Are you an accessory aficionado? If the answer is yes then turn your jewel adorned ears here and listen closely. Imagine you had a personal accessory curator who travelled the world in search of one-of-a-kind, hand-made, global keepsakes. Clutches from Columbia, necklaces from New York, rings from Brazil, earrings from the city of love and light, you name it. Well, in a glorious stroke of new year luck, she exists. Her next stop? Brisbane!
Just down the road (okay an hour down the highway) Kim Hurst spends her days designing jewellery, drinking coffee and mastering the art of Instagram from her spacious backyard studio in Burleigh that has, over the years, morphed from garden shed to party room, junk room and the pre move-out-of-home destination for her daughters. And now, it is the Jewellery by Kim (JbK) studio.
Kim has always been the creative type with a side project. In another life she would comb the Gold Coast for old timber frames and do them up, rub them back and bees wax them before printing and framing her own black and white images. Although it was a labour intensive project, it was one that become quite successful when a couple of shops in Byron Bay stocked the creative pieces.
These days, she’s changed her stride and focuses on jewellery designing and her label of love, JbK. She has spent the last 6 months tapping away at new collection pieces in the lead up to the launch of her first website, built to reach her devoted followers outside of the fortnightly market stall at The Village Markets. Finally, the official website is up and running, and I can almost guarantee that people from the Gold Coast and beyond will fall in love with her unique, bohemian-esque style and second-to-none jewellery construction.
So we just had to feature her up the road here on Brisbane Threads – it’s our job to let you know what you’re missing out on! I had a chat with the jewellery-designing-maestro about JbK and the craft Kim pours her heart, soul and time into.
When and why did JbK come about?
“It started in about 2008 after my daughters grew up and moved away and I had nothing to do. I’ve always been creative… so when someone asked me to make them a pair of earrings because I’d done a little bit of jewellery design before I got married but that was very minimal. Anyway I made the earrings and she loved them and then I made another pair and another pair until I had earrings and necklaces everywhere and didn’t know what to do with them. All of a sudden it just exploded. We’ve gone from the kitchen table to the studio out the back and now to a website launching, so it’s great.”
What is your inspiration?
“I love colour and I love things that are different and I think there must be some subconscious level in my head that must be some American-Indian tribal native because I do tend to steer towards the tribal look. “I love big, in-your-face pieces. Statement is where I want to go. There was a phrase that I learnt quite a few years ago now that says ‘if you can’t see it from one hundred yards away, its not a necklace.’ I love that, and not everybody will wear it so there is a niche market but a lot of people just love my stuff.”
Unique pieces Vs. Mass production
“Wholesaling is not my main goal. I don’t aspire to be in department stores or anything like that. Of course that would be nice, but that’s not something that’s important to me. I don’t want to mass-produce, I want to have individual pieces. Another catch phrase is ‘something for the everyday woman that doesn’t want to be everyday’ – that’s what I want to do… I don’t like to hand the pliers over so I’ll continue to make every piece.”
“The plan is hopefully to, certainly I want to go down the design road. I’ve just started a few more pieces, so the design road and having lots of collections put out there and having an amazing website and being a successful jewellery designer. That’s my plan.”
Be sure to check out Jewellery by Kim online, @jewellerybykim on Instagram or pop in to meet the lady herself at the thriving market that is The Village Markets.
Here’s some of our favourite pieces!