In recent years, we've all become used to seeing some glorious collaborations between big jewellery brands and established artists. So it's also nice to see the same thing happening with the independents.
Case in point: Good Daze, an independent jewellery brand based in London and founded in 2017 by Rosie Greener, has teamed up with the famed artist and 'professional doodler' Hattie Stewart. And the results, as you can see, are pretty awesome.
Good Daze, one of our top 10 independent jewellery designers of 2023, teamed up with Hattie to create seven pieces of jewellery inspired by the artist's vibrant and tongue-in-cheek characters and style, as with all Good Daze pieces, they are made in small workshops around London and the collection launches on 4 September.
We loved these fun pieces so much that we wanted to sit down with Rosie and discover how they came about. Read on to learn about how to get your heroes' attention, the challenges of translating Hattie's unique art into designs that work, and being brave in tough times.
Rosie starts by explaining how the project came about in the first place. "At the end of last year, I did a Q&A and was asked who my dream collaboration would be with," she recalls. "I said it would be with Hattie and decided to be brave and shoot my shot by tagging her in the Instagram story. She replied almost immediately, saying that she would love to collaborate, and from there, we made it happen!"
So, what was it about Hattie's style that drew her in? "Sometimes you stumble across those creatives that blow your mind, that have an aesthetic you find so original, inspiring and distinctive… and they make it look so easy," Rosie enthuses. "The internet and particularly social media can sometimes feel like a never-ending ocean of visual stimulus, and it is rare to find an artist whose output appears completely and utterly unique to them.
"I have followed Hattie's creative journey for years and have always felt this way about her work. I am particularly drawn to her characters; they feel so developed and iconic that it is hard to believe they haven't existed forever.
With Good Daze, she explains, her aspiration is to create jewellery that encapsulates just this sense of uniqueness and excitement. "So I just knew that with the addition of Hattie's dynamic style and characters, we could create something really special and fresh."
Rosie explains how they made this happen in practice. "Hattie has such a huge portfolio of illustrations, doodles and characters, so there was so much to work with and be inspired by," she says. But as with most creative projects, the process was as much about rejecting ideas as embracing them.
"There were particular characters that were crying out to be turned into jewellery and also some that we tried out but just couldn't get to work successfully in metal form," Rosie explains. "For example, I really wanted to involve Hattie's bunny character as it is one of my absolute favourites, but we just couldn't get him to work in metal on such a small scale.
"It was hard to let that idea go, but sometimes you have to face the fact that not every idea looks as good in real life as it does in your head!"
In short, the ideation process was all about 'killing your darlings' and honing in on the concepts that would work best in practice. "Because there were so many amazing starting points, the hardest part for me was trying to whittle down the ideas to the strongest and those that translate best into jewellery."
Rosie adds that Hattie herself also had a big influence on the designs. "She was very passionate about turning her banana character into a pendant, which was such a great shout as it is definitely one of the best pieces in the collection."
Overall, Rosie continues, the challenge with this collection was trying to prioritise the integrity of the characters that Hattie has created while ensuring that the designs felt like well-rounded and integrated jewellery pieces in their own right.
"I think that sometimes with collaborations, particularly when there are characters involved, there can be a danger that the visuals appear almost copy and pasted onto a new product type without much consideration for creating a well-rounded design," she notes. "It was important to me not to slip into that trap.
"Ultimately, I am a jewellery designer, which I am passionate about. So, my favourite part of every collaboration is the challenge of taking someone else's work and combining it with my own skill to create something completely fresh, exciting and hopefully seamless. I believe that having new inspiration alongside the stylistic boundaries of another artist brings out the best in me, and this is one of the many reasons I love collaborating so much!"
So, what was her favourite piece overall? "That's a tough one," she responds. "But I think it would have to be the Cheeky Heart Ring. In my eyes, this is the most iconic Hattie character and just completely embodies her style and the energy of her work. A heart signet ring is such a traditional jewellery staple, and by adding a tilt and a 3D face, it is the perfect cheeky update to a timeless classic."
Rosie's collab with Hattie has been a breath of fresh air in a year that's been challenging for independent businesses of all stripes. "I won't lie, it has been tough!" she says. "I've been running my business for over six years now and have found the past year to be the hardest so far in terms of mindset."
The cost of living crisis has had a definite impact on sales, and at times, she's found it hard not to let that negatively impact her creativity, motivation and visions for the future, she says. "However, I've found peace in reminding myself that I used to dream of having the career that I currently have, working full time for myself and working with who I want, on what I want.
"So long I can continue doing that, then I do my best to maintain perspective and remind myself that anything beyond it is merely a bonus," Rossie adds. "Sometimes I find it tricky not to let my mind drift weeks into the future and worry about struggles that haven't happened yet, but I'm working on it!"
And she's found collaborations to be a great way to keep moving forward. "I started doing collaborations years ago and have done them consistently ever since, working with Lazy Oaf, Holly St Clair, Shuturp, Lazy Disco and Limpet Store," she explains. "I sometimes find that it can get creatively stale being a solo brand owner and working alone, so having an injection of new creative energy is incredibly beneficial for both me and my business. Also, being able to pick people or brands whose work I am in awe of and then creating something alongside them is pretty much the dream… Or at least it is my dream!"
The collection will launch today, Monday 4 September, at 6pm on the Good Daze website.
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