An Interview With Joy O-Ethereal Jewelry Goddess

Dear Fashionistas,

Fashionista San Francisco couldn’t be more excited that our first Designer Interview is with Jewelry designer to the stars Joy Opfer! Her delicate pieces for Kyler by Joy O are favorites of Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, Eva Longoria, Anne Hathaway and many more. She creates all of her stylish handmade designs in her San Francisco studio which means we’re lucky enough to be able to scoop them up at many of our fave local boutiques including Candystore Collective, Lavish, Magpie and Rye, Minimal, and Rare Device as well as on her site Kyler Designs. Her focus is making gorgeous jewelry that doesn’t sacrifice style for social responsibility. All of her materials are sourced from US suppliers that share her passion for ethical labor practices so not only will you look great wearing them you can feel great doing it. Bonus…they are all non-allergenic! We especially love her use of mixing metals and that her pieces are feminine and delicate yet statement pieces at the same time. Our wish list: moth collar necklace in gold and of course the hammered cuffs.

Joy took some time out of her busy schedule to sit down and chat with Fashionista San Fran … check it out below (btw how gorgeous is Joy with her hot pink/red dip dyed hair?!) LOVE!


Hi Joy!

You have an impressive celeb following…Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria and Anne Hathaway to name a few! Can you tell us about the first time you saw one of your pieces in the press and what went through your head? That has to be an amazing feeling…

The first time I ever saw a celebrity wearing one of my pieces was a crazy feeling. It was Anne Hathaway, and she was wearing my work at a fashion show. The press took tons of pictures of her at that event, and I even saw some of them in a Japanese magazine! It was very surreal. Before it happened I thought it would not be a big deal. Until you see your work on someone famous or on TV you really can’t know. When I saw the pictures, I thought – I made those, I touched them, and packed them and sent them off – and she chose them, and now wearing something I actually made! It is different… but I still get a huge thrill when I see perfect strangers wearing my pieces too! I have to hold myself back from tapping them on the shoulder as they ride the train home, or enjoy their drink or nibble their dinner, to say “I made your earrings.” Usually the knowledge that there is zero sensible follow up conversation, keeps me in line.

All of your materials are sourced from US suppliers that share your vision for sustainable practices. Can you tell us about where your passion for creating an eco friendly jewelry line comes from? 

It’s really very simple. I am doing what fits my ethics. The knowledge is out there, it’s easy to find out that mining and labor practices in other countries are detestable at best, and lethal at worst. I am creating jobs and sharing value in our local and national economy. I believe at my core that we are here to lift each other up, not to crawl over our competitors in a race to the bottom to see who can make the cheapest disposable garbage, to satisfy a beast of consumption that never truly fulfills.

Take us through your process. What are your steps starting from your concept to getting one of our fashionistas to rock one of your creations?

I start with inspiration, which could come from anywhere. An insect wing, a wedding invitation, a flea market table of doilies, petroglyphs, UFO shows on cable, songs on the radio… usually a theme or meme starts to come together in my mind, and I research online and in museums for art and images that portray the theme. The historical roots are also important and a story evolves. I go through a few rounds of design, prototyping, and production. The designs are photographed, priced, described and I launch the collection to press, wholesale buyers, and my loyal customers. The pieces are finally all added to the website for your shopping pleasure!

We love knowing what the insiders are doing… what is the one piece of jewelry that you can’t leave the house without?

I never go out with out my hammered cuff bracelets, and almost always rock a convertible chain as well. They are both perfect for layering in with other pieces to dress them up or down.

Your pieces are sold in several SF boutiques. Can you give our readers Joy O’s favorite places to shop in San Francisco?

I love to shop at Candystore Collective on 16th street. They carry a large and well-curated selection of independent jewelry and fashion designers, as well as some European lines. There is also a focus on eco-friendly options.

When I’m in the FiDi, I love to stop in to Saffron Rare Threads in the Embarcadero Center. Priya and I used to own a shop together, so I have first hand knowledge of her rockin’ styling ability, and the stock is super cute and well-priced.

For all your bare walls, head out to 3 Fish Studios in the Outer Sunset. Eric and Annie have an amazing collection of prints and paintings at all price levels, plus they give classes, too!

One last shout out to Jonathan at Heliotrope on Church for the best-smelling selection of organic and natural skin, hair, and body products.

Inside scoop time….What’s inspiring you now and what can we be excited to see next?!

The next collection has a very mystically symbolic and spiritual take… illuminati, masons, alchemy, divination and the Egyptian mysteries figure heavily. You’ll have to wait til spring to see it!


Well I think I speak for all of us fashionistas when I say we really can’t wait!

xoxo Kris

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POSTED ON : by sanfran2012 Posted in FSF Home, San Francisco Designers, SF Designers, Shopping

4 Responses to An Interview With Joy O-Ethereal Jewelry Goddess

  1. Nicki

    I love the multi-metal concepts because I don’t have to worry if I am matching or not. It all works and love the hammered cuff bracelets. Need one…or two!

  2. Lisa

    Great interview! I love that ” beast of consumption ” line. I might have to borrow that one for a song some day. Don’t worry, I will give credit where its due! Joy’s jewelry looks so cute and I love that it is eco friendly. Cant wait see some of her stuff in real life:)

  3. Lauren

    I love her necklaces and use of different metals. I’m excited to check out more of her designes!

  4. Pingback: Our First Giveaway-A Fabulous Necklace From Our Kyler by Joy O Interview! | Fashionista San Francisco Fashion Blog

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