In just about a month, spring will have sprung in NoVA (officially, the season begins Thursday, March 19), bringing with it warmer temperatures, longer days and plenty of flowers. While you’ll be seeing buds bloom on shrubbery and trees alike, you’ll also see floral patterns pop up in local boutiques, found on pillows, clothing and, of course, jewelry.
Local artist Janice Park of The Pink Reef knows a thing or two about flower-centered designs, as the majority of her handmade earrings feature bright, intricately detailed florals. This month, ahead of the spring season, the soon-to-be Lorton resident has debuted her Spring/Summer 2020 Collection, featuring a variety of hand-painted earrings, many of which include tiny pearls and Austrian crystals.
Here, Park takes us through the inspiration and process behind her new designs, all of which can be found online or at Bishop Boutique in Old Town, as well as Scout and Molly’s in Ballston and Reston.
This season’s designs are so detailed. Where did the inspiration come from?
I think this spring and summer, it’s all about the ultra-feminine woman. My pieces are already feminine, but I decided to push the gas pedal and take it up a notch. The DC and NoVA woman is so confident and she’s really loving simple, pretty pieces. To reflect that, I incorporated the spring, hand-formed flowers. They are almost like tiny sculptures for your ears, and super light. It’s all in the details, from the tiny pearls I individually put on to just a slight tint of pink in the middle of a flower. It’s those little details that really makes a piece stand out. The statement earrings are super flattering but special enough to be wedding earrings too!
What trends are your customers craving this season?
I noticed my customers are going crazy for navy and white chinoiserie. It’s a huge trend right now in homes, with ginger jars gracing mantles and dining tables, so I decided to do a chinoiserie earring. To go with the ultra-feminine theme, I’ve paired a hand-painted chinoiserie bead with intricate, hand-set Austrian crystal because everyone loves a little bling. It just makes the pieces extra special. I also did my giant bee earring and angry octopus in a hand-painted chinoiserie because customers were asking for it! It is so different and I love that my customers have ideas that turn into staples of my collection.
This spring, golden hues are also huge. People are loving the small to extra-large golden florals. I think it’s because they are like a little black dress—they are effortless, go with everything and make you look polished with no effort at all. You literally can pair a gold floral earring with jeans, a fitted white T-shirt and knotted headband, or with a black-tie dress. And what’s great, you can do a golden floral with a gold bead center for a more sleek look or a pearl center, for a more feminine, classic look.
How long does it typically take for you to make each piece?
The hand-painted florals typically take about a week to create. It’s lots and lots of layers to get the ombre effect just right. Adding here and there, until it looks like it came out of a Monet painting. There’s a lot of waiting around for paint to dry, of course, and adding new layers every day to ensure the piece will last a lifetime.
Do you plan on adding anything else to the collection?
I just made a tiny collection on Feb. 11, using reclaimed oyster shells! I am huge into boating and sailing and have always loved coastal decor. They are shells gilded with gold that would otherwise go to waste. I combined the oyster shells with hand-set crystals, and for some reason was drawn to pairing the shells with light pink. Within minutes of posting them to Instagram, I had so many women messaging me about how they could get them. I will have to make some more pieces. Sometimes mother nature really is the best designer. I also want anyone reading this to not be afraid of the statement. If you’ve never worn statements before, try them with a really simple, classic outfit. I promise, this spring is your time to shine.
Looking for more locally made trinkets to wear this season? Find a list of new releases below.
Right in line with Valentine’s Day and to close out the winter season, local jeweler Dani Barbe has released several pieces, including earrings, cuffs and necklaces that display shades of red, purple, pink and green, to represent the birthstone of February babies. All of Barbe’s pieces are handmade from raw crystals and gemstones in a studio outside of the District, where she creates her signature bohemian look.
In March, Fredericksburg-based goldsmith Cindy Liebel will release an addition to her Axiom Collection, which debuted in 2018. The new, geometric-inspired pieces feature several designs in the form of earrings and necklaces, paired with accents of colorful gemstones. While not yet for sale online, customers can expect a price range of anywhere from $88 to $507, as many of the pieces are set in solid gold.
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