Q&A with EcoFriendly Jewelry Designer, Kristin Berwald

After SCENEaSOTA, Minneapolis2night was able to catch up with Kristin Berwald, ecofriendly, steampunk and statement jewelry designer.

1) Tell us your personal name, business name, website and location? My name is Kristin Berwald. My jewelry line is called Bionic Unicorn - bionicunicorn.com. I live in the fabulous city of Minneapolis.

2) What is your studio or workspace like, and how do you work in your studio? My studio is rather unique, as I work out of my home. I'm a stay at home mom, so I design jewelry when I'm not building things with LEGOS or cleaning up juice spills. My workspace is shaped like a dining room, filled with vintage and antique objects, watch parts, enamel flowers, unique chain, and jewels.

3) How would you describe and think of your style, what kind of jewelry do you make and what type of materials do you prefer? I prefer to work with vintage or antique materials; items that have a history. I like the idea of turning something old or unwanted into jewelry that is new and beautiful, plus it is friendlier to our Earth. My favorite style of jewelry are steampunk, bohemian, and woodland. I especially like creating hybrids of these styles, like my recent collection from SCENEaSOTA. My signature style is called Dreampunk, and involves old watch parts mixed with enamel flowers, jewels, and nature inspired elements. Dreampunk is different than classic steampunk in that is softer, more colorful, and usually more feminine. Dreampunk focuses on a harmony between technology and nature, and emphasizes the Utopian aspect of a steampunk world.

4) What new directions do you hope to move in the future? Do you have big plans, new ideas or designs you will be exploring soon? I would love to develop a full product line that could be sold nationally, or to be a guest designer for a fashion house. Those are some big dreams, so for now I am going to continue making collections for fashion shows and local boutiques. Next for my designs I want to explore the dichotomy of darkness and light, and how the two coexist together. The best example I can give of this concept is an antihero like Batman. He is shrouded in darkness, uses questionable methods, but fights for the greater good. I think that will be very edgy for spring.

5) What keeps you inspired and motivated? I am inspired by so many things: nature, art history, sci-fi & fantasy, fashion, and my friends. My family motivates me very much. I want my son to grow up knowing that it is possible to follow your dreams and be successful at the same time. If I live that example, my son will be more likely to turn his own aspirations into reality. Creativity in itself is an excellent motivator. I feel propelled to transform my thoughts and concepts into tangible objects that can be worn as a representation of the self. That's what's so great about jewelry and fashion - we choose how we want to present ourselves to the world. I want to provide limitless options for people to do just that.

Kristin’s collection could be viewed and purchased at BionicUnicorn.com or at Cliché in Uptown. In addition, Kirstin work will be showcased at this Saturday’s MNfashion Holiday Bazaar http://minneapolis.cities2night.com/events/details/148737/0/mnfashion-holiday-bazaar