Some people hit a sweet spot with their designs. That's what has happened with the mini leather lockets of Jen Booth. They are becoming a cult item among the design set in part thanks to being stocked at The Standard Store in Sydney. While Jen started out as a makeup artist, and worked as a milliner, she has been creating the lockets since receiving a marriage proposal in Hawaii. She plans to extend her range of leathergoods towards the end of the year.
Which five words best describe you? Blush, polkadots, glitter, pale, excitement.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I have always loved making things, painting, drawing, sculpting. From my beginnings as a makeup artist, through to being a self-taught milliner, my love of colour and my previous experience working with leather (in millinery) led me to making lockets. It all happened because my husband Philip proposed to me with a heart-shaped shell on a beach in Turtle Bay and I wanted to keep it in a locket as per the lyrics to my favourite song "say I found a piece of rock and put it in my pocket, and on the day that we are wed, I put it in a locket, would you wear it?" So, in my usual fashion, I became obsessed with lockets! But couldn't find anything that fit more than a photo. So I made a locket out of leather, like a teeny tiny pocket! And then I thought other people must have special trinkets they like to keep close to them, and the lockets were born.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To trust your instincts when you think you might just have a great idea.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I honestly think that when Rachel Castle, (who I think is just a legend), told me she liked the locket I was wearing, without her knowing I'd made it. I felt like I was flying!
What’s been your best decision? To be completely Australian made.
Who inspires you? Lots of ladies. Georgia Perry for her wit in design... have you seen her Yuk/Yum zine?! Megan Morton for pushing me to where I am now and starting her own art school. Lucy Feagins of The Design Files for being the ultimate creative business woman, she does not stop.
What are you passionate about? I am obsessed with contrasting colours.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Tsumori Chisato. Definitely. I would love to intern with her. Nobody does pattern and colour that makes me as happy as she.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I'm hoping to expand my range of leather products by the end of the year. I like dreams that are in the foreseeable future! I'm too impatient.
What are you reading? I'm looking forward to reading Brave old world by Tom Hodgkinson. He talks about keeping bees and why not to buy supermarket bread. I think that would keep me entertained.
images courtesy of jen booth