Faction Magazine: You have 4 boys, how do you even have time for a jewelry business?
Susan Mayer: Obviously, my days are too busy to sit and work, but when the house is quiet, usually after bedtime, I get out all of my goodies and get to work. It usually takes me a couple of hours of piddling around until the creative juices flow. I love it, so I enjoy the time (aka, the late nights) I spend on it.
FM: What are your inspirations for making your pieces?
SM: I get inspiration everywhere, especially out when I'm shopping for pieces. I see a piece and I either know right away what I want to do with it, or I hold onto it for months before it hits me. My mom's got a great eye and we collaborate a lot.
FM: Have you always had a passion for found objects/vintage pieces?
SM: I've always been sentimental about stuff in general; anything my family gave me, I kept and cherished. It's like these things have soul. And that's how I feel about these vintage jewelry pieces. They have a story, a history. They have soul and their wear shows it. I've always had a passion for jewelry, love the classic and statement pieces, but I try to stay outside of the trendy. The two (passions) have finally crossed paths, it's great!
FM: What area of work were you in before starting 74 Harley Street?
SM: My professional background was in marketing. It's what took me abroad to London. Since then, it's kids - 4 boys keep me very busy!
FM: I know you used to live in London, what did you do there?
SM: What didn't I do there? Jewelry...boy, if I did then what I do now, just imagine the goodies I could've picked up! I was living in Chicago and working at a marketing agency. I transferred to the London office. Lived at 74 Harley Street. After several years, I had my first son there and realized I wanted to be a full-time mom and move closer to family
FM: When did start 74 Harley Street and what goals do you have for your business?
SM: 74 Harley Street started several years ago as a creative endeavor on a different level. And then I took a break to be a mom. I felt like I had a point of view I could translate into jewelry and I love creating something that I can wear and enjoy! I've gotten a great response and that feeds my creativity. I'm currently in several boutiques in KC and I hope to continue to grow the business and expand regionally. Stay tuned!
FM: How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
SM: I design jewelry with vintage pieces - I love to add my own voice to these gorgeous old pieces, most of which aren't necessarily fashionable now the way they were intended to be worn. I give them new life and make them fun to wear. Plus, my stuff works day to night...great with a tee and jeans or dressed up for a party or gala. So fun!