Designer Spotlight: Justine Standaert
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
I make colorful & eco-friendly jewelry. I want my pieces to be wearable and sustainable that's why I use seedbeads and recycled material such as bottle caps & broken mirrors. I love to make basic & statement jewelry & to turn daily materials into elegant pieces with a special surprise effect when people hear what it is made of. We finish every piece of with sterling silver details: earwires, clasps, etc. Two months ago I hired my first employee. a young teenage mom that dropped out of school & we want to grow to hire more similar women that need & deserve opportunities to teach them how making + selling jewelry can change everything !
How did you get into jewelry design?
At the age of 14 I made my first pieces of jewelry on a rainy afternoon and the day after I stepped into a shop that I thought would make a great fit for my work and I asked them if they were interested to sell my work. And they were!! I couldn't believe it!! I sold for a couple of years at that shop before I started studying jewelry design in a school in Antwerp, Belgium.
What makes your collection unique?
I make exclusive & unique pieces of unconventional material such as mirrors & bottlecaps. All my work is ethical & sustainable. I also have a colorful açai berry collection of statement necklaces & bracelets. I focus on ecofriendly material & packaging. We make most of our packaging out of recycled magazines.
What are your inspirations?
The first thing that pops up into my mind is Mexico, I am so inspired by this country, its colors, the embroidery, the clothing, the hairdo's, the painters: (Frida Kahlo of course!), the music, the way of living. The second main inspiration would be the environment. I am inspired by people who care about our planet. Recycling plays an important role in that!
How are you making a difference in your life?
By living a greener life and making greener jewelry. How do we do this? We walk (no car!), we recycle (magazines for packaging, broken mirrors & old bottlecaps for jewelry!), we use stamps instead of stickers on packages & we enjoy + respect life 🙂
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I was born in Belgium, but I moved to Mexico when graduated from jewelry art school, now 7 years ago. I think that really describes me. I love living in Mexico, but I still have that Belgian girl inside of me that I can' t ignore 🙂
What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
Accepting it is a business & that means doing things to grow it as a business and not only as a passion. I have focused & educated myself especially on my weak parts: marketing & administration for example. Because the creative part is so easy for me, I breathe jewelry. I knew the other side was going to be hard work. And yes, it has paid off. I learn, study, try, read, listen, … a lot about the subjects that don't come naturally for me. I would definitely recommend that for any person who wants to turn their passion into a business, that they focus on your weak parts.
First handmade pieces sold at the very young age of 14. I have a master in jewelry art in St-Lucas, Antwerp, Belgium & Escola Massana, Barcelona Spain + extra jewelry skills & courses taken in Mexico. Started selling 4 years ago on Etsy, but I launched my own website 2 weeks ago.