B MEETS CHALK JEWELLERY
Chalk’s strapline is Jewellery by Architects, a lot nicer than Ronseal Does What It Says on the Tin, but you get what we mean! Founder Malaika works as an architect which directly inspires her jewellery: focused on beautifully crafted unusual geometric forms. Bold, colourful and cultural patterns also play a huge part, one of the reasons I personally love it so much. It’s just different, but oh so beautiful!
Malaika mentioned she loves Solange and her wardrobe (don’t we all?) and we can see Saint Records wearing some of Chalk’s pieces! I sometimes wish I was Solange (I’d never pull of that frow, damn it). Malaika is also influenced by Celine (love), Acne, architect Carlo Scarpa and London local jewellery designer Jessie Harris - the lovely Jessie you can also find on Studio B HERE.
TWO REASONS THAT PUSHED ME
I founded my jewellery line whilst studying Architecture at the University of Westminster. There are two major reasons that pushed me towards making jewellery; the first being I really wanted to make pieces that were unique and I would enjoy wearing. I made numerous architectural models using a laser cutting machine and started to use the same process for jewellery. People liked my pieces, which gave me the drive to keep making!
The second reason being, as much as I enjoy practicing architecture, it requires a great deal of patience - it takes years from design to construction. I yearned to create something that was more instantaneous! It's so satisfying that I can design a wearable collection in months.
Chalk is bold, bright and beautiful! I use walnut and acrylic materials to create dramatic, but wearable forms. I think the designs and the way I construct my pieces are unique. I also carefully handmake each piece myself; everything you purchase is made specially by me.
Inspiration comes in so many forms but I am mainly influenced by my travels. For the latest collection, I looked to the handcrafted designs and beadwork of Kenyan tribes of the Samburu people. I was inspired by the details and striking colourways found in their jewellery. I've recently been on an epic trip to China, which I would highly recommend, so watch this space for the next collection!
I studied architecture and am now a qualified architect working at a lovely practice called Michaelis Boyd. They specialise in luxury design for hotels, restaurants and private homes.
B - I would love to see one of these luxury private homes! Malaika still works full time alongside running her brand - big respect! More people than you think have to continue their day job to support the cost of running a small, independent business. So much goes into a collection, especially when producing well-made high-quality products in limited production runs - which makes these things even more special!
CREATIVE – YES. AWARENESS – HARD
The most exciting parts are designing new collections and working out the mood boards, shoots, lookbooks - all the creative parts I enjoy the most! The hardest parts are the background tasks, spreading the word about the brand (Instagram has been great for this) but I need to learn new avenues to increase brand awareness.
ADVICE FOR DOING IT - TAKE THE LEAP
I would say take the leap! Chalk has become such an instrumental part of my life, I have discovered the importance of loving what you do!
B - Be happy or go home! This seems to be the biggest message from our B Stories. Also, something I can relate to. I had some great times at some of the brands I'd worked for in fashion, but also some pretty miserable, angry and horribly frustrating times. At the end of the day all those bad days pushed me to do this, everything happens for a reason yada yada yada.