I had an amazing opportunity to interview local jewelry artist, Kara Yoo recently. If you haven’t heard of her already, then you’ve definitely seen her unique styles around town, especially her stackable rings. Though her styles may seem simple at first glance, the intricate details are what make each piece so special. Here’s a look at the talented, Kara Yoo.
VancouverWeekly So Kara, tell me about yourself.
Kara Yoo Sure! I’m the creator of Kara Yoo Jewelry originally called Twelve Gems. I’m a first generation Canadian-Korean and I’ve lived all over Canada! I’m originally from Edmonton, AB but then I moved to Toronto, ON for a little bit and then in 2001 I came to the West Coast. I have completed my Business Degree at UBC and completed the Jewelry Art and Design Program at VCC.
Vancouver Weekly Why did you choose jewelry design?
Kara Yoo I’ve always been into jewelry making. My sister taught me how to make beaded jewelry when I was younger. I’ve been making jewelry for about 7 years but as of recently been dabbling with metals.
VW That’s really interesting that it started off as a hobby and that you turned it into a business.
KY It really is! When I was in school I knew that I always had an interest in starting my own business. During my education I had a case study where I had to interview entrepreneurs and I guess that’s where you can say the obsession started! I actually had the opportunity to meet Dannijo jewelry designers. I think that’s when I had that moment in my head when I knew that this was what I needed to do with my life.
VW Why metal?
KY I still work with beads but I feel like there’s a lot more creative freedom with metals. I like that it is one material and it can be turned into anything.
VW What is “Kara Yoo Jewelry?”
KY Hmm.. Kara Yoo Jewelry is very simple, which matches my personal style. My style and aesthetic is very simple and you will find that a lot of my designs cater to an everyday style and can be worn with anything.
VW Where does your inspiration come from?
KY It’s going to sound so corny – I went travelling to Morocco and I was just so intrigued by all the geometric shapes and patterns that surrounded me while I was there. I love different textures and styles so you’ll find that in my jewelry as well.
VW What’s next for Kara Yoo Jewelry?
KY Well I plan to launch my e-commerce site in time for Christmas time so that’s what I’m currently working on. Other than that, I’m starting to talk to people to see if I can have my jewelry in more stores around town and in Toronto.
VW Where can people purchase your jewelry?
KY Right now you can find some of my designs at “One of a Few” in Gastown. You can also send me a message on Facebook or on Twitter.
VW As a final question – what are three things in your wallet that you need all day every day?
KY Oh my goodness! I can’t live without my phone, a pen, and a quote, which actually was my horoscope one day that my boyfriend gave me. It reads, “A shift in your job will inspire you. The ball is there for the taking, and it’s amazing how far you can run with it.”