Flora Sun Jewelry (Sherri Barber International Boutique Photographer)
Inspired by colors and textures from all over the world, Kelly Lehman designs everything from necklaces to earrings using her architecture background with her jewelry line, Flora Sun.
Lehman’s fascination with designing and creating jewelry began at a very early age when she realized that she just couldn’t find the kind of jewelry she wanted in stores. Shortly after she started making her own jewelry creations, everyone from her friends and family to complete strangers began asking where she got her jewelry. After Lehman told them she, in fact, was the one who designed and created her jewelry, that’s when her hobby became a business.
|Kelly Lehman, founder of Flora Sun
(photo: Ashley Tomlinson)
“I noticed most were approaching me for the jewelry and started doing an order here and there as a hobby through high school, college and the start of my first career in Architecture,” Lehman says. “Flora Sun was born in 2008 after I left my full time job as a Project Manager at a local Architecture firm. Starting a new freelancing job for local production companies I would have more time to run my new business Flora Sun.”
When it comes to designing jewelry Lehman firmly believes in creating jewelry for women that will get them noticed but at the same time is still reasonably priced (earrings ranging from $12 to $55, necklaces from $15 to $275 and bracelets from $18 to $75). Lehman likes the fact that her jewelry is often viewed as art rather than a giant pricey piece of jewelry.
“My designs, inspirations and pieces are always evolving as I grow as a person and as artist. This is what differentiates me from other jewelry designers/artists,” Lehman explains. “I have a style but it is hard to describe. Materials and the processes used to create them are always changing and evolving. Many pieces are one-of-a-kind. I will stop making some designs even though they are still selling well because I don’t want everyone wearing the same jewelry.”
When designing and creating a new piece of jewelry Lehman uses a very precise process. She searches for materials from everywhere, at times finding materials she won’t use for years until she knows the perfect use for them. “Sometimes I start with the material not knowing how I want a piece to be or what I’m going to do with them. Most of the time having to invent a process to make it just so,” she says. Lehman likes to refer to her designing process as “engineering a piece,” because she uses materials in ways other than their original purpose.
“One of my favorite pieces is a blue lace agate piece that was made of faceted chunks of blue lace agate that lead to a fan or wing shaped focal point of thin BLA slices. When I sold this piece I was glad to make the sale but so sad to see it go,” Lehman says. With so many unique materials and so many great ideas on how to construct those materials into one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, Lehman believes that the sky is the limit for Flora Sun.
Since Lehman launched Flora Sun Jewelry she has been able to establish a strong clientele and has noticed a significant increase in the shows and events she has been booking. “My goal is to expand to more brick and mortar shops and online offerings. Also expanding to shows outside of the area. And expand my bridal line,” Lehman says. Though Lehman doesn’t do jewelry parties she does meet with brides for custom orders for them and their bridesmaids.
If you would like to check out Lehman’s Flora Sun Jewelry line you can visit her website at www.florasunjewelry.com, her Facebook page, or attend the following events where she will be showcasing her jewelry line: Seasonably Chic Showcase on November 2, Holiday Glam on December 6, and The City Flea on December 14 in Washington Park.