Explain the two parts of Stacey Fay Designs and how they work together. Which started first?
Stacey Fay Designs brings to life the jewelry of decades past, through a vintage inspired handmade line, as well as the sale of genuine vintage and antiques. It all started with the handmade jewelry—pieces made from recycled metals and using vintage materials. Soon after launching that side of the business, however, my long-held love for vintage shopping starting calling me. I saw that several other jewelry designers were combining handmade designs with vintage and antique resale, and I knew immediately I wanted to do the same. The combination allows me to get creative with my hands, while also satiating my love for antiques and design. When I get fatigued from one, I move on to the other!
While the two sides of the business run in parallel—my handmade jewelry is sold on my own website and in stores, and the vintage/antique jewelry is sold on Etsy—one is constantly influencing the other. In particular, antique pieces I see or purchase will often influence my jewelry designs, as has certainly been the case for the necklaces I make using antique wax seal stamps. There is customer overlap too; people who appreciate the aesthetic of the handmade line often wear antique or vintage jewelry, and vice versa.
Where do you find inspiration?
Travel has always been a big source of inspiration for me, and in fact France and French culture was the original spark—I launched Stacey Fay Designs soon after my first trip to France for my honeymoon! From its classic and iconic fashion, to the food, and the beauty that is everywhere from the streets of Paris to the countryside of Provence, it pulses with a creative energy. Ireland is similarly inspiring, albeit in a different way. There, it’s the ruggedness, vibrant colors in the natural world, music, and people which provide so many ideas.
Of course, many, many ideas come from classic media—old movies, vintage magazines and photos, old music, and aged books. I just adore vintage fashion, and seeing the trends that evolved from decade to decade. I am also fascinated with the history and story of jewelry across time, particularly the Victorian mourning jewelry period. At that time, jewelry was seen as so much more than just something decorative—it was powerful and incredibly meaningful. That’s the type of energy I aim to bring into every aspect of my business.
Describe your design process.
My design process is a bit chaotic! I am not the type of designer to draw first and craft an item from there, although that occasionally happens. My designs typically come spur of the moment; my mood, energy and current obsessions directly influence what I make on that day. I may start a design simply by scanning the thousands of beads and materials I have and seeing what speaks to me—what colors, what shapes, and what pairings, and then take it from there. Sometimes I work backwards from a vintage or antique piece that is broken , and see what I can recreate from it. My designs are often limited by what is available—with the wax seal necklaces, for instance, the stamps are very rare and very unique, so my next design may pop up suddenly when I find an unexpected antique stamp on Ebay!
What do you love most about designing and making jewelry?
What I love most is being able to impact people’s lives. It was always my original intention; I had a desire to create jewelry with meaning, much like what was done throughout history. I’m fortunate that this has happened, through many sentimental custom orders, and people who wear my wax seal necklaces as everyday talismans. Of course, I also have people who proposed to the love of their life with my antique engagement rings! That’s pretty amazing.
What is next for Stacey Fay Designs?
There are so many big dreams for the business! My own mourning jewelry line is at the top of the list, as well as handmade rings using antique diamonds and precious stones. I will also do my first styled photo shoot with my jewelry in the next few months! The sky is the limit.
After coming across Stacey's jewelry on Instagram I immediatedly knew I wanted to share on Juler's Row. I love how she offers two parts to her collection; her handmade designs and curated vintage pieces. They compliment each other well and open clients up to a broader range of jewelry. I love the seal, elephant and monkey necklaces and hope to add one or all to my collection in the near future.