Member's Profile: Noaki

We're excited to announce a new series of occasional profile of our members to give you a little insight into who we are and what our creative process is. First up, Noaki who upcycles vintage pieces into jewelries and makes heirloom brooch bouquets.

Photo by John Schnack Studio

Tell us a little about yourself
I live in a little bungalow in Southern California with my husband, two children and our blind dog, Dudley. I work as an environmental writer during the day and indulge in my jewelry interests at night after getting the kids off to bed. I grew up in a pretty creative household  -- my mother was a painter and my father was an industrial designer -- so I've always needed some kind of visually creative outlet.

What's your favorite item in your shop?
Right now that would have to be my bouquets.  Each one is a real labor of love and takes hours to create from beginning to end. My hands have all sorts of callouses now from wiring the jewelry and beads for the bouquets. Usually after I finish one I'll put it on display in a vintage vase on my dresser so I can enjoy it for about a day before shipping it off. 

From Etsy Wedding Divas

How did the first one come about?
I put the first bouquet together a year or so ago with my sister who has an amazing eye for style and had worked as a florist at a high-end shop in LA that did celebrity weddings and Oscar parties. This was before the brooch bouquet trend hit and I was trying to come up with something eye-catching for a photo shoot I was providing jewelry for. I remember looking at a vintage pin of a bouquet in my stash and I thought it might be fun to do an entire bouquet out of jewelry.

The biggest hurdle was just finding all the jewelry at a reasonable price and then figuring out how to put it all together in a way that wouldn't look like an unfortunate craft project. It was my sister's idea to go with all silver and clear rhinestone jewelry and to attach swarovski rhinestones on the petals and leaves as a finishing touch.

From Etsy Wedding Divas

Any regrettable creations?
Oh yeah. I actually have a little designated bag where all my failed creations sit and wait to be dismantled. I really don't like putting items in my shop that I wouldn't wear or want myself. There's a necklace in that bag with these beads that are just the most beautiful translucent blue. I had this idea of make a necklace that would look like pieces of ice floating on your neck. The color is just stunning but I could never get it to hang right.

Anything you'd like to create in the future?
I've been toying around with the idea of doing a jeweled bouquet with more of a summery, beachy theme. I like the idea of a contrast between high end rhinestone pieces and pearls with some real turquoise stones and real pieces of coral. Still thinking this one through.

Like what you see?
More of Noaki's work at Her blog

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