1. 3 words to describe yourselves (you can have 3 each!)
Jacques: Laidback, Silly, Perfectionist
Karli: Colourful, Fun, Organised
2. How do you make a design partnership work?
Hmmm. Ours works because we have very different roles and know what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are. Jacques is very patient and calm, and I am very organised but stressy. This leads Jacques wanting to do all of the designing (hours and hours on illustrator), whereas I do all the of the branding, marketing, social media, contacting stockists and general admin. It means that when I get bored half way through a task I can flit onto something else.
3. How does being based in Brighton feature in your work life?
Living in Brighton is not only inspiring in itself but also means we are close to London for visits to galleries, museums and to see skyscrapers. Brighton is great for the beach in the summer, and the fact that there is always something going on. We very much live for the motto “Work hard, Play Hard”. We also have most of the things we need on our doorstep – need more chain we head down to the bead shop!
4. Can you tell us more about the upcoming Plastic Fantastic! event?
Plastic Fantastic! is a Press and Blogging event that is being held at one of our stockists Porta (www.twitter.com/BrightonPorta). It is four Brighton based designers who will be showcasing their new collections. Maggie Angus (www.maggieangus.com), Sugar Jones (www.sugarjones.co.uk) Katze Shop by Rosa Pietsch (www.etsy.com/shop/katzeshop) and ourselves. It should be a really fun event, we’ve got goodie bags and all of the designers will be there to chat to and show off their new designs! If you would like an invite just email firstname.lastname@example.org
5. What exactly is Product Design and how does it influence designosaur’s work?
Both Jacques and I studied Product Design at university and I would say that it is the design of everything that isn’t aeronautical or mechanical. It is such a large field and we chose not to specialise although our final year projects were very in depth, but completely different. Our Product Design degrees taught us lots of techniques, as well as bringing us together. So without a degree in Product Design there wouldn’t be designosaur!
6. What led you to jewellery?
I have an acrylic and junk jewellery problem. Jacques started an internship at a laser cutters and was making children’s acrylic mirrors. He brought home some of the designs to show me, and one of them was a GIANT Brachiosaurus Mirror. I held it up to me and said that it would make an awesome necklace, (it covered my entire torso) and I think it clicked with Jacques that if he was making the acrylic jewellery, this could work out cheaper in the long run! He reduced the size of the design and we went from there!
7. What are the best and worst aspects of the design process for you?
The best bit is the ideas stage, we are full of them, and scribbling them down and discussing them is the most fun. The worst bit is when you have had an awesome idea, you have made it, and then for some reason it doesn’t quite work, maybe it is too weak at one point, or doesn’t hang correctly. This can be quite disheartening sometimes.
8. Do you find that focusing your subject matter to mainly dinosaurs and extinct creatures is limiting or liberating?
Ahhh! Well, we are designosaur, or designosaurs and although we happen to make dinosaurs they are not the designosaurs that our brand entirely relates to. Dinosaurs were a great first collection, and we will continue to make dinosaur themed products and to sell our dinosaurs as a core collection, but there is so much more to come from us. It is good to have a strong brand recognition, people know us as the ones that make dinosaur jewellery and then they remember we are called designosaur. It has opened us up to a wider range of stockists doing the Natural History style designs too.
9. Your designs are available in fabulous range of places from craft fairs, to independent boutiques and the Natural History Museum. What is the best bit about each of these type of stockists for designosaur?
We love craft fairs, we love people being excited about our designs, chatting about dinosaurs and having that personal touch. The independent boutiques are what moved us from crafters to a brand. It’s fun dealing with independent boutiques, there is a lot of passion behind each store and we’ve worked with some lovely store owners in the last year. Big stockists like the Natural History Museum are fantastic advertising for our brand – giving people who would have never come across us otherwise the chance to fall in love with designosaur jewels!
10. What can we look forward to from designosaur this year?
You can look forward to SO MANY THINGS this year. I am Queen of saying YES to everything, and recently when asking Jacques if we should take on another huge project he said “well you only run a dinosaur jewellery business once!”. We have collaborations, collectives, events, new stockists, new collections and so much more coming your way. Unfortunately at this stage of the game it’s Top Secret, but we promise you will be excited!
Want to find out more or do some designosaur shopping? Here’s how: