Working as a registered nurse, Holly (@_kh.collective) was looking for something fun to add to her uniform. But it was a chat with a friend that later sparked a creative escape from the stress of saving lives and discovering her own creative potential. We had a chat with Holly about how she creates her handcrafted copper earrings, resin and polymer clay beauties and what got her hooked on the world of earrings.
How did your journey to creativity unfold?Being a nurse, I always felt like I struggled to make my uniform feel exciting or unique to me. I would wear earrings to try and spice it up -- nursing is a very non creative job. So, when a friend of mine mentioned we could start making earrings, that’s when everything changed for me. It was an escape from my normal world and the results were something I could wear to work and really feel proud of.
What inspires you to create your designs?Colour inspires me greatly, I love bright, glittery, unique earrings. I also think to myself, I want people to feel happy and proud to have my earrings in their ears. I also want people’s eyes to be drawn to them and prompt the question, “Oh my! Who made your earrings?” Ultimately, that is what inspires me.
Do you create alongside anyone else or are you a lone ranger?
I started this business with my best friend but along the way she realised it wasn’t really for her. Up until that point I’d only really made clay earrings. Then when she decided to leave, I got into resin, that is where I really found my true love of the earring world.
When creating a work, do you prefer to plan it out or jump in and learn as you go?
In the nursing profession I am so organised, everything is planned out. But when I go into my earring room, nothing is planned, I’m a loose cannon haha! I always think I’m going to do one thing and then I end up in a totally different direction, some of the most beautiful creations have stemmed from that disorganisation.
What’s your favourite Mont Marte product?
The fluoro acrylic paints are my FAVOURITE!!! I love neon! I’ve been able to create such amazing pieces with those paints and resin. One of my best-selling studs are created with these and I just adore how bright they are.
Does social media influence what/how you create?
Of course, over the last two years social media has been flooded with so many talented earring makers. It is through watching YouTube videos and reels that I’ve learnt so many of my techniques. This is also what I tell new earring makers to do. It’s truly incredible what you can learn from the internet and with some good old ‘try and try again.’ 😊
What would you say to someone who might be a little scared to take a leap into creativity?I never ever considered myself an “artsy” or “creative” person, I could never draw or paint. I was terrible in art class. But when I started making earrings, I was so surprised at what I was able to create. I was terrible at first, but I just kept practicing and before I knew it, I was really surprising myself with what I made. Most importantly, people loved the earrings and were telling me how much they loved wearing them… I was hooked!
Aside from art, what other hobbies do you enjoy?I’m a gym junkie. I’ve recently transitioned from a normal weightlifting gym to a fit stop and I love it! I think with nursing and how stressful it can be, I really enjoy activities that get the endorphins pumping 😉
What’s something that you’re proud of, that you don’t often get to talk about?I get very self-conscious and awkward when anybody starts talking about KH Collective. So, I don’t often talk about how proud I am about the business, as I don’t want to come off the wrong way. But I have made close to 1000 sales. I can’t help but think there are almost 1000 pairs of my earrings all over the world. I’m beyond proud and truly feel so honoured that people have trusted to buy my earrings. It’s honestly mind blowing.
When was the last time you got creative goose bumps?My last creation was possibly my favourite thing I ever made. They’re alcohol ink resin earrings. Teal & copper and they look like they’re floating. When I saw them, my little heart nearly exploded. It’s always the things that I think won’t work out, that end up my favourite.
We hope that you feel inspired by Holly to give something creative a go too. Show us what you create and #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook, we’d love to see it!
Feeling inspired? Make your own polymer clay earrings or check out more of our featured artists.