This is our latest post in a series of featured makers. We aim to introduce our makers one at a time and give you a bit of a behind-the-scenes story and insights to their practice. This week we would like to introduce:
First up. Who are you and what do you do?
Erica Lyons from Whangarei, making sterling silver jewellery under the name Kingsway.
Kingsway can be described as simple, minimalist jewellery that is well made and subtle, however has a strong impact. The pieces are designed to be able to be worn on a daily basis, or dressed up to make a statement.
How and why did you get started (instead of getting a proper job like your mother told you)?
I have always loved silver jewellery. My mum used to give me a pair of unique silver earrings for my birthday each year and I knew one day I would make my own.
When I moved to Sydney in 2008 I took silversmithing classes at a community college which lead to buying a lot of tools, taking over the desk in my one bedroom apartment, and starting Kingsway!
I do also have a “proper” job – I am a science teacher 🙂
What was the first thing you made?
An oval pendant with a lock shape cut out.
Who or what influences you or inspires you?
I am inspired by simple, geometric shapes. I want my jewellery to be everyday wear, that can be dressed up or down. I have always loved sleek, delicate designs and am constantly looking for inspiration – whether on the internet, at the beach or in nature!
What is your favourite part of making?
Definitely the end point, when a piece (especially if it is a new design) has been soldered, sanded and polished and I get to photograph it – it’s so exciting!
How do you market your business?
This part I find extremely hard! There is so much gorgeous jewellery to be found and it is so hard to stand out. I currently use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, as well as selling my wares in a few select stores.
What tips do you have for others starting out in this game?
Take the time to set out your business plan. Know what you want and how to get there, instead of bumbling along like I have!!! I promise it’ll be so much easier in the long run 🙂
If you could gift one of your creations to anyone living or dead. Who would that be and what would you give them? Why?
I would love to give my nana one of my rings. She died before I started making jewellery to sell and I know she would be so proud of what I have done in that time.
Do you have any new ideas on the drawing board?
I am constantly coming up with new designs! I am hoping to expand my coastal collection as we come into summer (think smaller shell earrings, small kina, etc)
World Domination! How will you achieve it?
I’ll keep making beautiful jewellery that people want to wear!!
What is next for you?
I would like to produce more collections rather than random one-off pieces (as I do when inspiration strikes!) so I need to get to work on that!
Thanks for sharing your time and giving us an insight to your brand. We look forward to seeing your development and growth. Kingsway can be found online here and on Facebook as well as on Instagram and Pinterest. You can view her creations in-store at The Department of Curiosities and Fine Things in Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.