The Each To Own brand is a collection of bright and bold statement pieces, as suited to special events as they are for every day adornment.
Founder Kirsten Devitt incorporates fun patterns and colours with familiar jewellery forms to produce wooden and acrylic brooches, necklaces, rings and earrings.
She draws inspiration from everywhere – the simplicity of nature to the more complex shapes and colour combinations of everyday objects. And being a child of the 80s it’s a decade she proudly admits to drawing a lot of inspiration from. More recently however, Devitt has found that her range ideas are influenced by a set of “incredibly open, fun and creative” friends who supply a constant stream of encouragement and support.
Each to Own was born back in 2011, soon after Devitt’s baby boy, Clem.
As a new mum, Kirsten began making and crafting jewellery from her Brisbane home. After solidly working and studying since she was 15 (and already having owned a shoe shop), she found it weird to not be ‘officially’ working. “Not saying motherhood isn’t the hardest gig – it is – I just had some down time to explore some dormant creativity,” she says.
“I had some down time to explore my dormant creativity.”
During Clem’s nap times, she honed her craft and found herself creating beautiful pieces. After many more nap times (and late nights) she found her stride, both as maker/designer and small businesswoman, eventually creating a full-time job for herself. The moment she invested in a laser cutter, Kristen knew her burgeoning hobby had to develop into a business, whether she wanted it to or not. She and husband Richie now had equipment to pay off! The pair started some serious designing and cutting: “It’s amazing how creative having to pay off a business overdraft can make you!”
Each to Own first caught our attention when they presented their ‘Splendour in the Craft’ workshops at this year’s Splendour in the Grass music festival. Kirsten says: “We love holding the free workshops at Splendour – it’s always total madness when everyone descends, and people come up with their own amazing combos.”
As for personal favourites, Kirsten most loves her pieces featuring lush, gold and silver glitter. “I work in it so much that it has become a real signature of Each To Own.” In particular, Kirsten loves the Super Lush Drops, saying her customers always mention getting compliments on the earrings. “That, for me, is great, because you want your customers to feel special and know they have something unique.” Remaining her best-selling items even two years after their debut, the Lush Drops took off in a way Kirsten never expected. As a material to work with, she was just mesmerised by the lush glitter – as were her customers, judging by the subsequent demand. Kirsten says it took her on a whole new journey, design-wise. “Materials can do that that sometimes. I just found people loved it… even wearing them every day!” The material she has enjoyed working with most over the past couple of years has been acrylic, after mainly working mainly with wood before. What she finds particularly interesting about acrylic is that although the colour combinations are more limited than paint and print, these restrictions force her to come up with some interesting combinations. ”It’s like colour haiku!”
In describing her own personal style, Kirsten says she is “a mess made up of the things that I love. If you collect pieces you love and that ‘speak’ to you, you will eventually live in a junkshop/gallery/home that you adore.” Looking to Iris Apfel for fashion inspiration and Margaret Olley for her home styling, Kirsten says she “puts it on, puts it everywhere and loves it all.” In terms of jewellery designers, she loves wearing Tiff Manuell (“a really great, kind and generous woman) and Emily Green (“a strong design voice and true path-beater”). Of both designers she says their originality is what she finds most inspiring, especially being able to remain so in a rapidly growing ‘handmade’ market.
“If you collect pieces you love and that ‘speak’ to you, you will eventually live in a junkshop/gallery/home that you adore.”
Each To Own has recently featured in Frankie Magazine, with stylist Rachel Burke a big fan. “It is something that you kinda hope will happen one day and the day it does you feel great. Frankie is so well-loved that to be good enough for them to use us really blows me away.” Despite this being one of the brand’s biggest highlights so far, Kirsten professes she’s ‘hopeless’ with the normal business PR channels. She instead credits any kind of exposure thus far to placing value on working hard for her customers and building a solid business reputation. This is what drives her most – the rest is a bonus.
Kirsten confesses that balancing motherhood with running the business brings with it “daily doses of guilt”. However, she believes in the benefit of raising a little boy with a positive, creative and hard-working role-model. That this is the norm for him makes her happy, even during those crazy weekends when she’s busy fulfilling orders and hardly has a spare minute.
Devitt is currently working on pieces to feature on Maiocchi‘s runway show during Brisbane Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Her lightning bolt accessories are also being sold at the David Bowie Is Exhibition, on in Melbourne until November. All this momentum has provided the perfect shove/opportunity for Kirsten to release a new range very soon. We can’t wait!
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