FK chats to Kate of fun & quirky Brisbane based jewellery label Orange Sherbet!
Can you tell us about your charming label and where the name comes from?
Handmade sterling silver jewellery is the main focus behind my Brisbane based label ‘Orange Sherbet’. Every piece is hand sewn, pierced and finished all by hand with the exception of my acrylic designs which I have laser cut locally.
Unfortunately there is no meaningful story behind the name – I first latched onto it when I was about 13, right when the first Austin Powers movie made its debut. I just couldn’t get enough of the scene where they talked about ‘going across the street to get some orange sherbet’. The fact that my favourite colour is orange and my favourite treat is sherbet just further cemented my love for it.
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
Orange Sherbet started in 2004 as a brand for which to sell my (then) beaded creations under. I sold pieces at local markets, school fetes and hosted jewellery parties as a creative outlet while completing my degree in Landscape Architecture. Once my studies wrapped up I enrolled in my first silversmithing course and slowly evolved Orange Sherbet into what it is today.
What inspires you daily?
Everything inspires me – especially random or quirky animals. A huge source of inspiration also comes from my obsession with watching David Attenborough documentaries and reading about prehistoric life.
What is your creative workspace like, and what inspires you about your surroundings?
My workspace is a total shambles. I have come to realise that I work best when there is absolutely no order. I use to have my jewellery bench set up in the corner of our lounge room (we live in a small apartment), but slowly my collection of tools and other equipment started growing and eventually spilling onto every available surface in the main living area that I had to move into the spare room to try and ‘contain’ my things. Now I have an actual studio space where I can spread out. It has a jewellery bench which my partner made for me, random dinosaur figurines, and little knick knacks that brighten my day when I see them. It’s still not organised by any means, but I can now say I have my own studio space which to me is inspiration in itself.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
Perseverance. When I first started selling on Etsy, it took me nearly 8 months from when I first listed pieces to when I got my first sale. I remember being quite frustrated at the time, because I knew that I couldn’t simply list a handful of items and then just wait for someone to find me. I knew I had to self-promote, but had no idea how to go about it. So I started looking at what other local jewellers were doing and what their strategies were. By simply subscribing to people like Jess Van Den’s blog (from Epheriell) I learnt so many tips and tricks on marketing and social media, which proved invaluable to my brand’s development. Another huge help was joining BrisStyle (BrisStyle is a group of local crafters which host some fantastic designer markets. They also host regular development sessions).
The part I love about having my own label is seeing people connect with it. That’s why I enjoy selling at markets so much, because you get a much more personal experience then when you sell online.
What new projects are you working on and where would you like to see Orange Sherbet in the future?
In the future I would love to see my designs sold in stores interstate and eventually internationally. I would also love to see more of my dinosaur and prehistoric pieces make their way into other museums (such as the Natural History Museum in London – that would be awesome). But as long as I’m creating something I will be happy.