1)Let's start from the being, where are you from? Your name? And how did the idea for DLC Brooklyn come along? I grew up in the south in Louisiana and Texas. I moved to Brooklyn six years ago (time flies!) My name is Susan Domelsmith – my parents combined their last names, so there are only a few of us in the entire world! Pretty cool of them I think. My love for jewelry started around age 9 or 10 when I began creating pieces for friends and myself. A decade or so later, I was on a different career path when I picked up my first vintage chain necklace with the intention of reconstructing it into a completely new piece. I made a few for myself, some for friends, and a few weeks later retail stores started contacting me about the collection. Now DLC is sold to 30+ retail stores around the world as well as on dlcbrooklyn.com. Dirty Librarian Chains has been featured in Teen Vogue, Elle, People Stylewatch, Gossip Girl, MTV, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue China, Style.com and many more. Although the brand has grown exponentially, the heart and inspiration of the company, sustainability, has remained the same. Each piece is made from recycled vintage deadstock materials to reduce manufacturing waste and toxic chemicals used in plating new materials.
2) Was becoming a jewelry designer something that you have always wanted to do? Or was it something that you fell into completely by accident? See above
3) Where do you get the inspiration for your creation? I find a lot of inspiration in my vintage materials. I love the history of each component, and the combined story that a DLC necklace could tell if it could speak. I am also inspired by music (listening as well as playing in the band Open Ocean http://openoceanmusic.bandcamp.com/album/open-ocean-ep), art and nature.
4) One of the things that I notice with jewelry is that almost anything goes, that there aren't set trends like there are in clothes, do you find that becomes of this that you have free range to do whatever you want in a collection? ? I started the DLC collection by draping and tangling chains in many different ways. This has become a huge trend in recent years, even with big box stores incorporating this look into their product. As a result, I have been pushed to do something completely different as can be seen in my AW11 collection. The quick moving fashion world will certainly keep you on your toes. I love the challenge though!
5) Seeing that you are a jewelry designer, are there any pieces that you have that you can't leave your house without? Right now, I’m loving a stack of bracelets and long necklaces. For a night out, long statement earrings are fun on the dancefloor. I always wear at least four pieces of jewelry!
6) Are there any key pieces of jewelry that a women( or men) should have? A great statement necklace can really boost any outfit.
7) What is the process that you got through while coming up with your designs for your collection? I see designing as play. I put on some good music, a pot of tea and see what I can come up with. I lay out all of my materials and try different combinations until I have the perfect collection. Designs even come to me in my sleep!
8) If you weren't doing this, what other job would you do? What job would you not do? I love science and the water, so my other-life dream job would be a biologist that researches every day by snorkeling. Or I would be a feng shui consultant, I’m fascinated by that too.
9) Describe the DLC Brooklyn customer in four words? Intelligent, compassionate, confident and chic.
10) What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own jewelry business? ? Love what you do, never give up, and have fun with it! I started DLC as almost a game with myself to see if I could make a living off of doing what I loved, and here I am, 7 years later!
Resting in Hawaii or Skiing in Aspen I could use more ocean time for sure.
Summer Nights in New York or Spring Time in Paris Outdoor movies and dance parties!
Vintage Cartier Watch or Blue Box from Tiffany's I love the history of vintage.
Brunch or Lunch Breakfast food as much as possible please!
The City Life or Country Can I have both? City life is more fun and inspiring, but the country makes me feel centered and grounded. I miss walking on grass living in NYC!
Dogs or Cat The perfect dog is one that you can wrestle with and take swimming.
Thanks so much for everyone involved with the interview. Thanks to Susan for being a great sport and Elvira Bakalbasic for making this possible.
And if this interview wasn't enough to get you interested, here are my four picks that had me doing back flips, well, not really, I can't do back flips, more like cartwheels:
Post Credit: DLC Brooklyn, Elvira Bakalbasic