Designer Profile: Violet gray

Jul 30, 2013 | Designer Profile, Designers, Young Designers

Today we chat to the gorgeous soul behind Violet gray, Alex Olsen. It's highly possible you're sporting one of Alex's coveted pieces right now… her stall is always packed to the brim with customers curiously enquiring about the meaning of her designs and searching for that one special piece that speaks to them.
Violet gray
Years in operation?
Violet gray has been in operation since August 2012, so she is almost one!
How did Violet gray begin?
Violet gray began many years ago, under a different, small label called “Lilly White” (my great Grandmother's name).  I went travelling (again) in April 2010 and put Lilly White on hold but vowed that I would get back to creating jewels.  And I did, in May 2011. My first VG piece was a Blessing-way strand for my older sister, but you can learn all about VG on this little video that we shot in December here:

What's your creative background?
I have a Bachelor of Journalism and come from a television media background.  But I guess what I feel has shaped me the most creatively, is my family. There is a long lineage of artists, including my dad and sister. Self-expression through art has always been strongly encouraged throughout my life and using my hands, whether it was making felt cards or painting as a little girl, to creating jewellery, has always been something I just do.

Where is Violet gray designed and made?
violet gray is designed here in Australia, and made right here on the Gold Coast.

Violet gray

What inspires you?
Authenticity inspires me to no end.  Others that follow their bliss and take a giant leap to fill their life with the things that they love.  Simple things inspire me, a new crystal, an early morning yoga class or fresh flowers.  I try to gain inspiration for what I do from inside, rather than searching externally.

Latest collection (or most recent pieces) consists of…
My current collection is filled with an eclectic mix of crystals and sterling silver.  Each piece is designed around an intention, and therefore intended to act as a reminder for the wearer.  I mostly create bracelets, malas and simple rings right now.

Favourite piece and why?
My favourite piece is my wanderlust mala.  The definition of this word resonates with me strongly as I am a bit of a gypsy. The desire to travel never leaves, so I feel like when I wear this Mala, it really represents a strong part of who I am.  The bold 14 stones are aligned with the chakras, then I have incorporated Aventurine for creativity, courage and abundance. Finally with Rose Quartz, which would have to be my favourite stone. The ultimate love-hug from the universe – everybody needs to wear a Rose Quartz!

What's on your mood board? 
Pencil drawings, travel destinations, boho goodness and affirmations.

Violet gray

What's your creative space like?
My space is changing as I answer these questions. We are just above to move into a new home, so I am really excited to decorate my dedicated jewellery room. It will be really well organized, with lots of shelves and draws, my grandmother’s paintings, crystals, positive affirmations and I always have a scented candle burning.

What do you listen to whilst designing/making?
I often listen to audio books, otherwise really chilled music.  The favourites at the moment is a mixed play list on Spotify – Vance Joy, The Tallest Man on Earth, Daughter, Laura Marling, James Vincent McMorrow, Youth Lagoon, Ben Harper or Yoga tracks.

Violet gray

Favourite blogs?
I don’t read too many blogs, otherwise I become completely consumed and the days slip away from me far too quickly.  If you do catch me, it will normally be wellness related.

A day in the life of Alex usually consists of…
Exercise in the form of yoga or running, morning coffee, email correspondence, creating online orders/market stock and researching for the line I am working on.  Now that I am full time VG, who knows what else I can fit in – perhaps I will finally get my website up! That is the aim over the next few weeks.

Alex and Violet


Alex and Violet gray's namesake - Violet

Favourite TVM stalls (besides VG of course!).
I generally don’t get the chance to leave my stall on Market days, so there are still so many amazingly talented people to meet and local brands to support.  I do love the Japanese vintage dresses from Penni Lane Vintage and I am blessed to have awesome neighbours each week – Saintees and Kivari.

Connect with Violet gray on Facebook