Beauty & Fashion

An earthy affair

An earthy affair

When it comes to quirky, unique handmade jewellery, local creative Kylie Blise’s beautifully crafted pieces with their fine detail inspire the earthy goddess in you. Tanya Taylor chatted to Kylie about her craft and how bucking trends has won her a following of like-minded souls.

With a passion for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery, free-spirited Kylie battled to find jewellery pieces to fit her quirky sense of style so she decided to make her own. Once people started noticing and commenting on her jewellery it didn’t take long before Earth to You was born and Kylie could give rein to her creative spirit and share her work with others.  “I find jewellery is a way to express myself subtlety,” she said.

She admires and draws her inspiration from the North African tribal jewellery workmanship which clearly comes across in her work.  She uses only natural materials in her designs – semi precious stones, driftwood and shells which she describes as natures gems – each piece is unique in its own special way.

Kylie begins each piece with a semi-precious stone that becomes the main feature. Once the stone is decided upon, her inspiration takes hold and magic happens.  Using clay to sculpt around the stone, she meticulously adds each detail by hand.  Slowly, the piece evolves until she is totally satisfied with the finished look.  Once it has her approval, the piece is set and Kylie hand paints it, ensuring it meets her critical eye and standards of perfection. Then the piece is sealed, string is added and it is packaged. “For the most part I don’t put too much thought into the finished product prior to sitting down and making it,” she said.

The time it takes to make a piece of jewellery differs from piece to piece.  Some necklaces take about 30 minutes whilst others can take up to 3 hours in total. It all seems to depend on the size of the piece and how much detail is put into it.

Kylie sources and collects shells and driftwood off the beach when she takes her pooches for a walk and the crystals and stones she purchases mainly from local crystal shops.  “I remind myself to always open my eyes to everything around me. There is so much in your everyday life to inspire you, whether it is in the garden, nature, architecture… the list goes on.  As a creator you often find yourself in a rut, but I find taking a step back, quieting the mind and simplifying things helps.”

For Kylie it is important that jewellery makes a statement and compliments the wearer and their outfit. A plain outfit can be made eye-catching just by adding an accessory that represents your mood at that moment. “It truly is heart-warming to see someone wearing one of my pieces and actually appreciate the love and time that went into creating it. Sometimes I find it hard to part with some of my pieces as I have put so much of myself into making it that it becomes part of me!”

There is little doubt that like most true artists at heart, Kylie thinks outside the box and does not follow trends. “I find you keep chasing relevance if you do, like a dog chasing his own tail. There is never true originality in trends,” she said.

So, to all budding jewellery designers and creatives out there, Kylie’s advice is simple. “Follow your interests and your own fashion sense. When you do something, do it with passion and originality and don’t be scared to take risks and be different!  It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it will be someone’s, and that is what will set you apart from everyone else. Remember it does take time to build a business and that’s okay!”

Besides her jewellery range, Kylie also has a clothing range of hand-dyed apparel.  Being a yogi she draws her inspiration for the collection from Buddhist symbols and mandalas. She uses mainly cotton fabrics which are not only natural, but also dye easily.

With her recently launched online shop, Kylie has dreams of it going international, but for the moment her sights are sent on broadening her audience, to keep exciting her customers and staying true to her style.

“Years ago I came across this quote “Throw your heart over the fence, and the rest will follow” by Norman Vincent Peale and I find it to be so true. When you are passionate about something you should never overthink the risks. If your heart is in the right place, you should go for it and the rest will fall into place. In my case, it has definitely proven to be true “

You can find Kylie at the Shongweni Market every Saturday!



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