This month, The Gem Monarchy introduces the unique and breathtaking Katie Flinn Design.
The business sprouted following a soul-searching trip to India and has since become a growing contender in the modern market. Katie Flinn Design explores a rustic and somewhat fantasy-like style of jewellery.
Katie Flinn’s story begins in 2016. Soon after turning 21, Katie recognised that she was missing something in her life and decided to take an extended vacation. As someone who has always been financially conscious, she decided that the perfect location for this journey would be India.
Within the first week of being away, she met a girl who shared the same passion for slow travelling and taking each day as it comes. The two bonded and eventually decided to attend a jewellery workshop together where she was enthralled when the class delved into silversmithing.
Katie fell in love with the artform immediately. She loved every minute of it and went back to the workshop almost every day for the next two weeks. After purchasing the jewellery making starter kit, she cut her trip short and returned to Australia where her business journey began, right inside the four walls of her bedroom.
Her pieces convey a realism which expresses the traditional rustic techniques of jewellery making while embedding her own distinct features. Katie strives for seamlessness in every single piece of jewellery which she makes in a very literal sense.
“I like my pieces to look like they are all one piece and not lots of different little parts,” she says.
In order to achieve this, Katie uses melted wax as a means of combining the piece together. One aspect evident in all Katie’s pieces is her totally unique style. Although influenced by the teachings of the instructor from India, Katie has taught herself many of the techniques she uses today. She often uses tutorial videos and forum posts to guide her through the practical skills she needs. In this way, jewellery has been a highly self-motivated conquest, one in which she has discovered her own unique and rugged aesthetic style.
The challenges that Katie faces are distinct to her personal journey into the trade.
“I am not really part of the traditional jewellery trade community, but more so part of the rise of self-taught jewellers,” she explains.
With this being the case, Katie has never had the opportunity to have a steadfast mentor within the jewellery community.
“I never got a chance to apprentice under anyone so I didn’t get the ‘trade secrets’ passed down,” she says.
As a self-taught jeweller, Katie has sometimes been frustrated by a slightly unwelcoming vibe she’s occasionally picked up from older, more conservative members of the established jewellery community. It’s a backlash against perceived ‘hobbyists’ that Katie finds outdated and unhelpful. Thankfully, while this attitude has resulted in a few ‘unfriendly responses’ it’s an attitude that seems to be on the way out – and rightfully so.
Through her experiences, Katie has learnt the power of perseverance, and how to adapt and thrive in her new beloved industry.