March is Women's History Month celebrating the achievements of women across the globe. As a female-owned and led business, we have always endeavored to support other women in business. We kept this in mind while exploring our options for partners to help us grow our business and its digital footprint now that our new business model, post-covid, is 100% eCommerce.
Our research led us to Fashwire -an innovative platform and app with a fresh take on shopping and highlighting small brands. Upon learning more about its founder, Kimberly Carney, who is the CEO of two businesses, FashWire and GlossWire, we were intrigued. We liked their unique perspective on fashion, with the added bonus of partnering with a female-owned and operated business.
As a new brand on Fashwire, we had the opportunity to discuss with their team the behind-the-scenes details of what makes Karen Karch a stand-out brand. Read a bit from our #FashTalks interview below.
When did you know you wanted to become a designer?
When I was in high school, even though I sold jewelry that I made through a local fashion boutique, never in my wildest dreams did I realize that I could become a jewelry designer. That epiphany occurred during my final semester at UT Austin. I discovered a course named “metals” and asked if I could learn to make jewelry. If only I had discovered it earlier, my first degree would not have been in communications.
What is your earliest design memory for your brand?
My first designs were inspired by the energy of New York City. They immediately caught the attention of the press and were categorized as part of a movement they had coined “Dangerous Jewelry”. My aim was to elevate rusty and broken objects found in the streets by casting them in silver and creating unique configurations. My hero piece was a leather biker jacket embellished with pins created from broken reflectors which ended up being worn by an MTV by a VJ.
Where do you find inspiration?
My ongoing overall inspiration emerged from not wanting to be boxed in. I love working with the idea of opposites, the push-pull of contradictory elements such as vibrant and moody, rough-hewn and elegant, masculine and feminine creating pieces with glamor and grit.
What is your favorite part about designing?
With our ready-made pieces, it is particularly exciting when the right person connects to the right piece. We love when they express just how much the piece means to them. And those connections are deepened even more when we have the honor to create bespoke, even more personal pieces.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style recipe is a pinch of high fashion funneled through a 90’s filter for an elevated grunge effect. As with my jewelry, it is about mixing it up in unexpected ways to keep it real. I’m known for layering and stacking necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings in unexpected combinations, always mixing metals – silver, with yellow and rose gold and platinum.
What made you want to design jewelry?
Jewelry is the most personal style expression, above fashion which is my 2nd love. Jewelry carries meaning and when you find a piece that speaks to you, you will love it your whole lifetime. Then, you can pass it down for generations.
What sets your brand apart from the rest?
We create beauty with attitude, jewelry that speaks to individualists and transcends to appeal even to those who say they are not “jewelry people”. The jewelry retains a quality of hand with its lived-in weathered look.
What do you envision for the future of your brand?
Since we have transitioned away from brick-and-mortar to a 100% online presence, behind the scenes we are working to improve the online presentation of our pieces, from more photography and videos, to adding a virtual try-on situation.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?
Love what you do and never give up. It must be an obsession.
What can consumers expect to see next from your brand?
I have created collections inspired by my travels, but after all New York and I have been through together, I decided it was time to create a collection that celebrates my home, with all its glamour and all its grit. This collection will launch Summer '22.
We're thrilled to partner with another women owned and operated business with technology and data driven verticals. To read the full interview, please visit their spotlight series. We're looking forward to great things in 2022!