Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Meet the Artist ~ Jeannie+Richard of JeannieRichard

~ Meet the Artist ~
Jeannie+Richard of JeannieRichard
Interviewed by Jelena of JPwithLove

Behind the fresh and young brand name JeannieRichard is a husband and wife tandem designing and making distinct luxe handmade jewelry, which they recently embarked at the beginning of 2011. Let’s chat them for a bit and find out what sparked this new journey for them :)

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Signature Gold WOMAN Cuff
JP: Your background is web design, so how did you end up designing jewelry?
Jean: Actually our background is neither in web design, lol!
As far as we both can remember, we are innately creative beings.Richard the musician and Jeannie the artist. As children growing up, Richard was always known as the singer and I am the fashion designer.
Richard studied music as his college education, majoring in classical guitar and composition, while I had to be doing the school of hard knocks due to family circumstances.
My fashion design study in Florida when I was 13 was put to a full stop due to family circumstances. Yes Florida, thats where you are now JP :)
Signature Gold Woman Ring
Life had us setting up our own design SOHO in 2002 and since then, working with the computer consumed us day and night, meeting deadlines. Its a hectic and thankless career ~ though there are some very nice and loyal clients ~ we had a yearning for many years to work with our hands. To create with our hands.
Rich: It was in December 2010 that by Divine willing, Jeannie chanced upon some chainmaille books on Amazon while shopping there, and one thing led to the other. We were in awe of the chainmaille, wirework and beadings’ beauty. We thought it was the perfect idea to have us work with our hands! So we bought a few books and learned the fundamentals, but without the intention of selling. BUT as with any creative individual, one would create and felt the need to share.
Jean : Yup, and discovering Etsy remains a phantom memory ~ though to us it is a Divine arrangement. We saw so many wonderful artists doing their thing and spurred in me to give it a shot with Etsy as well, and it has been no turning back since.

Classic Chunky Chainmaille Bracelet in Gold
JP: What are some of your favorite materials to work with and create with?
Rich: I mainly work with aluminum, jewelry brass, anodized aluminum and rhodium ~ my favorite thus far is aluminum because its soft yet tough and doesn’t tarnish easily, followed by jewelry brass because its rock solid *I love the click sound* and patinas very nicely, and lastly rhodium because its tough and skin-friendly.
Jean: Delica beads is my main type of bead because of its uniform shape which works well in manifesting most our designs. However, anything that is yummy in color and shape is also my “favorite”, LOL!

Gold Bow Tie Ring on White Band
JP: In your store we can find a variety of beaded and chainmail jewelry both techniques require calm and precision. How do you organize your work? Do you both bead and work chainmail? 

Jean: You will be shock that we work and live in the same small bedroom, an extremely humble beginning LOL! On the floor we sit with coffee tables we use as work tables, though sometimes the bed becomes our desktop.
Rich: Our environment is noisy due to the major renovation scheme organized by the government, which has been going on for more than a year and won’t be finishing until Q3 2012. So our bedroom window is always closed but thankfully we have the air-conditioner.
Exotic Persian Flower Earrings
Jean: So when we start work, our focus is narrowed in. Of course, we get agitate and irritated by noise caused by mindless and inconsiderate neighbors... ok, i am griping now, hahaha!
So we have to be extremely disciplined with both sides of our work - to deliver to our corporate client and to deliver to lovely ladies and gentlemen on time!
Though I taught Richard to bead, he has totally forgotten how to now, hahaha! You can see his one and only beadwork in the shop ~ Ms Cleopatra Purple :) And I am content to rely on Richard to do all things metal! *Oh, he was a heavy metal singer and bass guitarist in his teens too! ;)
Rich: Shhhh!

Jean: LOL!

Art Deco Poirot Earrings
JP: What does beading/chainmail mean to you?

Rich: Chainmaille is a web of beauty where single pieces of jump rings are weaved together to become objects of adornment and adoration at a level of tasteful class and precision, and beading is manifesting from an invisible canvas a beautiful work of colorful artwork. I am always in awe of how these tiny little beads form together.

Jean: Both have its unique beauty, they exude different characters and bring out different effects upon the wearer. So it dawned upon me on combining them because a woman can be the heaven and hell in the same day! ;D

JP: What have you learnt over the course of being a designers?

Purple Bohemian Flower Earrings
Jean: Hmm, the word ‘designers’ is very broad, and especially so since my first designing experience was 4 where I designed my father’s shipping company logo and polo-shirts. “Designing” is very integral aspect of our lives.
Rich: Yes, to design is to create. Everyday we are creating, even people who think that they are not creative just because they don’t draw, paint, sing, perform, etc. Because a being is innately a creative creature by God. Out of survival, mankind were compelled to create... invent... innovate to feed “that” need... desire... and sadly, most of the time, the ego.

JP: What do you love most about designing and creating your own jewelry?
Classic Silver Chainmaille Necklace

Rich: To be able to create something new and never seen before ~ a signature style, that one can possess and keep for her life, and to remember the happy moments she had with her friends and loved ones just by looking it because she wore it in those occasions.
Jean: Yes, like a piece of music or fragrance, it stirs the memories in one just by listening or smelling it. So the same with our jewelry ~ we design/create to hope that it will do that for the owners. This is what we love about, the ability to do that.
Rich: Yes, to become a sentimental heirloom and not only a pretty piece of jewelry :)

JP: What is your dream for your company and designs?

Signature Ms Cleopatra Black Ring
Jean: We hope the brand JR will take on the international market and our signature designs such as our Cleopatra rings will become an icon with the fashionistas!
Rich: Hahaha, yes we dare to dream :D And are working towards it!

