Designer Spotlight: Chikahisa Studio
If you couldn't tell already I'm obsessed with all things fashion, but what you probably don't know is that when I go to artisan markets I love to talk to the designers and in addition to splurging on amazing one-of-a-kind pieces I always end up with a stack of business cards from all the brands I discover and end up secretly following their journey online as they evolve and grow their business.
A couple months ago when I was doing some spring cleaning I came across a bunch of business cards I had saved from brands I had fallen in love with over the years and decided to start a designer series on the blog where I highlight some of the amazing brands I have discovered from my travels.
Each month I will profile a designer I love and I'm starting the series off by interviewing Ann Chikahisa, the jewelry designer behind Chikahisa Studio. Ann is a Seattle based designer, but I first discovered her beautiful jewelry a few years ago at the Grand Central Holiday Market in New York City.
Ann has also included an exclusive discount code at the end of the interview to shop her collection.
How and why did you start designing?
Creating and designing have always been an important part of my life. As a child I spent my time creating and designing in many different forms but my heart was always in fashion. As an adult, I worked in the corporate world and after a while, I found myself disenchanted and unfulfilled. So I decided to take a metal smithing class at a local art center. And BAM. I was hooked. Creating something out of a piece of metal was so gratifying. I was obsessed and began making things for my friends and family. At the urging of a good friend, she hosted a trunk show for me. I sold 65 pieces that day! And so my journey began.
Who is the Chikahisa Studio customer?
She is a modern woman who is sophisticated and urban. She’s adventurous and likes to experience new things. She has a great sense of style and follows her own rules.
How has your brand evolved?
I look back at my earlier work and it began as beading with some metal smithing work. It has evolved into a distinct point of view. My work now showcases organic shapes and textures with sensuous chain. Diamonds and gemstones add a touch of bling. I’ve also added in 18k gold to the collections.
What helps you get in the zone when you’re designing?
Great music always gets me in the zone! It helps me relax and feel inspired. I’ll listen to so many different genres too to mix it up. Another important aspect to designing is allowing myself time to play. I find that many times the most beautiful things come out of playtime.
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
I love meeting and working with customers! I still get a thrill when I see a customer light up when she puts on one of my pieces. Jewelry is a powerful connector to our inner self and the outside world. It’s a way of telling the world who we are without words.