Designer Spotlight: Debbie Liu
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
The brand was created one day in 2010 when I was still working in advertising. I was in a meeting, when my attention drifted to the scenery outdoors. The trees gracefully moved in the wind, the leaves fluttered around, and I began daydreaming of being a happy critter. That's why the name of the line – harlequin and lionhead are 2 specific breeds of my rabbits!
I had always known I wanted to create jewelry that inspire the imagination and capture the playfulness of the outdoors. I saw the outside world in a different light and felt the need to hold all its essence and mold it into a sculptural form. It was necessary for my jewelry to encompass meaningful feelings as well. I want to create designs that spark powerful intimate memories of the audience.
How did you get into jewelry design?
From time to time during my childhood and teenage life, I have always made my own jewelry and it was something I just loved to do with my mom. But I never had any formal training until a few years ago when I took a part-time jewelry course and things just started from there.
What makes your collection unique?
My designs are sculpted in clay or wax first. Which is why they have an unique sculptural quality. Nature to me is mysterious and romantic, wild and capricious at the same time. My jewelry reflects those sentiments through rustic, romantic silhouettes that are elegant but edgy as well. The aesthetic of the line sets the woman who wears it apart from everyone else.
What are your inspirations?
Everything in the nature, especially vegetation and sea-life. But also things inspired by nature such as fairy tales, architecture, or even armor.
How are you making a difference in your life?
I left my old job in advertising, trading in job security and good income for my dream. I believe life is too short for regrets. Besides adopting my rabbits and marrying my husband, starting my jewelry business may be the best thing I have ever done for myself. Yes, running a business is hard and risky, but I learn so much in the process and I hope I can sustain it and one day open a shop and turn this into a family business!
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I am a human rabbit!
What is the biggest struggle/success in running your jewelry business like a business?
My biggest struggle in running my jewelry business like a business is my own fear. As a small business owner, there are so many things to prioritize and I tend to gravitate to something easy for me to succeed in rather than the most important to-dos. It gets in the way when I make designs and business decisions. And it stops me at the door of expansion (which sometimes may be a good thing though).
My biggest success is my ability to run lean and mean using creative solutions to get things done (e.g., doing my own photography and website…etc), which helps me sustain and grow my business in a slow but steady pace.
Debbie Liu created Harlequin&Lionhead statement fashion jewelry in 2010. As a city girl all her life, Debbie has always felt a yearning for nature and the wild in her heart. Her interpretation of nature drives the designs of Harlequin&Lionhead, capturing movement, mood, and organic forms in sculptural silhouettes that are rustic and romantic.