In Conversation: Olivia Fleming
There are a few designers that hold a special place in our hearts, these are the ones who sparked the creation of The Armoury. Olivia Kane is one of them: simple, elegant, classic mood rings that perfectly fit our aesthetic. Founder Olivia Fleming created the label on a whim after struggling to find her perfect piece, and we’re so glad she did – not only is she a muse of ours, she’s pretty damn good at making jewellery too. Check out our convo with the multi talented Fleming below.
You are so much more than a jewellery designer. Tell us how you got into journalism?
I studied journalism at university in New Zealand, while doing an internship at a fashion magazine as an editorial assistant.
"Starting my own brand wasn’t an idea I always had, but an idea that grew from being frustrated at the lack of options.”
Starting your own label must be a dream come true for you. Do you have a background in design, and was Olivia Kane an idea you always had?
I have always loved jewellery, from raiding my grandmother’s jewellery box as a child to searching for one-off vintage finds during school and then as I got older, being able to invest in it myself. Starting my own brand wasn’t an idea I always had, but an idea that grew from being frustrated at the lack of options for delicate, well-priced jewellery that had a focus on interesting stones.
You are a New Zealander now living in New York. Tell us what it’s like living in NYC; the pros and cons?
Making jewellery in New York, thanks to the Jewellery District, is an amazing experience. You have access to the best polishers, stone setters, casters and molders in the word. Living in New York is something I would encourage everyone to do once in their lives, but it’s more of a large playground, rather than a forever place to live.
What do you like to do in your down time?
Escape the noise of the city by driving upstate with my fiance. In the summer we scope out hidden swimming holes, in the fall we go apple picking and eat lots of apple cider donuts. In the winter we ski.
What labels/pieces dominate your wardrobe?
I’m a big fan of well-made basics, so Everlane takes up a big chunk of my wardrobe. Shoes also: I’m a sucker for Valentino, Manolo Blahnik and Prada. I also love to scour vintage online—Instagram is actually a great tool for that.
Give us three songs/bands you are obsessed with at the moment.
Kevin Morby, Woods and Andy C. Jenkins are all friends of my fiance; they are always on repeat in the car.
Your hands down favourite beauty product?
L’Oreal Beauty Tube Mascara. I’ve been using this for almost 10 years, I’m terrified it will one day be discontinued. It’s the only mascara that doesn’t give me panda eyes when I take it off.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
I’ve had many, it’s hard to pick! I think for me, building a brand that people are organically driven to — whether it’s press or customers — without the help of PR or marketing has been a rewarding experience in itself.
"If you want something badly enough, you can achieve anything.”
Give us one piece of advice for girls who would love to start their own business?
Just do it! I started this with no savings or financial help. It took me a year to create the brand, so you have to be prepared to be patient, but if you want something badly enough, you can achieve anything.
Favourite meal of all time?
Spaghetti Bolognese with a glass of Babera in the mountains of Northern Italy.
What is in the pipeline for Olivia Kane?
I’m starting to make more and more custom rings for special occasions—this is something that I’d love to continue to do.