In Conversation With Tansy Haak
What made you decide to start KIND Jewellery?
After graduating from art school my husband and I moved to London where we were quickly swept into a city lifestyle of work hard / play hard. We were knackered, so we took a break, travelled the world and re-evaluated our goals. KIND was born on the Sri Lankan shores and I haven’t looked back. Being hands on and having the chance to work creatively was super important and I wanted to build a collection that could grow separately to myself, that could become it’s own thing. As an Artist I work predominantly in metal, so it was a natural progression towards Jewellery making. Each design is an individual artwork and has it’s own story.
What or who are your influences?
I am surrounded by an inspiring and creative set of family and friends. There is always someone to bounce ideas off and KIND’s growth over the last 6 months is largely due to collaboration. Whether it’s styling / photography / modelling or just to lend an ear or give advice. As creatives we live in a share economy where we can help each other grow by sharing our skill sets.
What's the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started KIND?
I’ve learnt not to put off the tasks which intimidate me. To be decisive & stop procrastinating.
How would you say the fashion/retail climate has changed since you started KIND?
I launched KIND in July 2016 and was almost instantly hit by rising metal prices caused by the referendum. To some extent this is settling now but a silver lining is that it seems people are thinking more about their purchases and taking a buy less choose well attitude. It seems people are more likely to invest in a piece of jewellery that will last them rather than fritter away money on fast fashion pieces.
What advice/warnings would you give someone looking to start their own brand?
Be courageous! Don’t be afraid of failure but learn from your mistakes and let the brand evolve naturally. You may find that it changes from what you originally thought and that is OK.
What's the best part of your job?
The creative freedom and the sense of achievement of being part of something that is growing. You get out what you put in and having your own brand lets you experience that first hand.
What's the worst part of your job?
There is no worst part - I wouldn’t swap it for the world!
Is there a brand out there that you wish you had started?
REFORMATION… They have nailed it. Each part of their brand leads back to sustainability and how they can consciously minimize the impact their production and manufacture have on our earth. They offer transparency and educate their customers to make informed decisions about where their clothes come from. And also their collection makes me go weak at the knees!
If you could live the life of any other designer for a day, who would you choose?
Vivienne Westwood for sure. The things she has seen and done are awe inspiring! Read her book Get a Life – it won’t disappoint.
What goals do you have as a designer?
To collaborate and grow. To be confident and bold and to use responsibly sourced materials to create pieces of jewellery that not only have their own story but that will become embroidered into the stories of the people who wear them.
What’s the most recent book you've read?
I recently read The Other Hand by Chris Cleave which is a beautiful novel about the relationship between a young Nigerian asylum seeker and a British Magazine Editor. It’s observations of immigration and placement highlight just how fragile our state of belonging is. It can’t help but make you reflect on how incredibly lucky most of us are to have a safe, happy place where we belong.
Did it feed into your creative process?
It fed my creative process by making me less complacent and making me throw myself into building KIND and a life in general that will feed my soul.
What is your life motto?
Get rid of what is not needed to make space for the things that are.
Credits: Toby Haak, Natalie Dinham