She's in Simons is a blog series produced in collaboration with Canadian retail icon, Simons. We're profiling inspiring Alberta creatives who celebrate style through their work and wardrobes. This instalment was beautifully photographed by Alyssa Lau of Ordinary People at Little Brick.
Amor Carandang is that girl. The one at the party with the giant grin on her face, likely laughing with the kind of sincere, wholehearted, open mouth laugh that is undeniably infectious. She's the one with the twinkling eyes and nonchalant spirit, perfectly put together in a tiny package of great substance.
This bright attitude and ease of personality are surely traits of those who "make it" in fashion out here in the landlocked prairies.
A talented designer and brave fashion entrepreneur, Amor and partner Chris Provins' fateful meeting in Australia has led to thoughtful designs, which have established their label, Hunt Amor, as one of Alberta's most celebrated jewelry brands. Favourites from their previous and current collections include delicate body chains, hand-cut brass 'V' earrings (like really, who doesn't have a pair?) and now, impressive custom creations for a growing list of clients.
Amor is wearing an Acne Studios dress, Phillip Lim Jacket, Sol Sana Sandals all from Simons and Hunt Amor Jewelry.
What's it like working with your partner?
Chris and I share the same design value and it's rad to work with somebody who knows me so well. Also, he is just totally amazing. (Editor's Note: You might know Chris from his brilliant design work over at Lift Interactive). Because we're in a personal relationship, it's super important to make sure we have time for each other and separate business from that. We're so passionate about what we do, so we could go on and on about it, but it's important not to let the lines blur between personal and professional.
What is your typical day like?
A typical work day is 8am to 5pm, which includes meeting with clients. gathering inspiration, market research and of course... production.
What are each of your roles within the business?
I like to work closely with people, that's my first and foremost love. Chris has a really strong background in technical product design. I manage all the before and we work together on figuring out what our client wants and our collections and then we process that together.
What kind of metals do you work with?
We love getting our hands dirty in the studio – we work and manipulate a lot of brass. Everything is cut and polished by hand. We really enjoy the custom tailored process and work closely with clients to uncover what they want and make it meaningful. We also work with a goldsmith for silver and gold and we're now moving towards working with more precious metals.
What tools are essential to your trade?
A ruler and guillotine, but really the most important? A sketchbook, pen and calendar. I have to be super organized.
How do you think your own personal style affects your collections? Are you designing for a customer or yourself?
I, without a doubt, am a customer of Hunt Amor. But of course we work closely with our clients, and try to uncover a lot of inspiration they want to share with us. Chris is really curious about technical production, and part of our design process is really about experimentation. We've actually done a couple pieces in 3D printing - a ring and a bottle opener in black steel.
In the studio I'll wear scraps. No one is going to see me (laughs). But if I'm meeting with clients I'll put on some makeup and dress up a bit.
How important is your own personal style as an entrepreneur in fashion?
You have to feel comfortable. I like simple, clean design. I want something that subtly pops out and I believe that's what Hunt Amor's designs do.
Has there been any significant milestone for Hunt Amor?
Awe, so many. I think the most recent one, the engagement ring and weddings bands we did for our friends Shaun and Nicole. I cannot wait to show people the bands. Going through the custom tailored process it felt magical. We got to know them on a different level. It was our first time working with diamonds and we're injecting our personality and everything they've shared with us into something they are gonna carry with them for the rest of their lives. There are so many different things to consider. It felt like we were all in this relationship together.
When the products were done, we were so excited to give it to them. I really like custom work because I get to hang out with people and find out what makes them tick.
What have you learned along the way?
Always have a process. Know what you're getting into and explore all realms before committing to anything.