SUMMER CAMP by Kayla Mattes
It’s quite rare these days to find start-up designers with raw talent plus the necessary drive, organization and persistence to make their brand succeed. That being said, we are SO excited to introduce you to our latest find, art school graduate and budding jewelry designer Kayla Mattes. Kayla’s fresh designs, calculated and eco-friendly construction process, and her fearless and determined business approach seem to put the odds for success in her favor.
After months of fine-tuning design development, sample-making and business planning, Kayla has created SUMMER CAMP – a collection of manually machine-knit and hand “gimped” necklaces. Why the name “SUMMER CAMP?” Consider bygone days of the 90′s with visions of Bug Juice, lanyard and singing Spice Girls; furthermore, remember comraderie with bunk-mates, campfires, crafts and colors and thematically, the name starts making more sense. The designer further explains her unique brand vision:
“The same exact gimp stitches you may remember from summer camp are used to integrate the knitted cord within the intricately handwoven holographic and translucent plastic lace. The necklaces are incredibly soft, lightweight, colorful, and hopefully remind you of the summer you made lanyards 24/7!”
The collection is just that – nostalgic but modern. With names like “1st Kiss by the Campire” and “Friendships 4 a Lifetime,” the pieces evoke a sense of timelessness while Kayla’s electric color selections in bold, statement form make SUMMER CAMP an entirely fresh concept altogether.
“The collection grew from a piece constructed with lanyard in my RISD thesis collection ‘NEO-90ies‘,” says Kayla. “After making this collection, I still found myself intrigued with this almost dead craft trend. Since then I’ve been integrating this kitschy craft hobby into my textiles practice. When paired with knitted elements, lanyard is translated into something entirely new!”
“The collection both reinterprets and pays homage to the lanyard braiding phenomenon, resulting in a collection inspired by: SUMMER CAMP,” explains the designer. ”The pieces are constructed entirely of textile related techniques and contain no traditional elements of jewelry hardware. The striped composition of each machine-knit cord is unique, since they are spontaneously machine-knit with a KH-930 electronic Brother Machine at my studio in Los Angeles.”
Kayla’s necklaces are made from electric lanyard and bamboo yarn in 1-strand & 4-strand styles – take a look at the video below in which Kayla explains her unique design process:
Three SUMMER CAMP S/S ’13 necklaces: Friendships 4 a Lifetime, Trail 2 the Treasure, and 1st Kiss by the Council Fire
The entire SUMMER CAMP S/S ’13 collection:
In addition to her inspired designs and construction process, what makes Kayla special is her extremely organized business model and timeline. The designer has set the bar high, intending to be sold in local shops and boutiques (as well as online) by the fall, in addition to showcasing at LA-based accessories tradeshow FOCUS.
Using a campaign through Kickstarter, Kayla is calling on everyone to help support the launch of SUMMER CAMP by means of donation; in turn, all supporters will receive special rewards in the form of being the first to own pieces from the SUMMER CAMP collection (a season early) and at half the retail price! On her Kickstarter page, Kayla explains exactly what the donation funds will be applied towards and what all donors will receive for their contributions.
For a deeper look inside SUMMER CAMP and Kayla’s business model, watch the video below:
Please help support Kayla on her campaign by clicking HERE! This girl has made extraordinary strides in promoting her work and earning enough to stand just short of her $10,000 goal!! With 4 days left, you can help Kayla start her business, and she clearly deserves it!