by Claire Tran | October 6, 2017 2:34 pm
Anthropologie recently collaborated with local jewelry designer Kimberly Huestis to design gold and pastel hardware for its home goods department.
The store approached the Somerville artist last summer to translate her handmade, nautical-inspired necklace into the “Copley Knob,” a shabby chic-style dresser pull. Immediately the drawer knob was a hit—and it’s already sold out online.
Huestis worked with Anthropologie’s artist collaboration manager to transform her designs for the mass market. They went back and forth tweaking the size, texture, and colors for a year. Huestis added more detailed spinal patterns to her original design for the necklace, then took away some brighter colors to create the knob.
“It was definitely very different for me to do since I almost always have my hands creating and making sure everything is the way I want,” says Huestis. But this time, Anthropologie was calling the shots.
“They just asked me to do a lot less gold,” she chuckles.
The Vermont native studied architecture at Wellesley College, solidifying her foundation in design and construction. Due to her sensitive skin, Huestis always had difficulty finding jewelry without irritating metals, until she founded her own company Porcelain and Stone in 2012.
Huestis’s ceramic and metal pieces are sold in boutiques across 16 states and in the Bahamas. Porcelain and Stone, which has been featured in Vogue, is also a regular vendor at the SoWa Open Market in the South End. Heustis says she draws inspiration from the textures and shapes in her childhood lake town, and always adds pops of gold.
“This whole design exercise, for me, is about taking those textures and conceptualizing them into something a little smoother, a little more refined,” says Huestis.
Huestis didn’t come up with the catchy “Copley Knob” name for Anthropologie, but says it’s fitting because she used to live in Back Bay. In addition to this collaboration, Huestis recently worked with Free People and even designed a brooch for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Next year, she’s looking forward to exploring more hardware pieces.
Inside her studio, Huestis loves sketching straight into clay and tossing trial pieces into a reusable “slop bucket.” As an LEED accredited designer, she maintains an eco-friendly mindset throughout her creative process, making sure to save water and old clay to reuse later. The ideas of reclamation and renovation have long intrigued Huestis, so it’s fitting she was able to reclaim her own design for Anthropologie.
“Renovating was always something that caught my attention,” she said. “Like reusing something that could have new life.”
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