Kat is a member of The League of Fabulous Women Brighton and is the creative talent behind and founder of bespoke jewellery brand Misskukie made in the heart of Sussex, UK. We bonded on a group dog walk as we’re both owners of beloved pooches. I caught up with her again to chat more about her unique style and get the low-down on her popular Instagram account, which Kat manages herself.
I asked her…
Did you always want to be a jewellery designer?
Growing up, my career ambitions changed countless times. I didn’t have a clue what path to pursue. I have a business degree in Marketing and Advertising, I thought it was the most creative business course I could do. I quickly discovered the work was too analytical for me, it wasn’t the kind of creativity I was craving.
Where did you learn your craft?
I did a few separate courses at the London Jewellery School and decided to go for it. I thought, if it wasn’t going to work out I’d just go back to full time employment, no loss but so much to gain. So far so good!
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
This is a tough one. It doesn’t do it justice if I say everyone and everything can inspire me, but fundamentally that’s the truth. Travel and change of scenery helps immensely.
Can you describe your style in a few words
Ever-changing. I get bored easily in all aspects of life. Choice is the beauty of life.
Can you tell us something about how & when Misskukie ‘the business’ began?
When I moved to Brighton I discovered the Beads Shop in the lanes and was instantly hooked. I started with very basic jewellery making techniques, a few bracelets and earrings for myself, then for my friends, then for my friend’s bridesmaids. It all happened organically and before I knew it I was getting paid to make jewellery every now and again.
What are some of the best and worst things about running our own business?
Creative freedom, I have no restrictions in what direction I want to take my business.
Work style, I get bored of the same routine and I tend to procrastinate. Being able to step away when I feel I need to and treat myself to a day off when it’s convenient for me!
I’m now a photographer, social media wiz, book keeper, merchandiser, buyer, customer service representative the list is endless. I had to learn all these various jobs in order to get ahead with my business. As much time and frustration went into it all, in the end it’s not only necessary but also rewarding. Adding new skills and staying ahead is a must.
All responsibility to make the business work and earn money is single handedly on my shoulders. If things don’t pan out the stress can be enormous and constant, not healthy!
Switching off is a big problem for me. My office is at home, so working in the evening and weekends feels natural. I always work on vacation too, checking e-mails.
Getting organised, as a small business I control every aspect of the business and staying on top of everything is extremely difficult.
I could go on with the pros and cons, to every positive there is a negative. Running my own business has been by far the hardest but also most rewarding undertaking.
What is your favorite piece from your current collection?
It sounds cheesy but I love it all, otherwise I wouldn’t sell it. When I create, it’s always with me as a customer in mind. The jewellery I offer are pieces I want to wear and would happily pay money for. What I wear the most are the rings.
What’s next for Misskukie?
A whole lot more jewellery!
Misskukie jewels will be available at new retailers as of this summer, but I cannot say too much about it just yet I’m afraid.
Oh this is world class and probably so true for many couples.
My husband despises social media, no Insta, FB or Twitter account for him. He occasionally will take a picture but it’s very rare and he is terrible at it too, hardly any point asking him to help. I use a small spider tripod and the self-timer on my phone to get some images for social media.
I met you on the dog walking meetup for tlfw Brighton and know you’re a dog owner. Can you tell us a little bit about your four legged friend?
Rusty is my baby, he is a cross between a Cavalier and Springer Spaniel. I couldn’t be without him, he cheers me up when I’m down, gets me out of the house when I need a break and gives the warmest and snuggest cuddles in the world. It’s true love!
Finally where/how can we buy?
For a true overview I would recommend Etsy.com, I offer all my end of collection, samples and one-offs on the site. There are some real bargains to be found that never make it to any other shop.
I will be in Brighton next months for a couple of events, if you prefer browsing face to face follow me on social media to find out details.