9 August 2013

Spotlight On...Benu

Yay Friday! We're back with another featured artist interview, this week with Benu who creates stunning and quirky leather jewellery. 

Pauline Hagen A.K.A Benu

Where did the name Benu come from?
"The name Benu is completely invented and doesn't mean a thing I'm afraid! My other half is from Prague - Czechs are renowned for coming up with diminutives and little names for their family and friends - that's where it comes from. I think it's simple and memorable which is why I picked it."

When did you decide you wanted to design jewellery?
"I decided I wanted to design jewellery when I realised my day job wasn't creative enough and felt the need for a personal project. I had a serious (life-altering!) chat with a friend at the end of 2011 and soon started experimenting with various materials and methods. It took me 10 months to build up a strong line of colourful, statement jewellery that I was really pleased with, and I launched my shop in December 2012."

Where do you find the inspiration for your jewellery?
"I find my inspiration anywhere – online or outside – the colour of a flower or the shape of a building might spark an idea. I try to look at what surrounds me and think about what I can repurpose, how I can recycle an idea – could I use the way bricks slot together as a pattern? Could I cut petals out of leather? The ideas come to me when I'm walking around, just about to go to sleep, when I'm at work or whilst I'm in the midst of creating another piece of jewellery!"

What gave you the idea to make your jewellery from leather? 

"I started making jewellery as presents for friends and family in January 2012. I happened to spot a few leather jewellery tutorials online and came across a market trader who sells beautiful thick leather offcuts in all possible shades and bright colours (including a lovely gold colour with a perfect shine). I brought a bag full of the goods home and it all stems from there. Leather is very easy to manipulate – a little idea can go a long way and is easy and quick to materialise."

Who do you see wearing your jewellery? 

"I started making jewellery when I noticed that I owned a lot of necklaces and earrings but rarely wore any. I realised it was either because the jewellery was too plain, didn’t match what I was wearing or was too much of a statement piece. I target girls and women who are looking for light, quality and versatile jewellery that is wearable, bold, fun, and really catches the eye - and they could be anyone and anywhere - I've had customers from around the world."

What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to design jewellery?

"Go for it! I was in exactly the same situation just over a year ago and to be perfectly honest, I was very nervous. Most of all, I think I was worried about the reaction of those around me, or lack thereof. I couldn’t have been more wrong: hard work really shines through, and my family, friends and larger network recognised that. I’m proud of having launched my own little business - it's very satisfying. All you need is a bit of patience, some networking as well as confidence in your products!"

There you have it, now you've got more of an insight into the lovely brand Benu, what do you think of her designs? How would you style a Benu piece of jewellery? 

Tell us in the comments or find us on our other social networking sites! If you own any Benu jewellery we'd love to see how you wear it!

Objets De Désir xoxo

P.S Don't forget to enter our giveaway posted earlier today! Click HERE to go to the post. 

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