for my two children. Currently everything is commission work and by appointment. But it isn't uncommon for me to work weekends at the studio if I get a lot of orders.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start their own brand/label?
Read up on as much as you can about tax, business plans, the creative part is easy. It's costly and time consuming if you don't take the time to educate yourself. Initiative is important to your success and happiness.

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