Designer Spotlight: Carolyn Chandler

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A brief story of what you do and why you do it:

I make jewellery from grosgrain ribbon and a variety of beads which I source in the local Hong kong market.  I love creating, I make my own clothes and home accessories so making jewellery was the next step.

How did you get into jewelry design?

I started to make jewellery for myself and as gifts for friends who encouraged me to sell at the local handmade markets.  On finding a market for my designs I opened an Etsy shop in 2010.

What makes your collection unique?

The intricate folds of my grosgrain ribbon necklaces display the beautiful beads I use.  I use a unique technique for stitching my designs.


What are your inspirations?

I was initially inspired by the materials themselves as I have to source trims for my day job and started experimenting with what I had collected.  I love colour and the rainbow rows of ribbons and boxes of beads in the stores never fail to
inspire new styles and colour combinations.

How are you making a difference in your life?

I love having something outside of my regular day job that brings me into contact with different people in the creative industries. I like making something with my hands and the sense of achievement when I finish each piece. Selling to people and knowing they will enjoy wearing what I've enjoyed making is really special to me.


What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?

I believe everyone is unique and therefore unusual!  I was very influenced by my Grandmother who was a dresser at the opera, she encouraged me from a young age to create, giving me a sewing basket for Christmas when I was
7.  I have been sewing since then and draw on the heritage I have from my family and my own travels and experiences.

What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?

Actually getting my head around the business side of things is very hard for me as a creative person. I've had to learn how to sell as well, to tell people that my product is amazing and unique – because it is- doesn't come naturally!  But thanks to an excellent mentor I've learnt how to interact with my customers and provide them with a great service.  I guess this personal growth is my biggest success.

I am from the UK, after achieving a BA (Hons) in Fashion knitwear I moved to Hong Kong to live and work as a knitwear designer 12 years ago and started my jewellery business 3 years ago.