JP: Which piece of your Jewelry you’re most proud of? 

Jean: So far, the WOMAN range and the Cleopatra rings, but not enough.
Rich: Its never enough. One can never be complacent, otherwise it will become stagnant. But for now, it is as Jeannie says, the WOMAN range and Cleopatra rings.

Signature Black Triangles Dangle Earrings
JP: What inspires you the most: place, people, art, music, or something else?
Rich&Jean: GOD! LOL!! There is none else besides Him. :D
Rich: He has already provided us with so much profound and timeless knowledge and advice that there is no reason to look elsewhere.
Jean: Yes and of course “mundanely speaking”, we love music, movies, art, nature... all thing beautiful. But I think, music and art inspires us most. And in source, it is God who inspires one to create beauty. :)
Rich: We have a whole barrage of music genre in our collection, but classical music is the best ~ it requires no language to evoke the sensations the composer meant.
Ayam Buah Keluak - Peranakan Cuisine
(chicken stuffed in buah keluak nut)

Nasi Lemak - Malay cuisine
(coconut rice with fried anchovies and peanuts,
chicken, egg, cucumber and LOADS of
sambal chilli paste wrapped with coconut leaf)

JP: You live in Singapore. Is there some special food you like to prepare or your favorite meal?

Jean: Singapore is the land S.E.A. food galore! You get a variety of cultures here fusing together and creating new tastes to tingle ones tastebuds :D
I love all my mother’s cooking - mainly Peranakan - but she is also a very creative person, she draws, paints murals and sews fashionable clothes and cooks! So she can whip anything from ayam buah keluak, nasi lemak, beef bak kut teh, curry chicken with potatoes, to delicious french white sauce fish fillet and her own concoction of dishes! They are all special to me :D
Rich: I love my mother(in-law)’s food too, especially her home-made sweet chilli sauce. Her rendition of nasi lemak is OOAK! Oh, and all her beef dishes! :D
Jean: BUT after being vegetarian before and kosher, I don’t have the heart to eat little moo-moos anymore. We now mainly eat fish and vegetables :D
Currently we don’t have our own kitchen so, we don’t cook at all. We use to when we were renting (which is too exorbitant and illogical to do so now), and because of our tight schedules, we typically cook all-in-one meals.
Bak Kut Teh - literally means meat bone tea
My mom uses beef instead of pork. The chinese herbs
used in the tea soup is wonderfully
aromatic and good for health.
They consist of all the important nutrients, such as fish, eggs, broccoli, carrots, peas, potatoes, cauliflower, etc and we flavor them the way we love. We are more of the salty, creamy, cheesy and spicy end, which is a good for catalyzing the belly of fire since we don’t exercise but walk a lot, hahaha!
Ironically speaking, it was Richard who first taught me how to cook when my mom wasn’t home and there was a blackout, and he sneaked in to cook me dinner with only candles for lighting, LOL! We were only 15 then!
Rich: *blush*

Beary Jr - our first baby boy, now 8 years old
Was adopted from AVA to rescue him from being culled
due to the SARS outbreak back then.

Rani baby - the heavyweight champion of 10KG
She was adopted from a private pet shelter where
people abandon animals. She is now 7 years old.
She has a defective left eye, a crooked tail and
gastro issues, but everyone loves her to bits!
JP: You love animals. Is there something you feel like you can change for abandoned animals?

Jean: It is our dream to have sanctuary for them where they will be taken care for with TLC for all their days. And to be given the chance to be homed into loving households for all their days.
Rich: And to even have our own force of people to track down abusers and turn them over to the law. It is also ideal to start with the young – to have collaborations with schools to allow children/teenagers to interact with animals and to educate them about loving animals.
Jean: Yes, as Singapore is a city country, you hardly have interaction with nature. All you see is concrete jungle and the facade lifestyles. Kids practically are glued to the mobile phone screen, they don’t look around them or even look where they are walking. Actually, same goes to the adults. Thats where kids learn from - such adults!
Rich: So it is important to educate the people, rescue and nurture the sick/stray/abused/abandoned animals.

JP: Is there something you would like to say to young people who would like to become jewelry designers?
Signature Persian Chainmaille
with Pearls & Crystals Bracelet Wrap
Rich: Wise up, observe, learn, be patient, be confident. And if jewelry designing/making isn’t working for you... don’t give up, try something else. The world is made for so many of us - life will teach and reveal our meaning. Sometimes, being persistent is more harmful than beneficial. Honest foresight as well while being flexible.
Jean: Within reason of course.
R: Yes, within reason. Because what you do today, seeds for tomorrow’s reaping. What goes around, comes around.
Jean: Indeed. And as mankind, to be intelligent is to be adaptable. It may be tough now but its worth the effort. It doesn’t matter if its not looking flashy to boast about, but with humble beginnings and perseverance, you’ll get there.
Rich: And by the time you get there, life would have taught you a couple of good lessons to make you rock solid and never to return to folly :)

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We hope you have enjoyed the interview as much as we did!
JeannieRichard is currently having a giveaway on our blog from Dec 7 to 21, so enter yourselves now!! ;D
You can also visit them at their shop, or follow them on their blog or twitter :D


  1. great Interview I enjoyed reading about you guys!

  2. What a wonderful interview! Thank you JP for your great questions, thank you Richard and Jeannie for such a sincere answers! It was very nice to come to know more about you guys :)

  3. Great interview! I love to hear the stories behind such amazing artisans!

  4. Lovely interview, I love read about the jewelry work of these great artisans!!!

  5. So nice to get to know you better! Great interview!

  6. Great to know you better, beautiful creations


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