The Exclusive interview with Vancouver Jewelry Designer, Hailey Gerrits. Using vintage, recycled and repurposed materials.
The Apostyle Exclusive Interview
with Designer, Hailey Gerrits
Why/how did you decide to become a jewelry designer?
Long before it was my career, jewelry and design were always passions of mine. My first job was in a jewelry supply store where I learned much of what I know today about semi-precious stones and jewelry supplies. It turned into a creative outlet for me, and collecting supplies has become a bit of an addiction.
How do you select the materials you use?
I work almost exclusively with vintage, recycled metal products. Almost all of the chain or metal products used in my jewelry is what is referred to as 'deadstock' - it would have been produced, anywhere between 1880-today with the purpose of being assembled into jewelry. For whatever reason, it was left unused. I dig through old warehouses to find these very special items and assemble them into new, modern pieces. To add color and texture, I like to combine found objects with semi-precious stones. I usually select stones based on their properties and what I want my customer to feel - whether it be an increased self-confidence, ability to communicate more freely, or clarity of mind, I try to use stones that possess qualities I admire.
What, or who, inspires your work?
I'm mostly inspired by my materials. When my desk is covered with 100 year old chains and beautiful, hand-cut stones, it's not hard to feel inspired.
Describe your customer in three words.
Bold. Fun. Unique.
What do you love to do when you're not working?
I'm a crossword puzzle geek. My Saturday morning tradition is the Globe and Mail weekend crossword and brunch, by myself. I spend a lot of time with friends and exploring the city (Vancouver). I love eating out and trying new restaurants, cafes, breweries. Right now, I'm also addicted to the Mindy Project.
What are your plans for upcoming collections?
I always try not to think too far ahead. I just finished my Fall 2015 collection that will be released in September. I wanted it to be a little bit of a "throwback" collection to my earlier style. I've been so inspired by color lately, and each of my recent collections have been very eclectic and bright. I wanted to go back to the basics a little bit and create pieces that you can wear with anything. It is a more subdued, simple color palette and there are more "everyday" styles that I think will be well-worn.
If you had to wear one piece of jewelry for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would have to be something sentimental. I'm sure I'm supposed to say one of my own pieces, but I think it would be my heirloom Star Ruby ring from my grandmother.