Designer Spotlight: Cindy Kaiser of La Kaiser
A brief story of what you do and why you do it:
Jewelry making is my passion and colors have always inspired me. I have combined my love for the two by creating jewelry that comes ‘alive' through the subtle use of color. I first sketch out the pieces for each collection and then use 3D Auto Cad to create precise renderings of each piece, which are then printed out in wax. Once this process is complete, the wax objects are sent off to my caster, where they are cast and polished. When I receive the polished pieces, I begin work on the final touches ; such as the setting of stones and the adding of additional links or findings.
How did you get into jewelry design?
I have always been a very creative and hands on type of a person, ever since I was a little girl. I was constantly making things for myself and others; whether it be jewelry, clothes, gift cards, pottery etc. I always knew that I would end up in the creative field, some way or another. Once I was done with High School, I went on to college and received a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts (with a focus on jewelry and metal design). From there on, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do and how I was going to do it.
What makes your collection unique?
My focus on ‘color' combined with simplicity in design, is what makes my collection unique. I want all of my pieces to project some subtle hints of ‘radiance' and ‘happiness' and at the same time, remain simplistic in form so the piece can be worn day after day and ultimately become a timeless piece.
What are your inspirations?
I'm heavily inspired by my unique upbringing and travels. I'm a Swiss girl who grew up in Zimbabwe and am now based in the USA. I draw upon my travels between Europe, Africa and the USA as part of my design inspiration. However, my 22 years in Africa is what ultimately inspires me. Growing up in Zimbabwe was an enriching and humbling experience and one that changed my outlook and view on life. When you are surrounded on a daily basis by mass poverty and suffering, your dreams and desires for a kinder and ‘happier' world are awoken. I started to turn to bright and happy colors at that point. Also, having lost both my parents by the age of 12, meant that I had further reason to find an escape from the ‘real' world. Color was my escape. Ever since then, I have always been inspired by the power of color and how it can immediately lift your spirits and provide you with a feeling of ‘hope' and ‘positivity'. This is why I use colorful gemstones as a focus point in my jewelry. I want the wearers of my jewelry to ultimately feel ‘inspired' and ‘happy' when they see or wear my jewelry.
How are you making a difference in your life?
I'm doing something that I love, which allows me to be creative and think outside of the box. I think that doing something that you are truly passionate about, helps to make you a better person in the long run. I'm also committed to helping make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate in Africa. I donate a percentage of my profits to a scholarship foundation in Zimbabwe, as I have personal and emotional ties to this country and thus have a strong incentive to do the most I can for them.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
For some reason or another, I love designing in the bath! I have a little clipboard and pencil just above my bath, which I often pull out during long, relaxing baths. I light a candle and dim the lights a little and I'm in my ‘design haven!”. I'm pretty certain that this way of designing is not very common, but it works for me and that's why I do it! The only down side is that the sides of my pages nearly always end up with some water damage, but that's okay since they are only rough sketches.
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?
I think the biggest struggle for me is trusting myself to make the right decisions (big or small). Like any solo entrepreneur, its all up to you and there isn't really any one else whom you can turn to for input on final decision making. It definitely makes it tough at times, as it would be nice to have someone who has as much skin in the game as you do, to help out with decision making. But on the flip-side, it does have it's advantages too.
I design jewelry that is meant to be worn on a daily basis. My pieces are comprised of colorful gemstones and simplistic shapes. I strive to make jewelry that is feminine, simple, colorful and ultimately brings a smile to the wearers face.