Can you introduce yourself for us - who you are, where you’re from, what you do...
Hi my darlings, I’m Kaye (not legally, but hopefully soon) and I’m from Washington DC, however I’ve been calling Philadelphia home for the past 14 years. I’m currently a Shop Assistant at Ritual Shoppe and most recently I launched my own jewelry brand “AOHKAYE”. The name AOHKAYE has been with me since 2014 when I started battling some mental issues after dealing with the emotional pain of losing multiple people. So, in an effort to let my friends and family know that I was going to be okay I changed all of my social media accounts to AOHKAYE, this is also when I started to medically transition to Kaye.
What's your zodiac sign?
I was born on the cusp, so I share traits with Aries and Taurus.
How did you get your start in jewelry design?
Like many of us, my life turned upside down this past March as I was unfortunately let go of my job with Urban Outfitters after 10 years of service. However, life works in magical ways and I started to reconnect with Angela Monaco. She began teaching me how to make jewelry and I would go with her to Jeweler’s Row as she worked on her own projects. From that moment I hit the ground running, and within the first month of learning how to make jewelry I had developed 20+ pieces. I’ve always had a design background, as my degree is in Fashion Design, and I worked in New York for the relaunch of Halston.
How and where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration for me comes from all over but most importantly I am a lover of all things that are imperfect. There’s true beauty within imperfections. I’m also into textures which is the second set of pieces I worked on, they were inspired by the forest. I imagined myself standing in front of a forest and admiring all of the beautiful mixed textures.
What’s your favorite part about the design process?
My favorite part of the design process... well there’s many - first, being the initial thought of a design and second, being able to execute that image into something tangible.
Who are some other artists/designers/brands you look up to?
At the moment I’m really inspired by all of the beautifully talented women I work with, but I’m completely obsessed with these brands: Angela Monaco Jewelry, Hellhound Jewelry, Rick Owens, and Parts of Four. I hope to someday have a cult like following of badass people!
Any words of wisdom for fellow makers or peers looking to get their business off the ground?
At any moment in life your world can be turned upside down and it’s important to see and take understanding in why things happen in the way that they do. I’ve come to the realization that some things need to happen, good or bad, in order for other things to enter into life. Oftentimes these things can be a blessing in disguise. Never lose sight of the passion within.
What is a dream project/goal for you?
I hope to someday create a space that visually matches my aesthetics - DARK WITCHY VIBES.
What’s your top 3 ritual shoppe product picks...