Canadian jewelry designer Julie Levasseur of Cyanure Art Design presents her work and talks about her new business.
How did you get started, and what is your business model?
I’ve been creating jewelry for two years, but really decided to make it a business in January 2015. Like most artists, I wish it would be all about creating, but unfortunately, there’s a great deal of marketing and financial organization. So, since it is not natural for me, I’ve started taking lessons in launching a business, which gives me tools and contacts with people who are experienced in different aspects of building a business.
My business model is about creating unique art jewelry pieces and limited editions. They are “haute gamme” jewelry made out of gold, silver, semi-precious and precious gems. They are created in my workshop in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada and will be distributed in specialized fashion boutiques, galleries, trade shows and online.
ABI: What inspires your design?
JL: I have a passion for art in all forms. I started as a painter, but I also tried my hand at photography, music, fashion design and cinema at one point or other in my life. I still draw and sketch a lot, it is very helpful in my artistic process. Traveling, meeting people, getting out of my comfort zone is very inspiring. Since I travel at least twice a year, photography is a great way to capture those inspiring moments. I also find it in everyday living, such as the smell of hot rain on burning macadam, sun rising on the lake by my cabin or silence at night when everybody in the house is sleeping.
I love to read artist biographies. They make me aspire to better myself. Browsing fashion magazines is also very inspiring. I am a fan of clothing design, which is closely related to jewelry. There are eternal sources of inspiration everywhere you look. You just have to take the time.
ABI: What new directions are you planning?
JL: Since Cyanure is a new way of expressing my creative self, all the directions I’m taking right now are new. I’ve put aside the workshop for a few weeks to take some time to focus on what I want the next year to be. I am developing a business model at the moment. It is a whole new process for me, but it is proving to be very useful in clarifying what I want to achieve and how I want to get there. The bottom line is that I want to share my creations with the world.
Being proactive, being modern by using social media is a great way to start and get in touch with my clients and future clients. I personally use Facebook and Instagram, and I find them easy and efficient. People get a snapshot of what I do and what inspires me, and feel more related to me.
In a practical way I’m seeking out boutiques that reflect my philosophy, to sell and represent my work. I will also be selling at trade shows. I’ve very excited about this, because I will get to meet with clients and get actual feedback. The artist in me knows that I’m on the right path.
ABI: Tell us about your interest in doing exhibitions.
JL: Exhibitions are for me a chance to get out of my comfort zone. There are often themes given by gallery owners that cause you to think and do things in a different way. It is an opportunity to explore and relate to new mediums and techniques. It is challenging, yet nourishing and a great opportunity to continue to evolve.