ON AIR: Easy Love – Ida Corr
Do you remember that time I was wearing those exquisite golden earrings? It was one of my first outfits and I was (and still I am) very shy and in a very 80s mood. I finally have had the opportunity to interview Gretel, the talented mind behind Fortune & Frame. Ready to know more about this funny exquisite jewelry brand? Let’s go!
– What’s your name?
– Where do you come from?
San Diego, CA.
– Where do you live?
New York City.
– When did you start your project?
I had the idea for lockets and frames that hold fortunes in 2011. I tried to ignore it because I was too busy to really give it the attention it needed, and I had no idea how to go about it. I told my sister about it 6 months after it came to me—hoping that she would tell me the idea was stupid so that I could let it go. She said, “If you don’t do that, I’m going to.” From then on, but I didn’t start really exploring it seriously until 2012. In 2013, I really got serious about designing and developing the pieces, and I finally made them public in 2014.
– How did you start it?
I had no idea where to start. I’d always designed things but i didn’t have a jewelry design background. I even remember being really bad in my high school jewelry design course. So in my head I didn’t think that I could design the pieces myself. I automatically assumed it would be someone else for some reason.
I began talking to anyone who would listen to me to learn about the process, and decided I needed to partner with someone to design the pieces. So I started working with some great designers but it was just never right. It occurred to me that the reason that approach wasn’t working out is because I was the only one who could see the designs in my head, and I was the one who needed to bring them to life.
Once I made this decision, everythign started falling into place. In April of 2014, I launched with our F&F signature collection of fortune cookie lockets and other pieces, as well as the first three fortune-holding lockets and two frames that you can actually put on your desktop. I began sending the pieces to celebrities and editors at magazines to get exposure, and miraculously it worked. I started seeing celebrities wearing my pieces and magazines writing about them. Other than that, I just got active on instagram and have let the word spread organically.
– Where does your inspiration come from?
I find that when I break my regular routine and go out and explore life, I feel inspired. But if’s funny, I don’t usually know what inspired the actual designs until after I’ve completed a collection. I look at all the pieces and realize that they have a clear narrative about that particular moment in time and what’s going on. It makes me feel like my jewelry knows me better than me, or that it’s there to tell me something I wasn’t able to tell myself. I always wonder if the people who are attracted to the pieces are also in the same space, or if they experience something totally different when they encounter the pieces.
– What materials do you use?
We use sterling silver and gold- or rose-gold plating for our higher end pieces. Brass and gold plating for our more mainstream lockets. 14K Gold and Rose Gold are always available upon request. We wanted to offer two main price points so that our fun idea wouldn’t have to come at an unfun price, but also so that we could also offer higher-end options that require more rigorous production and assembly, and let us get a bit more creative. My latest thing is using enamel to create “crystals.” I randomly met this guy in the jewelry district in Manhattan who does beautiful enamel for Tiffany and a bunch of other designers. . He suggested we use enamel to make “crystals” instead and I thought it was so cool, so I’m exploring a bunch of different ways to use enamel in that way.
– What type of look works better with your creations?
I’m very casual so I pair the lockets with jeans and a tank top. But when I have to dress up or an event, they translate over perfectly. I’ve had a bride wear the jagged locket with an antique lace wedding dress. The stud earrings can replace your basic pearls or other simple earrings. The barbed wire pieces can give a super simple outfit a bit of edge. The fortune cookie necklaces are like a shiny ball of gold metal that call attention on their own. I like to pair those with an open neck and let them work their magic.
– As we love music, what’s on your current playlist?
I just discovered Rodriguez’s albums from the 70s after watching Searching for Sugar Man.
– Tell us your plans for the future!
I’ve been saying lately that I want to take the training wheels off the line and let it grow up on its own. I’d like to bring in a savvy operations person who can run all matters related to production and other business processes, so that I can focus primarily on the creative and vision aspects. Right now I’m handling all of these moving pieces but that’s unsustainable and won’t scale into something larger. The jewelry deserves a better operation so it can make its way out into the world.
Did you already know Fortune & Frame? What are your favorite pieces?