With summertime and special occasions such as Mother’s Day fast approaching, we are delighted to highlight some of our favourite artisans of the season. We had a chance to interview Kara Yoo, a good friend and regular contributor to Much and Little.
Catering to women of all ages, Kara Yoo started designing and creating jewelry in 2012. With a meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship, Kara’s pieces are made with love right here in Vancouver. Use of high quality materials such as argentium sterling silver, gold fill, as well as solid gold ensures durability, versatility, and elegance for all Kara Yoo Jewelry products. You can find out more at: https://www.karayoo.com/
We hope you come in to take as much pleasure as we do in profiling these creative members of the Vancouver community:
1. What inspired you to start your own business?
“My parents were entrepreneurs and owned several different businesses while I was growing up. They immigrated to Canada 40 years ago and have built a solid foundation for who I am today – I have always been inspired by their hard work and dedication.
With that in mind, I needed to figure out what kind of business I wanted to own. I learned how to make beaded jewellery from my sister in high school, and continued that hobby as a young adult. While in university, I did a case study on a successful Canadian jewellery brand – this sparked an interest in making my hobby into a business. In my last year at university, I met the founders of a successful NYC jewellery brand at a conference. Hearing their story, I knew immediately that a jewellery brand is what I wanted to pursue. I enrolled in a 2-year jewellery program at VCC to learn more advanced techniques, and started my business in the last year of school.”
2. How would you explain your design philosophy?
“Whenever I design pieces, I always have in mind versatility (can this piece be worn on several different occasions?), wearability (is this piece practical to wear? Is it comfortable?) and price point (can my customers afford this piece?).”
3. What does your choice of materials reflect about you?
“We use only hypoallergenic materials which means none of our materials contain nickel. We primarily use reclaimed precious metals such as sterling silver and gold-fill because they are hypoallergenic and high quality (they don’t leave your finger black!). Our choice in materials reflect the brand’s promise to create beautifully designed pieces that are practical and wearable.”
4. Who do you create jewelry for (i.e. who is your audience)?
“Most of our customers are 25-34 year-old females, who like to purchase from local or indie brands. Our customers are socially conscious.”
5. What has been the most gratifying and the most challenging part of your journey as a designer?
“The most gratifying part of my job is hearing back from customers and creating meaningful work for my employees!
The most challenging part of my journey is keeping up the momentum and pushing through the stressful times as a small business owner that often seem impossible to get through.”
6. What are some of your other hobbies, interests, passions, motivations, and goals?
“I love to bake and craft in my spare time! I take up new hobbies every now and then like knitting, crocheting and calligraphy. I also enjoy travelling with my husband – we are moving to Berlin this June! One of my goals is to have new experiences and try things I’ve never done before – Life is short!”