Maker Q&A : Laite Atelier
We’re constantly inspired by the stories behind handcrafted products and their makers! Part of it may be our background in design that drives us to seek inspiration and develop a concept that will evolve to a finished product; but we also enjoy the community and social aspect of getting to know someone through what they make, what inspires them, and what their interests are.
Last week we shared that we now carry a few pieces from Laite Atelier’s line in our shop. Today, we are excited to share a short Q&A with Kristyn, the designer and maker of this gorgeous minimal jewelry line. Created with the desire to cultivate a mindful lifestyle, these handcrafted pieces (as well as the collection of home goods thats in the works) are designed with a minimalist approach to help us all get back to the basics.
Read on to know more and visit our shop to see a few of the items featured in the photos below.
A big thank you to Kristyn for sharing her story with us!
Tell us a little about your background and what
led you to jewelry making and starting Laite.
I've felt drawn to the creative world since I was child, but never thought to translate that passion into a career until a few years ago. I was preparing to graduate from college and just couldn't see myself in a typical 9 to 5 job. I kind of just fell into jewelry randomly - I was in the early stages of curating a minimalist wardrobe (I used to be a bargain impulse shopper) and noticed there wasn't a lot of jewelry out there that fit my style. I thought maybe I could make my own, so I started watching youtube videos, reading articles, and things just took off from there.
What is the inspiration behind your latest collection?
My latest collection is inspired by both my personal history and desire for minimalism. Half of the collection is a series called Forest & Sea, designed with the different places I've called home in mind. I grew up in the countryside of PA and then moved to the seaside in Florida, and I wanted to draw on the influence both of these landscapes have had on my art and life. The second half of the collection is dedicated to the concept of modern simplicity, called Minima. These are pieces meant for everyday wear, inspired by classic style in the hopes of helping others curate their own minimalist wardrobe.
Living in Florida, what are some of your
favorite things to do/see in the state?
I've had the unique experience of living on both coasts of Florida in my nearly three years here. I currently live in Tampa but went to college in St. Augustine, and the two cities couldn't be more different. Tampa is heavily influenced by its Gulf coast roots, rich in Cuban culture, whereas St. Augustine is more of your quintessential east coast beach town. In Tampa, I love exploring the unique cuisine (there are some great gems in Ybor City) and visiting Honeymoon Island, a quiet oasis on an otherwise busy city coast. However, I have a special place in my heart for St. Augustine--it's one of the neatest towns in the U.S. in my opinion--tons of interesting history, old cobbled streets, beautiful architecture, not to mention it's a great hub for small business owners.
We know you are a reader (we follow your #StrangeLibrary book club!).
Can you recommend a few books you recently read and enjoyed?
Reading has always been my first love, but I've been terrible about reading for pleasure in recent years, so I started an Instagram book club as a way to encourage myself and others to stay engaged. Over Christmas, I read The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and my goodness what a wonderful book! It's a beautifully written story that I think most people can relate to.
What are you most excited about or
looking forward to doing in 2015?
I knew when I opened the Atelier that I'd eventually want to expand the shop in some way to include other home goods, so I'm working on that transition right now. In addition to the Laite jewelry line, I'd like to collaborate with another maker each month to offer a limited-edition piece made specifically for the Atelier. I'm really excited about it, because I think it'll be a great way to cultivate more dialogue and a more connected community with the creative world.
Image Credits : Photos by Joshua Weaver for Laite