In conversation - Jeweller Karin Andreasson
Karin Andréasson is a Swedish jewellery designer who lives with her husband and two young children in Whitechapel East London. Her passion for jewellery began in childhood, brought up in rural Sweden, has influenced the timeless, natural and elegant quality of her work.
Wylder: How did you end up in the heart of East London and what keeps you here?
Wylder: I find much of my inspiration comes when I run or swim (it’s one the only times I have my thoughts to myself…). What, who, where inspires you most and when do you find you are at your most creative?
Karin: I get inspired by anything anywhere... my mind works in a weird way or maybe it’s not weird maybe that’s just a creative way... that anything can pop into my mind and becoming an idea, become a necklace, a ring it can be absolutely anything... something someone wears, a film, music, I’ve seen something in nature, looking out through a window, walking past a house glancing through a window, something you see on the pavement... I do find when I run I come up with quite good business ideas, my mind is clear ! I have Mondays to myself, Bert, my husband takes the kids to school and picks them up so I can stay in the studio for as long as I like and that’s often a very good day for me to get relaxed and very creative.
Wylder: What did you enjoy most about the lockdown period and have you made any long-term changes to your life as a result of the Pandemic?
Karin: I really enjoyed the lazy mornings with breakfast in bed! It has also been wonderful to just hanging out more as a family.
I’ve made a couple of big business changes too. I am no longer wholesaling my jewellery and I've also decided to move into my own space - my own studio and create a nice environment for me to grow in as a business. As a family we have decided to look for something in Sweden, a summer house /holiday home wanting to have a nest there too...
Wylder: It has been a challenging year for most small businesses (most businesses…), especially those that are customer facing. What challenges have you had to overcome and have you been able to take anything positive from this period in terms of your business?
Karin: Yes it has been very challenging... my main source of income is Broadway market and bespoke services - many wedding related, both just Disappeared over night, it was very stressful! Once I could relax into that, I focused on the kids and the homeschooling. I think what I’ve learned from this is that there are things that you cannot control and this pandemic is definitely one of them. There just is no point stressing.
Wylder: Do you think the events of 2020 will have a lasting effect on how we approach ‘shopping’? What do you think retail might look like in the next few years?
Karin: Yes 100% I definitely think that shopping will now predominantly happen online, people are less likely to go to a brick and mortar shop to buy things and I think this is just the beginning of that trend.
Wylder: It has been an incredibly important year for many reasons, not least the global watershed of the protests and the acceleration of the brilliant work of the Black Lives Matters movement. I have personally felt deeply effected by the recent events and the renewed hope of a truly racially equitable future in my children’s lifetime. As the mother of two beautiful brown children, what have the recent events meant to you and your family?
Karin: I feel the same, I feel that there is hope that the racial inequalities will be less in the future than they have been in the past. I don’t think they’re going to disappear but I feel there is hope they will be less prominent. I feel lucky that my children are young they are 7 and 10, they are just happy being themselves, they don’t question colour as such... there have been a couple of questions since the black lives matter protest started this year, but they generally don’t question colour in people, they have a black dad and they have a white mum and they are a mixture of us. As they grow into being teenagers and adults I hope/feel that society might be less racist to they won't encounter as much discrimination and racial difficulties.
Wylder: On a lighter note, what have been your favourite reads, films or TV series this year?
Karin: My absolute favourite TV series of this year has been the BBC's 'I may destroy you' it’s been a massive eye-opener, I really really really enjoyed it! I am currently reading ‘girl, woman, other’ which is so far brilliant! ...and I’m listening to the book that you recommended on Audible, ‘on earth we are briefly gorgeous’. That story is so beautifully red…