Accessorize / Spotlight Series

Brand Spotlight Series #6 | Interview with Jessica Wilkerson of Darling of Mine

Hey there my lovely dolls,

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by sweet Jessica Wilkerson – Owner and Creator of Darling of Mine Jewelry – an online website.  Fact is that ever since I entered Jessica’s world I was in awe of her work and if you do not believe me just visit her site and see for yourself. You can also follow DoM on Facebook and Instagram.

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We all love our jewellery right – I sure do, but how much can a girl buy to ultimately end with the ones less used tossed at the back of the drawer that we all forget about.  Herein comes in talented people like for instance Jessica since her designs are all made of up-cycled jewelry.  Her line of work also took her towards creating pieces of accessories clothing and together with the fact that she specialises in styling as well, you have a full deal package right at the click of a button – fancy that eh!

Collage DoM

 A few of my favourite items from DoM

I was ecstatic to be contacted by Jessica to feature her work on my blog, so this post came about in a form of an online interview.  As much as I would have loved meeting Jessica in person, since she looks and sounds so cool in this case it was out of my pocket range (hehe) since Jessica lives in the USA.

So my inquisitive mind started wondering on the things I wanted to know … and I came up with a thousand and one questions that I narrowed down to 20 … hehe …. enjoy 🙂

11150221_10153252486589878_2348827234140920768_n1. So who is Jessica Wilkerson?
That’s a tough question. Most people’s first impression of me has been mysterious and a little intimidating. Hang around for another minute and you’ll realize I am silly, artsy and laid back.

2. What were your aspirations as a young girl?
I grew up as sort of a ‘tomboy’; running around barefoot, tongue out, climbing trees and even doorways. At the same time I always made sure to get into both of my sisters’ clothes, wear many necklaces and bracelets and carry around this goofy purse that looked like some sort of animal. My grandmother taught an after school program where I started making jewelry and other crafts.

3. What was your first job out of college/university?
Before I even graduated high school I started working at a hair salon where I moved up to a manager position. I managed three other salons until I was out of college and attended vocational school for nursing. Now I am marketing for a home care agency and own my own jewelry company called Darling of Mine.

4. How did you start your label?
I think my desire to make jewelry and style wardrobe started as a young girl growing up with two older sisters and an artsy grandmother. Fast forward to the end of 2013, my girlfriend who is a musician needed merchandise to sell at her live shows. I started out designing a few articles of clothing and some bracelets and putting together a photo shoot. I realized this is what I really enjoy doing and should create something for myself.

5. What was the initial niche that started the recycle jewelry making and what inspires you mostly? Through working at hair salons I was able to see every day fashion and everyone had their own personal style. I love that industry because you are free to express yourself and no one can tell you that you can’t. I have always repaired my own broken jewelry and created items that I wanted, but maybe couldn’t afford to buy or couldn’t find anything like it.

6. Where do your ideas evolve from?
I am not a trend follower. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, but actually struggle sometimes because of it. I have always had my own kind of style that doesn’t always fit into what is ‘trending.’ Because of this I have grown to be very passionate about helping others find what they love and creating their own sense of style. I believe we should be able to express our joys and our sorrows through our bodies. I decorate my own with piercings, tattoos, hair color and styles, clothing, accessories, and jewelry. I create many different styles of items that might not all flow together, but this way everyone can find something they love.

7. Take us through your “typical” day.
I wish I could describe a day full of relaxing, finding inspiration, creating jewelry and adorning my Darlings for photo shoots in the beautiful outdoors. Unfortunately, it is not that easy and while Darling of Mine is still a small business I will need to hold my full time job. I wake up at 7:00AM, get ready for work (sporting DoM of course), market and share the importance of caring for our elders and keeping them in their homes, sometimes go for a run after work or create more beautiful items to share with you, make dinner with my girlfriend and then finally to bed around midnight. Nevertheless, I am grateful for having the opportunity to accomplish all that I do with DoM such as new items, posting to the website and social media, and collaborating with other artists for photo shoots.

