Designer Feature: Valerie’s Rainbow
One of this Summer’s hottest accessory trends is stacking a variety of arm pieces to create a layered mosaic of colors and textures, known as the ‘arm party.’ We’re celebrating the trend with Istanbul based jewelry designer Kumral Dülger of Valerie’s Rainbow.
Inspired by Amy Winehouse’s song “Valerie,” a song that Kumral says “makes everything vivid and colorful for her…like a rainbow,” her line is appropriately known as “Valerie’s Rainbow.” The young Turkish designer, who left a full time job as an International Product Manager to pursue her talent and start her jewelry business, is fully engaged in all aspects of her small business. If her charismatic passion when talking about her work is any indication of what’s to come, Valerie’s Rainbow will be joining arm parties across the globe before long.
Below: Kumral Dülger of Valerie’s Rainbow in her creative work space.
CSM: Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started in jewelry design?
VR: Valerie’s Rainbow jewelry is actually a very new and exciting thing for me. Since I like art, fashion and creating, I always try to think of and find ways to make my own clothes and jewelry. So, really, everything was a hobby at first. I started to share my DIY projects on Instagram, twitter and facebook. The rest snowballed, or unraveled very quickly from there.
CSM: What skills did you already have when you started your business and what did you have to learn?
VR: I don’t have any skills in jewelry making. Of course I have something, I’m not sure what you’d call it…what I mean is that I don’t have any formal training in jewelry design or making. I love fashion, especially the beautiful details that are involved. When I look at something or buy something I always think about the production process. When I first started, I researched techniques and materials, mainly on the internet. I looked into other jewelry designers and the techniques that they commonly use. I bought books about jewelry making. Most importantly, I watched every single video on youtube (especially for crochet techniques). Then, I decided to combine chains, rhinestones, skulls, studs, spikes with woven and embroidery threads by using crochet techniques. I’m still learning and discovering the craft, but I feel like it I know a lot compared to the beginning of this journey.
CSM: What are some of your favorite materials to work with and create with?
VR: Chunky chains, skulls, studs, spikes and colorful threads are my favorite materials.
CSM: Could you tell us a little about the jewelry making process?
VR: As of right now, I do everything myself. I mainly use crochet techniques to make my pieces, and like to integrate other pieces such as chains, studs, or skulls. I sometimes purchase materials based on the customers specific orders, but mostly I follow my instincts in selecting materials. The quality of the materials is the most important factor for me; I always try to buy high quality materials. Essentially, I would never want to create or sell a piece that I wouldn’t wear myself, so quality is of the upmost importance. I hope to create my own materials down the road.
CSM: Who and/or what inspires you?
Anything and anyone can be a source of inspiration! It mostly depends on my mood and the atmosphere of the place I’m in. Colors, animals, prints in nature and Summer are what inspire my designs the most. I also love Pinterest, and spend hours creating boards that I can look to for inspiration. In terms of other designers, I’m mostly inspired by Venessa Arizaga and Aurélie Bidermann. Both are exceptionally talented ‘woven jewelry’ designers.
CSM: What are you currently working on?
I have recently expanded to include neck pieces and am currently working on woven chain necklaces using marbled thread. I am also creating zigzag patterns using a variety of vibrant colors. For this I’m using the tapestry crochet technique, so I can work with several pieces of yarn at the same time.
CSM: What jewelry trends do you project for Fall/Winter 2012?
VR: Vintage, tribal, nature inspired, cool metallic and statement pieces. Collar necklaces will also be a big trend this Fall/Winter.
CSM: If you could sum up your look in three words, what would they be?
VR: I love the polished sleek city look. I also love to be comfy and chic. I love minimalistic clothes and details. But sometimes I like to look rock chic, glamorous. I think it depends on my mood.
Above: Mixing and matching; crystal embellishments, studs, and colorful threads.
Above: Chain friendship bracelets adorned with studs.
Want to invite Valerie’s Rainbow to join your arm party? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her virtual store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Valeriesrainbow
Follow Valerie’s Rainbow on Instagram: @valeriesrainbow and on Pinterest: pinterest.com/valeriesrainbow
Tomris is a fashion blogger from Izmir, Turkey. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Communication Studies. Her experience with fashion and style includes modeling, blogging, working as a personal stylist, and interning at The Source Magazine in NYC. She loves to travel and lived in Brussels and Istanbul before relocating to The Triangle. She joined the STYLE team in April 2012. In August 2013, she took on the role of Triangle Market Editor. Contact: Triangle@carolinastylemag.com