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Nov 23, 2012

Interview With Jewelry Designer Sara Horne.

About a year and a half ago Sara Horne Jewelry was born out of a love for fashion, art, and culture. Since then it has grown and expanded into a vast online business. The lovely and talented designer has been making jewelry throughout her life but studied painting in college. While working in retail it was clear that jewelry was a bigger part of Sara’s lifestyle and it took over. 

The artist draws inspiration from her travels and life in Venice Beach. Her Sophisticated, bohemian looks are made from a dynamic supply of materials ranging from turquoise to bone and most incorporate soft leather. Each hand crafted piece has an organic feel to it and can be worn dressed up or dressed down – depending on your mood.

Elegant, creative, and versatile these qualities—taken from what Sara knows to be true in her everyday life—have inspired a line of jewelry that speaks these values while being affordable.

How did you get your start as a jewelry designer?
I have always made jewelry throughout my life at various times for fun.  I have to say I kind of fell into it this last time and it stuck. I was working retail at a small boutique, and I loved all of the jewelry we would get. Seeing different pieces all day inspired me to make my own. The owner of the store (in Lake Tahoe, CA) started selling my pieces on consignment and it kind of snowballed from there.  I had other retailers come in and pick up the line and I started to develop a good client following.  Eventually, I started spending so much time travelling to LA for events and materials that I decided to make the move almost a year ago and now I live in Venice Beach.  
Does your background in painting influence your designs?

YES! There are definitely similarities between painting and my jewelry.  My paintings used a lot of mixed materials such as acrylic, stencil, spray paint, collage…. I think the use of a variety of materials/colors/textures to create an end product shows up in both my paintings and jewelry.

Do you have any other hobbies that also inspire your jewelry?
For Sure! I am pretty much interested in anything creative and I feel that one always affects the other and keeps you thinking outside of the box.  I love to design rooms in my house and am always re-arranging. I love to act as a stylist. I also have a few bags that I have designed alongside my jewelry.
What is your process with creating your pieces and what materials do you use?

Let’s just say that my process is always going. My eyes are always open and often I will see a combination of colors or textures that inspires an overall look that I want to go for with a line of pieces.  From there I will hunt for the right stones/beads to make it happen but along the way things always change and transition, which is one thing that I love.  I never know exactly what the end product will look like when I start, but I know the overall feeling and vision I’m going for.
In regards to material, I use semi-precious stones, leather, wood, ceramic, gold, brass, silver, chain, pave/Indian diamond pieces, silk cord, Tibetan beads, African beads, freshwater pearls… basically…you name it!

Who do you envision wearing your work? Do you think about this when you work on a design?

Ideally I hope that my designs reach a varied demographic, which they most than often do.  Mainly, I want someone to be able to wear my product and really feel good about the quality and uniqueness.   My pieces are definitely intended to add a bit of fashion/style to any look.  When I am working on pieces I want them to be able to ‘communicate’ with as many people as possible. I don’t want to limit my audience by choices I have made in my designs.  Not to say that my designs are ordinary or run of the mill, but I am not trying to be avant-garde and scare people away.
What are some of your more unique inspirations?

Every once in a while I get on a kick out of doing one of a kind pieces.  I get materials from antique shops, flea markets, and beyond.  I will sometimes throw these in with an order, but mostly they are for friends and family. 

Where are some of your favorite places to travel and find your materials? 

I need to go beyond my distributors and travel for materials myself but, as of now, I source from all over the world.  I have a Tibetan distributor that I work with very often to get lots of unique pieces.  In the future I will be travelling across the world for inspiration and materials.  As of now I am pretty much in design mode all the time so wherever I am—whether it is a leather shop or a flea market—my eyes are open.

What is your design philosophy?

My design philosophy is to make unique, quality hand crafted products.  I want to keep my pricing slightly lower so it is more accessible to people.  I also strive to stay with what’s current and ahead of what is popular so that someone buying my product can really add an individual piece to their look/style.

What gives you the most pleasure in your career as a jewelry designer?

I love, love, love seeing people wear my pieces and I love how excited people get when they are trying things on and can’t figure out which one to get.  I also love being able to gift pieces to friends and family. If I could give all of my jewelry away I would! (When I met Sara she was gracious enough to give me one of her pieces that she was wearing because I really liked it. She really is a genuine person.)
What sets Sara Horne apart from other jewelry lines?

My designs are definitely different that a lot of what is out there. I am always creating new lines with what inspires me daily, so there is always something new and different in the collection. Honestly, I try to stay away from what is big in the jewelry market because it’s often been done and overdone and that’s not something I want to get into. I think just keeping a good eye on all fashion—from runway to the streets—and also being inspired by literally anything keeps our designs separate from the rest.

What are your plans for the coming future? 
Well, funny you should ask. These next few months are going to be big for Sara Horne Jewelry! I am no longer going to be on my own. I am taking on a PR company, switching sales reps, and really taking the next step forward in growing, so in the next year we are hoping to see tremendous growth!  Eventually, I would love to just design/travel/create and hand the business reigns over to a partner that way I can stick to what I am best at!

To purchase Sara Horne jewelry click here for a list of retailers.

Interview by Nikki Neil. Photos courtesy of Sara Horne Jewelry.

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