8. Do you ever get asked to customize a piece of jewelry in which case, what do you look for to inspire you?
Yes, a lot actually. Because I create each item by hand, I am able to customize pieces. I have requests even on jewelry I have already made to be slightly altered to fit a particular buyer. I do not mind changing anything for someone to make it fit for them. As I mentioned, I feel we should be able to express ourselves and wear what we love. When a Darling contacts me to share their desires I am inspired to learn something from each and every one of them for my next creations.

9. The most valuable lesson you have learned in this business?
I would have to say collaboration is the most important thing I have learned. Throughout school I wasn’t fond of working on group projects and would rather do everything on my own. When it comes to having a business the importance of teamwork really plays a huge part in success. From collaborating with photographers, models, hair stylists, other brands, etc., we all have more exposure and learn from one another.

10. How big is the accessory business today from when you started?
It is forever growing and at times I feel like a tiny fish in a very large pond. I just hope to leave a little footprint with spreading the love and uniqueness of DoM. The biggest change I have seen is the growth of Instagram and how popularity on this social app leads to greater exposure and higher sales.

11. Any particular techniques you prefer?
I tend to love working with chain of all types because it can be fancy yet edgy. I love layering chains and hanging chains. Chains for days!

12. Do you have a favorite accessory designer that you admire?
Like I mentioned, Instagram is becoming very popular and current in the fashion world today. A handful of designers I follow are Sacra Luna, Spell Designs, Wild & Free, Bandit Brand, St. Eve, etc.

13. Where Will Your business be in 5 and 10 Years?
DoM will not only be a popular online boutique, but advice to live by and daily inspiration. I plan on increasing posts on our website blog and traveling around taking pictures (which is something I love!) to share with you Darlings. Offering not only style advice and weekly tips, but recipes to try, places to go, things to do, etc. I also plan on collaborating more with other brands and selling at several boutiques. Currently, DoM is featured in Sweet As Vintage Boutique in Echo Park, Los Angeles.

14. Anyone famous you would love to wear your designs?
The Olsen twins. I know we haven’t seen much of them in the media recently, but I will forever be obsessed with their sense of style.

15. What’s next? What’s your vision for the future of your brand?
I plan on expanding DoM into not only a website and online store, but a free-standing store located in East Los Angeles and/or a fashion truck to reach those that can’t reach us and to be a part of fun events.

16. Onto a personal note …. Lipstick or Lip gloss?
Chapstick! On top of everything I do, I also am a part-time makeup artist and would normally say Lipstick for anyone else but myself. For some reason, I can’t stand wearing anything other than Chapstick brand, “moisture” the light blue label!

17. Flats or Heels?
I am a shorty so I often wear heels and am comfortable in them, especially wedges! I do own a lottttt of flats! Can you tell I am indecisive?

18. Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Of course not. I will say I love poems and used to write them. One of my favorite poets is Lang Leav. I am definitely a lyric gal, looking them up all the time and trying to help my girlfriend write songs even though she doesn’t need my help at all!

19. Favorite food?
This is a hard one because I absolutely LOVE food. I am mostly Italian so I usually say pasta of any kind or pizza. But I must admit….I am always craving Mexican food and every night I want French fries. Oh, and popcorn….and ice cream.

20. What book/movie/TV show are you really into right now?
I love watching movies, usually a thriller or a romantic comedy. I actually don’t read books as often as I would like and am trying to make time for it. My mom just gave me three Gossip Girl books to read. As far as TV, if I find the time I will watch things like Dateline, Law & Order SVU, Modern Family, American Idol, Naked and Afraid, and Alaskan Bush People. My channel of choice for background noise if it’s not music…HGTV!

braclet earrings pendant

So there you have it my lovelies … now where is my credit card 🙂

Until next time,
XOXO

 

Caroline

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