I am SO stoked that I got to chat a little with Kristel over on Maui, the designer behind Rockabella Jewels.. did I mention there is a giveaway I am absolutely smitten about?? I wont keep you waiting, get reading!
Elise: Okay Kristel! Let's start off simple..tell us a little about yourself! You know.. the basics. Your name, where you are from, and a few passions in life?
Kristel: Kristel Bandisch, born on the east cost and slowly migrated west to California and now Hawaii for the past 17 years. I’m really passionate about my kids of course, I am really excited about fashion and what "real" people actualy wear on the streets, getting to know new people and travel to get started. I love Hawaii, Maui in particular as thats the island I live on, however I am constantly looking around everywhere. The earth is so inspiring.
Elise: I completely agree.. the islands hold a very special place in my heart.. Hawai'i will always be home. Alright, here’s my favorite..Flip your daily bag girl, tell us what falls out! Of those things what can you not possibly live without?
Kristel: Haha, ok my iphone, linea pelle cream wallet with usps and fed ex recipts overflowing and spare change. I dont carry any cash, some lip gloss my mom got me for Christmas and baby wipes. Can’t live with out those baby wipes, my son just turned 2 and you never know when something might happen!
Elise: Nothing like shipping receipts flowing to remind you of your success! That rocks! So you mentioned you are from the east coast, what initially made you move to the west coast and what sparked the move to Maui?
Kristel: It was just a pit stop so I’m told...
Elise: ahhh I see.. When did you start creating jewelry, and at what point did you decide to start a business?
Kristel: I first started making jewelry in 3rd grade at recess, in the field stringing little flowers together to make bracelets abd necklaces, got all my friends together at lunch in the grass and we just used our finger nails as tools. It was so much fun to just chat and make stuff with good company. I decided to start a business about 20 years later as I admired niihau shell jewelry but could not afford to buy anything. I was prego with my daughter Annabelle, and went shell hunting nearly every day in between shifts of work and collected enough kahelelani shells to string my first shell lei, and a pair of earrings. I got a lot of friendly compliments on them and after Annabelle was born, in 2002 I had so many creative ideas and jewelry was the fastest way to get them out of my mind and in my hands. Slowly more and more compliments came from strangers and it gave me the confidence to offer a selection for sale at a local shop.
Elise: Beautiful! Sounds like creating is in your veins. I love Niihau shells! I used to work in a bead shop on Kaua'i and those were my favorite pieces that some local girls brought in.. the Niihau earrings. They are so precious and special. What’s your favorite thing about being a jewelry designer?
Kristel: Being able to make exactly what I want and like. I’m kinda picky..
Elise: That's awesome, because you have great taste! I adore your designs! You mentioned you are into fashion, so what are some current fashion trends that you love?
Kristel: Tribal! pops of neon, tone on tone. I love a lilttle bit of all the diffrent trends
Elise: Right on! Do current fashion trends influence the jewelry you create?
Kristel: Yes! to a certain extent, the trend reports for the next season are very inspiring but for me its really hard to gauge what will really take off and what people will actually wear. I like to observe all the reports and let them marinate a little before I make my move.
Elise: Nicely said! I noticed you have a lot of brides who flock to your designs to adorn them on the most important day of their lives, that must be such an honor for you! What the most popular piece that brides-to-be order?
Kristel: Thank you, it is. I feel really darn special to be picked out of the haystack! The most popular is the charm necklaces that I stamp corrdinates of whatever they want on these gold discs.
Elise: Ohhh I LOVE those!! They are so unique. What about the most popular piece all in all?
Kristel: So far overall the most popular piece is a tie between the coordinate band necklace wich is a thick piece of gold hammered pretty flat, and the Mai ties hair tie/bracelet style.
Elise: I saw your Instagram picture recently with the Mai Ties! I love getting a peek into your creations as they are happening. Okay last question.. Anything really big happening for you in this new fabulous year? Anything we should be on the lookut for?
Kristel: Every week its someone eles turn and what stores buy is a whole nother story. You will have to wait and see wink wink
Elise: Haha keepin’ us on our toes! Thanks so much for letting me pick your brain!
Rockabella Jewels has graciously teamed up with Salt Water Diary to offer a FABULOUS giveaway. The very stunning stacked rings as seen in the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition!! Eeep!! Wish I could enter! Big Mahalo to Kristel! Such a wonderful giveaway for Valentines Day! You have four days to enter to win, ready..set..comment!!