klaylife (est. 2015) is the brainchild of father & daughter duo Kerri Wallace and Phillip Jones.
After their family migrated to Australia from South Africa in 1989, there was always the thought that they could, one day, run a business which had ties with their heritage of South Africa, and give a little bit back to their lovely community at the same time.
It was in 2014 that fate knocked on Kerri’s door, when she stumbled upon an Instagram post of a clay-beaded chandelier. She immediately fell in love with the stunning creation and it wasn’t long before she tracked down the designer. The pieces were made with the designers team on a farm in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, crafting these incredibly unique works of art! This was the start of the business we now know as ‘klaylife‘.
Timing wise…it couldn’t have been better. Kerri had worked as an executive producer for a number of high profile radio show’s including ‘Fifi + Jules’ and ‘Hamish + Andy’, and at the time she was working the early morning shift for ‘Fifi + Dave’… “the 3.30 am wake ups for work had just about had their day”, Kerri says. Her father Phillip was running an International Food Import business…and was contemplating retirement. After contacting the South African designer and learning more about these beautiful works of art, the duo jumped in together and haven’t looked back. This opportunity and timing was too good to be true. klaylife create beautiful hand rolled clay chandeliers, which I am sure most of you have admired already, but today am sharing with you a collaboration between klaylife x Elodie that was just meant to be!
klaylife have partnered with designer Elodie Darwish, to create a new unique collection of beautiful jewellery…or as I like to call it, wearable art.
“We knew if we were going to release a range of jewellery, we wanted it to be really special. We had the vision of incorporating silver or gold, feeling that the contrast of the metal with the matte beads would look really good. That’s where Elodie comes in. She is this amazing object and jewellery designer, who creates most of her metal pieces by hands. She creates these gorgeous organic shapes that are never perfect – just like our beads.”, says Kerri.
I adore the designs and seriously want one of every colour! The range include 2 designs of both necklaces & earrings, in short and long combinations, available in four colours. Prices start from $149
Kerri and Phillip have loved building their business from scratch! The have been running on pure ” gut instinct and just grabbing the ball and running with it.” … something I love to hear, sometimes you have to just back yourself!
Kerri loves that ” she has had the opportunity to work with a beautiful product and work with a group of people that are so incredibly talented – from our magical team in South Africa, to Elodie, and also Jacqui Moore (who we collaborated with for our latest lighting range). It’s also beautiful to know that there is a community of women in South Africa who are now able to provide much needed income to their families. “
Becoming a mum last year, Kerri balances life as best as she can, there are certainly many hats she has to put on in one day. After talking to Kerri and her passion behind this beautiful business, I’m sure klaylife doesn’t feel like work at all.
I asked Kerri who have been the biggest influencers in her life and career…
- My Father (and now business partner) – He has gone from running a Multinational Food Import company, to running around in circles packaging goods, arranging couriers, wiring electrical fittings and now helping to bring a jewellery range to fruition.
- My husband Luke – he has just come onboard the business and is all strategy! His brain works very differently to mine and while I work fast and on gut instinct, he sits back and asks the broader, more strategic questions. Not a bad thing!
- My Mum – She is just an all round legend!
” klaylife has been a success because we, and everyone who chooses to buy the product, love the product and what it stands for. Where so much these days comes off the factory production line, it’s nice to know some things in life are still handmade with love. “
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