I'm Victoria Close, the founder and designer/creator, social media manager, website designer, photographer, graphic designer, accountant and chief kimono-sourcer.
Where did the concept of Bikudesigns come from?
The concept is based around 4 key elements that came from my own life as a mum and business owner.
7 things about Victoria...
1. I’m what people consider a ‘self-taught' jeweller, even though I have trained in diamond setting, enamelling, granulation, wax casting, repoussé and chasing (etc.) The ‘self-taught’ bit comes in because I don’t have a degree in Metalsmithing (my degree is in Philosophy and English)
2. I live in Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, the place that provided the inspiration behind my brand. After WWII this area was well-known for the black market in American goods. To this day, a hangover from its past, it's famous for its vintage and antique shops.
3. I come from a family of female retail entrepreneurs (both my grandmothers and my mum were shop-owners).
4. I started a jewellery business when I was 15 years old selling vintage bead jewellery.
5. One of my grandmothers was a milliner and one was a seamstress.
6. I recently found out that in the 19th Century, my ancestors were silk weavers, which totally blew my mind.
7. I re-purpose forgotten things because unused objects make me sad. My aim is to give them a new life.