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Studio Visit: Minoux Jewelry

the style line minoux jewelry

Photos of Kristen Robis by Cel Jarvis for The Style Line

 Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Shop Minoux Jewelry Photos by Cel Jarvis for The Style Line

In our stories, we’ve discovered that embracing

minimalism leaves extra room to inspire new thought. In matters of style, jewelry designer Kristen Robison of Minoux Jewelry contends that through her thoughtful approach to design, refined jewelry can help bring out the best and most bold elements of your personal style. “I strive to design pieces that are a comfort and a joy to wear,” she stated in our interview below, “[ones] that remind you of who you are every time you put them on.” The Portland-based jeweler also pays careful attention to her environmental impact and is transparent in her commitment to utilize sustainable and recycled materials – though she says that finding ways to implement these practices has become an ongoing challenge.

For now, Kristen attributes her main source of creative inspiration to the opportunity that comes with designing with longevity in mind… because really, if you’re going to take a minimal approach to shopping you might as well have pieces that will carry you through no matter the season. In today’s story, read on to discover our studio visit with Kristen below, who dives deeper into the jewelry making process and shares an edit of her Minoux essentials that lay the groundwork for building a jewelry collection that is sure to last a lifetime.

  • the style line minoux jewelry
  • Dune Ring, $228
  • Hover Bracelet, $148
  • Open Arch Bracelet, $172

Shop Kristen’s Minoux Essentials:

AND CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE MOMENTS FROM our SHOOT at her Portland Studio.

Dune Ring, $228

“My current favorite is the Dune Ring. It’s so strong on the hand, I wear it alone on the middle finger for an everyday style. This ring started out as a wax model, and I originally conceived of it with more pronounced curves. But over the course of days, I kept carving down the wax. I’d pick up the model and sand it down a bit, then let it sit until the next day, and then pare it down some more. It got to the point that I was afraid I had cut down too much and lost the direction, but after casting the wax model in metal, I was so happy with how the subtle shape turned out. The extended carving and winnowing away process reminded me of the action of the wind on sand dunes, which is the source of the name.”
the style line minoux jewelry

Open Arch Bracelet, $172

“The Open Arch Bracelet competes with the Dune Ring for favorite position. I’ll wear it with almost anything, from a denim jumpsuit to a shift dress to an oversized sweatshirt. I drew this piece out on a thick sheet of copper, then cut it out with a jeweler’s saw. The first version has a more reserved arch, but after wearing the piece for a few days to test it, I realized it would be so much more fun if the arch were more pronounced. I tried to find the perfect balance to make it comfortable and wearable, but bold and eye-catching at the same time.”

Hover Bracelet, $148

“The Hover Bracelet is an iteration of Bracelet 02, making it a little more accessible, and with more flexibility to tie into your personal style. I just discovered that it’s really great to stack with a gold and silver Spartan Bracelet, it’s still an understated mix, but very satisfying for those days that you want a little more sparkle and jingle in your step.”
the style line minoux jewelry

I grew up on a farm by the ocean,

so I’m a country girl at heart. There’s nothing I love more than Pacific Northwest forests and rivers, so I spend a lot of my time outside of Minoux working to help protect them.

As a designer, how can you advise for aspiring jewelry designers who want to implement conscious/sustainable methods that will actually have less environmental impact?

This is an ongoing process for me as well, but if you can incorporate longevity as a design element that carries as much importance as the aesthetic of the piece itself, that will help mitigate environmental impact. Think durable pieces that will last for decades, resist the incursion of fast fashion into jewelry. Thanks to the work of groups like Ethical Metalsmiths, recognition of the importance of using recycled and ethically sourced metals is growing, but at a certain point, making jewelry just has an inherent environmental cost. So I think the way to take it a bit further is to strive to build longevity into your pieces, both in the durability of materials and timelessness of the design.

 
We hear a lot about minimalism in the design world – what does it mean to you and what is one idea/question you think people should be asking more about it?

Minimalism to me means confidence, an absence of artifice, finding beauty in clarity. Minimalism is stripping down to that which is most meaningful or essential. So I hope that an affinity for minimalism naturally leads to the question—who or what am I supporting with this purchase?

What is one question you wish people asked you more about the process of jewelry design? 

What aspects of this piece make it designed to last?

Has Minoux seen a particular/notable design evolution since you launched and how do you see the aesthetic growing as the brand grows? 

the style line minoux jewelry
I used to design more from a place of figuring out what I thought people would like. I made a conscious shift into designing pieces that speak to me, and I think the work is stronger for it. It’s also much more meaningful, as it feels like a true connection when someone loves my work. Making jewelry used to be more of just a job to me, but that attitude didn’t make me very happy. I realized I could approach designing in a more holistic way, as another avenue in the lifelong work of finding your authentic voice.

Even with a minimalist approach to style, how does Minoux encourage celebrating personal style?

I strive to design pieces that are a comfort and a joy to wear, that remind you of who you are every time you put them on.

What is one area of the brand you would like to improve upon/or rework as it evolves? 

As the brand evolves, I hope to incorporate more of a modern heirloom quality—pieces that work today, but that you can also imagine handing down. I have a necklace from the Victorian era that I wear layered with some of my designs.
the style line minoux jewelry
It’s probably about 150 years old but works perfectly with current pieces. That necklace is a touchstone that inspires the future of Minoux.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind,  what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?

My personal style is influenced by the more relaxed element of Portland. The “style line” in my wardrobe is keeping it fresh and simple, focusing on pieces that complement movement and enhance the feel and purpose of the day.

*This story was originally published in November 2015