#276 The Evolution of the Bijules Incubator with Jules Kim
From designing golden pasties for Cardi B to mentoring up-and-coming designers, Jules Kim of Bijules does it all!
I just love when I get the opportunity to sit down with a really successful jewelry designer for a casual interview. This episode is jam-packed with insight into the jewelry industry, thriving as a maker, and contextualizing art in pop culture.
Jules Kim introduced her semi-eponymous jewelry line Bijules in 2002. Straddling lifestyle and design, the collection offers a provocative, conceptual interpretation of fine jewelry inspired by the streets and nightclubs of New York City.
Eighteen years after she stamped her first cast, Kim continues to evolve her cultural storytelling, both conceptually and tangibly, by embedding a foundational respect for the Earth into her sustainable making processes and materials.
Jules has been an active advocate for supporting members of the jewelry industry of all diverse backgrounds and knocking down the barriers that have traditionally stood in their way.
Her story is awe-inspiring.
What is the Bijules Incubator?
The Bijules Incubator is a jewelry talent development program for emerging & independent persons of diverse backgrounds.
Jules created this incubator to foster a supportive community in the jewelry industry and provide opportunities for up-and-coming designers to shine.
Three talented designers from her program recently got the opportunity to collaborate with Wolf & Badger. Jules believes this will allow them to really define their creative process and express themselves in new ways
If you’re interested in becoming involved with the Bijules Incubator, you can DM Jules on Instagram or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enact the Change You’re Expecting
One standout designer from the incubator is a friend of the show, Angely Martinez.
Jules supported Angely in writing the BIPOC Open Letter to the jewelry community. Jules describes how painful it was to see the barrage of verbal artillery within her own community.
The BIPOC Open Letter was an opportunity to unite designers and create a clear call to action for change that is desperately needed within the industry.
Jules says that the ensuing conversations since the letter was published are integral to changing and challenging the bottom line of the jewelry industry.
Jules Kim’s Advice for Designers
Before we wrapped up the interview, I had to ask Jules if she had any advice for fellow designers, and she did not disappoint:
Understand yourself before you forge deeper into your craft. Being an artist is a spirited career that takes a lot of courage to pursue.
You’ll make mistakes, and facing failure is something nobody likes to do. But embracing that vulnerability allows you to create with unbridled attachments.
“I’ve fallen so many times, and I take great pride in having fallen.”
This is only scratching the surface of how much wonderful insight came out of this interview. I highly encourage you to listen to the full episode above.