With spring in the air, we hopped over the pond to meet jewellery designer Caroline Ventura in her beautiful West Village loft. A woman of many hats, this talented lady talks to us about her jewellery line BRVTVS and finding work / life balance. Plus her favourite NYC sweet spots!
How do you describe what you do?
This is always the hardest question to answer, because I wear so many hats. At the end of the day, every facet of my job(s) – metal smithing, painting, store curation- hopes to bring beautiful things to others' lives.
Has New York always been home?
Originally, I am from Southern California right outside Los Angeles. But I've lived in NYC for over 10 years now and it feels much more like home than the West Coast.
Your jewellery line BRVTVS – tell us about it.
BRVTVS is a simple collection of fine jewellery that seeks to create a quiet, humble adornments.
Where does the name come from?
Originally when I started making jewellery, I was making these sort of friendship bracelets; like the ones you made as a kid but in more expensive materials. I thought that it would be a bit cheeky to name the line after someone who was known for betraying his best friend.
Where do you find inspiration for your collections?
Each collection starts as an idea and the pieces revolve around a similar theme. For my newest offering, each piece has a small diamond hidden somewhere.
You make all your pieces by hand – has this always been a passion of yours?
I've always been really into making things. As a kid I made my own paper, I loved making ceramics, etc. Working with my hands has definitely still been something I love doing, I think I learned it from my grandmother.
You live above your shop, how do you find a work / life balance?
Even though I live just upstairs from Calliope, my home and the store are completely separate. I try to be diligent about not working once I am upstairs and home at the end of the day, and I have a rule that I do not answer work emails before 10am.
Favourite place to travel or go sourcing for your shop Calliope?
My most favourite travel destination for the store has been Morocco. My husband and I spent 10 days exploring and our very first products we brought home for Calliope came from Marrakech. The store was still only a concept at that point, but we knew it was eventually going to happen. We also travel to a few nearby states regularly for antique auctions, Calliope offers a lot of vintage and antique furniture and little treasures for your home.
Favourite spots in New York in spring, summer, autumn and winter?
Spring: Central Park. When the trees are blooming, it's the most peaceful and beautiful place to be. Summer: Anywhere that has outdoor seating. Some of my favourites: Cafe Altro, De Maria, tacos from La Esquina. I also like to be near the water and live just a block from the Hudson River, so every morning and evening I take my dog along the waterside for a walk. Autumn: Spotted Pig for a pint of beer and a burger, The Cloisters to watch the leaves change colour Winter: Neue Galerie for some f my favourite art and apple strudel, especially if it's snowing. A glass of wine at Flora Bar, double points if there is a great exhibit going on at the Met Breuer, triple points if it's snowing. In bed with my husband and dog watching Netflix ;)
How do the YOLKE pieces you’ve picked out sit with your personal style?
I'm not usually someone who wears a lot of prints or colour, but all of these pieces are getting me really excited for spring. They're easy to throw on and are so comfortable, which is the main thing I look towards when getting dressed.
And lastly, as we ask everyone... what do you wear to bed?
Normally I don't sleep in much, a pair of simple cotton underwear and if it's a bit chilly, I'll throw on a pyjama top or t-shirt. I get really hot when I sleep, so I like to keep the PJ's to a minimum ;)
Thank you, Caroline!