Introducing one of my favorite jewelry designers, Tiffany Kunz. We talked with her about curiosity, creativity, and people watching....
How do art and style inhabit your daily life?
It’s all about details for me, keeping things simple but adding elements to make it unique to you. Currently I’ve been focusing on this for our home, especially now during the pandemic, but even before I found a lot of intrigue and relaxation in designing our home with different plants and art, as well. I like clever art that is overt and has a sense of humor. Something that reminds me to lighten up if I’m taking things too seriously or feeling a bit heavy. I change what we have up around the house often. I like to keep it fresh and entertaining. Plants are really prominent in our home, too, more so than art, I’d say. They’re an incredible way to add style and personality to a space. I love looking at the shapes they make in the way they grow and the patterns in the leaves. Nature's remedy for anxiety, I think. Just stare at a plant for a bit and you’ll feel more grounded.
How and when did your brand come to be?
In 2007, I graduated from the Gemological Institute of America as a gemologist and with some design courses under my belt. Two years prior I had moved to Los Angeles and spent time working for a handful of jewelry design companies starting out with production and eventually becoming the head designer. From that experience, I rather naively figured I knew enough to start my own company. I had no idea what I was getting into and very little know-how when it came to running a business, so the following years were challenging to say the least. I was determined, though, and thanks to many supportive people in my life this company still exists and has found its way to what it is now.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I’m fascinated by the construction, style and stone usage of ancient jewelry. Specifically Etruscan, Mesopotamian and Roman jewelry—they influence the details that I consider for my pieces. I love working with my hands, trying to bring those elements to life. I aim to create smooth shapes that are balanced but not perfect. It's beautiful and satisfying to me.
Is your brand rooted to a specific place or time?
Not necessarily, it’s fluid and changes with what I perceive as modern and interesting to wear, as well as what is comfortable to me.
How does travel influence your creativity and style?
Travel is a huge influence for me. Seeing what people are wearing in other parts of the world is so much fun, and overwhelming to me in a good way. My favorite thing, wherever I travel, is to find a cafe to sit at and watch people go by on the street just to see what they’re wearing and how they combine different elements to create their own style.
What drives your curiosity?
Construction of design. I love the process of figuring out how to do something new and trying to understand ancient techniques that were used. Yesterday I was looking at pictures of hoops from the Mesopotamia period that have a connection point I’ve tried to wrap my head around for awhile now. It finally clicked for me how they were worn and how they worked. I’d love to explore how to incorporate a closure similar to what they were doing then into a modern pair of hoops.
See all of Tiffany's products here.