What were some of the early obstacles?
I didn’t have any business experience, so the ins-and-outs of running a company was difficult. As an artist, my brain doesn’t necessarily work in that way. I started hiring more employees, which was helpful. People taught me simple things like using folders to stay organized. I hired my brother in 2006, and he worked with me for three years. He was basically the CEO and implemented our marketing strategies and doing our blog. He also figured out our campaigns and what photographers to use. He decided that instead of using models we could use women from the community who sort of would become our muses and contribute to the blog.
How did you expand into your other ranges?
I wanted to play with fine jewelry and precious materials, but it didn’t really fit into Bing Bang. I did fine jewelry for 3.1 Phillip Lim in fall ’07, and after that decided to do my own capsule range. It just expanded from there. Then in September we launched the bridal, which we had been planning for nearly two years. I’ve gotten to make rings for some amazing people. Our clientele is amazing and very diverse. The similarity is a desire for something a little different and meaningful.
What is the design philosophy behind your jewelry?
I try to have a combination of things that are really refined and elegant, but always with an edge. Something a little dark or off-the-beaten-path. There’s always that salty and sweet combination. I like the artisan element–[items that are] made by hand. That being said I also want it to be a bit perfect and shiny. It’s sort of push/pull until it is finished.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I reference a lot of vintage jewelry, objects, architecture, and furniture design. I look at a lot of different things. I have file folders, where I keep inspiration. It can be gemstones I want to work with, or colors I like in a painting.
Are you influenced by having lived on both coasts?
Yes, I think so. The visual influences are so different. Where I grew up in New Mexico the architecture is more integrated into the land and more about nature and space, but in New York you’re inside little slots of space with all this steel and glass around you. I definitely think the contrast has had an influence.