With London Fashion Week just around the corner It was only right that we started a new section completely dedicated to young and fresh designers on the rise in the UK and beyond. First up is jewellery designer Lauren McKenzie and her brand of jewellery ‘Beads by Lala’.
Lauren, thanks for stopping by and speaking with In-spireLS….
LM: Thank you!
How long have you been making jewellery for?
LM: I’ve officially been making my jewellery for about 9months, but I have always customised jewellery that I have brought in different high street stores.
Did you embark on professional studies to hone your talent or did you learn all of the necessary skills you needed to make jewellery yourself?
LM: No. I am self taught, I have a passion for anything creative. There is nothing better than getting your creative juices flowing.
Your jewellery has both a personal and unique touch as they are made from Gemstones, which each have a special meaning. Why did you decide to make jewellery from gemstones and what has been the overall feedback from those who have worn your jewellery so far?
LM: Apart from them each having their own spiritual meaning, I am fascinated by the history of the gemstone. They truly are of amazing quality. I’ve started to expand the brand and I am creating a new and diverse line of costumer jewellery which I hope to develop and push out there very soon.
The overall feedback has been great! Customers have chosen stones that are meaningful to them so they feel connected to each and every piece. I have also had request for specific stones with designs of mine that people have seen.
On average, how long does it take to go from the initial design to making the finished piece?
LM: On average it takes roughly 3-5days depending on the design.
Who are your fashion inspirations?
LM: I like the quirkiness of people like Lady GaGa and Nicky Minaj but I also love Victoria Beckham’s style as it is trendy but also classic, all at the same time.
Your professional name is ‘Beads by LaLa. How did you come up with that?
LM: LaLa is a nickname given to me in my teens by a friend. ‘Beads by’ has a nice ring to it so I just combined them and ‘voila’! [Laughs]
How challenging has it been for you as a designer to get your work out there?
LM: It’s been challenging but I have found opportunities to promote my brand through functions, friends birthdays, and also through blogging. Networking is also good and helps in a major way. I also have many friends who are stylist and they use my jewellery pieces. I manage to make things happen.
What media outlets do you use to promote yourself and your brand?
LM: I use social networks including Twitter and Facebook. My jewellery has also been featured on Tumblr.
What has been the general feedback from the designs you have released so far?
LM: It’s been very positive; customers are returning and recommending my brand to friends and family too.
What is the price range of your collection?
LM: Prices range from £8 to £50.
What are your goals and aspirations for your brand in 2012?
LM: My aim for 2012 is to launch my website and expand my brand. Also get my range into a few stores that I am in talks with.
How and where can readers of In-spireLS keep up with you?
LM: On Facebook.com/beadsbylala and Twitter.com/beadsby_lala.
I also have a few pieces on ASOS marketplace.com/beadsbylala.
W| Interview by Sasha Shantel I| Courtesy of Lauren McKenzie- All Rights Reserved