Bijoux means “jewelry” in French. You design jewelry. Sweet coincidence.
Absolutely, I wanted to give a French touch to my collections and to my name. I’ve been inspired by some famous French actresses and I do love whatever comes from France in general from the food to the couturiers…
Do you get most of your inspiration for your pieces from nature?
Some of it. I take inspiration in the cities I visit and mostly from Jamaica—where I am from. I am very sensitive with the architecture and some mood you can find in cities landscapes.
People love to wear jewelry and love the way it looks on them, but few know what goes on behind the scenes of creating a piece. Tell us about the creative process that you use to create each of your beautiful pieces.
Designing jewelry can come in a few different ways. First, by loving a material, a stone, a metal, a brush silver…and then comes the designs of the pieces we imagine in these kind of materials we just found and love. However, mostly designs come from an idea, a souvenir, a picture, a time, a song or all of the previous mixed in a concept. To me, the creative process is making the idea, the object, the material, the tool into a wearable jewelry. That is the main idea and concept of my collection All That Works.
When you’re creating, do you have to have a certain atmosphere?
Absolutely. I design all my work from my studio in Manhattan, always looking at the windows facing the fascinating city below me. I need to be alone and remain quiet.
Say you were the visiting speaker at a fashion institute, and you were giving a speech to the 50 students or so seated in the class. What would you say to them about life as a jewelry entrepreneur?
First of all, I would be honored to be discussing [fashion entrepreneurship] with the students. I would congratulate them for the difficult choice they made by choosing to be a designer. Secondly, you have to believe in your dream. Jewelry is art, and so the designer is an artist. You have to fully trust yourself and let yourself go and always go beyond your limits by creating incredible shapes, lines…At the end, I would advise [them] to be concerned about the materials they choose and the piece they want to elaborate. Some fabrics do not match the design you imagined…
What about your parents…do you seek their guidance and advice in your career?
I do. My mother has always been a great support and my first fan. I take inspiration from her even though she doesn’t realize that. She is my biggest fan, and that is the most powerful guidance I have received.
From the career milestones you’ve achieved thus far, which gives you the most satisfaction?
The congratulations and smiles from my family and friends who believe in me are my biggest [source of] satisfaction. I am very grateful for this.
Any advice you’d like to give to those who want to follow the same career path as you?
Be creative, be spontaneous, be yourself. Never give up
Who gave you the best advice ever? What was it? Do you apply it to your life?
My mother once said, “Stop complaining and go back to work.” That is the best advise I’ve received.
What’s next for you?
I am still working on the All That Works collection, we will be showing in Paris and the US in the next months and we are working hard on being distributed all around the world. I hope people will like the collection as much as I do.