Designer Beth Kukuk has built a collection of appealing jewelry with an open and airy feel to it. Enjoy her portfolio and interview.
ABI: Describe the concept behind your designs.
BK: My designs have evolved over time, but they have consistently been delicate, simple and light. I find myself really thinking about the wearability of the pieces and the simplicity of the design. I sometimes think this is a response to all the chaos in life. Every girl wants to feel pretty and we want to be able to wear a simple piece of jewelry that adds originality to our look.
I make jewelry for the gal who appreciates unique, handcrafted, quality pieces; who wants to put her individual spin on current looks; who wants to wear jewelry that doesn’t weigh her down, that she may not even remember she has on until someone compliments her on it; who wants to add just a little something to her outfit to feel effortlessly, weightlessly put-together.
I think you can easily see the inspiration behind my designs. They range from simple geometric shapes that are a bit edgy, to natural and organic shapes, to sometimes playful or whimsical shapes, and often are delicately feminine.
ABI: How did you develop your jewelry collection?
BK: I had recently left my job as a kitchen designer to stay home with my three boys. I very soon learned that I needed a creative outlet, so I started making jewelry at home. In the beginning I was making one, one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry after another.
When my husband lost his job in the mortgage business, I had to try to turn this hobby into a way of making money. I had to treat it like a business. I had to reevaluate. I focused on my most popular designs, and soon learned to re-make these pieces. I designed similar and complimentary pieces and eventually built whole collections around my best selling jewelry. I ended-up phasing out those one-of-a-kind pieces completely and now have a cohesive collection.
I made several variations of popular designs, in different metals, and added coordinating earrings and bracelets. I continuously add to these popular collections, and am always experimenting with new ideas. I love to post pictures of new jewelry on social media or put it on display at a craft fair to see what people have to say. I get great feedback that helps me decide which way to go with a new idea.
ABI: How are you currently selling your work?
BK: I just spent the past five weekends doing a local arts and crafts festival that I really enjoy. I love getting the retail experience where I can see people’s reaction to my jewelry, see them try it on, hear their comments about the jewelry and get a feel for how my pricing is perceived. I do several other weekend festivals throughout the year. I also sell online through my website and have just recently started to explore wholesaling my jewelry. Thankfully, I have lots of repeat customers. I continuously have people buying for or referring me to their friends.