Meet Jessica Fontes, founder of NODE jewelry. Using 3D printing techniques, NODE takes classic jewelry designs into the future. We sat down with the ambitious, innovative 22-year-old designer to learn about her design process and inspiration.
OuiPlease: How did you get your start designing jewelry?
Jessica Fontes: I’ve been passionate about making things with my hands and creating jewelry from a very young age, I remember the long hours spent on my bed playing with my pearls. Thanks to my brother who’s an engineer and has had experience with 3D printing, NODE was born. I’ve always been fascinated about 3D printing and was curious to see my jewelry 3D printed. The adventure really started in 2014. I designed a lot of jewelry for myself. I liked pairing them with my outfits and my moods, so I created a lot. People around me kept complimenting my creations and pushing me to make jewelry for them and other people. That’s how I started making a business of it.
OP: What are your favorite materials to use in your jewelry?
JF: I work with different materials, gold, premium silver, platinum but also steel and plastic. I prefer high quality materials like gold and silver, and I’m thinking of working with rose gold this summer.
OP: What is the inspiration behind your line?
JF: My inspirations are different every time. I get inspired by what I see in the everyday life, people, architecture, design. Most of the time I get creativity is sparked on a sudden impulse. I’m trying to launch two collections per year, so it’s crucial to stay inspired!
OP: What are you thinking of when designing?
JF: I’m mainly thinking of the woman who’s going to wear my jewelry. I love “mix and match.” For example, when I’m designing one ring, I’m also thinking of another ring I want to be worn with it. Combining jewelry drives my work, it becomes a game almost. So yes, I’m thinking of the quintessential woman who’s going to wear my jewelry, how she’s going to style it alone, grouped with other jewelry, or with different outfits.
OP: What is your design process?
JF: When I start designing, first I draw my model on a paper. When I’m happy with it, I start modeling it on 3D software on the computer and I adjust the shape, size and volume of the piece. Then I share my work with the 3D print company who creates it. I’m actually working with the company where my brother gained his 3D printing experience, which is based in New York. When they print my creations, they first make it in plastic, the molding version, then once it’s perfected, we go to the high quality version using gold, silver, etc.
OP: What kind of woman do you design for?
JF: I want to create accessible jewelry. I don’t want the price to be very expensive. I want any woman to be able to access my jewelry and see themselves living in it. I’m designing for the woman who is looking for an innovative concept, a new brand and who wants to wear jewelry that’s different from what we see regularly. Most importantly, I want her to play with her jewelry as much as I do.
OP: What do your creations say about French style?
JF: I don’t really want to include myself in the “French style,” I feel I’m almost out of the loop. I’ve lived in England where the style is totally different than the French one, and I guess style wise, I’m somewhere in between France and England! I want my customer to be carefree, but still know what she wants. Exactly how I am!
OP: How would you describe yourself?
JF: I’m a “bonne vivante,” I’m in love with life. I’m dynamic, easy going and I like being like this. I don’t like over-thinking situations, but my feet are still on the ground. I think it’s these qualities combined with my ambition that allowed me to create my own jewelry brand at 17-years-old.
OP: What do you like to do in your spare time?
JF: Honestly? All I want to do is to work on my creations! I’m so passionate that as soon as I get a chance to work on it I will always do. Now that I live in Paris, I also enjoy being in the city and getting inspired by it. Going out and hanging out with friends are also an important thing in my life.
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