Monday, March 2

BEHIND THE BRAND: Camille Carnevale Fine Jewelry + A Giveaway! - CLOSED

We're so very pleased to introduce you to the next maker in our BEHIND THE BRAND series. Meet the darling Camille of Camille Carnevale Fine Jewelry. Based in New York, Camille creates delicate and simple pieces for ladies who are light of heart and heavy in to a dreamy aesthetic. We met Camille over the invisible airwaves of the internet but she exudes the kind of warmness and laid back familiarity that make one feel like she's been your friend forever. We're dying to visit her gorgeous live/work space in Albany and are super excited she's sharing a glimpse of her studio life with us today!

Camille is such a rad lady, that she is gifting a piece from her new Spring collection to one very lucky Foxtail + Moss reader. Check out our interview with her below and enter the giveaway!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand.
I am a jewelry designer, born and raised in Albany, NY. My brand is called Camille Carnevale Fine Jewelry. A lot of people ask me if that’s my real name, which it is! The family story is that my distant grandfather was left on the steps of a Cathedral as an orphan during the Carnevale in Italy which is a celebration of lent similar to Mardi Gras. The leaders at the church named him appropriately after the annual festival. I definitely embrace the mystery of that story in the way I display my designs and market my brand. To achieve the ultimate mystique, and to fulfill the definition of my name, I intentionally direct my jewelry towards women with festive and adventurous spirits.

How did you become a jewelry maker?
At the beginning of my senior year of high school I sat down with my guidance counselor to write my school schedule and she suggested that I take a jewelry class first period which I had absolutely no interest in at the time. I was always looking for a way to skip school in the morning and I thought this would be a really good place for me to sleep first period away but when I showed up to my first class they put a torch in my hand and began teaching me how to use a lapidary wheel. I picked up enameling and basic metal smithing techniques very quickly and pretty soon I realized it was meant to be.

After high school I went to a local community college but when I was rejected from the institutions art education department. Devastated, I decided I wanted to do things my own way. I dropped out in the middle of my first semester to open my business and moved to New York City to pursue my long-term dream of becoming a fashion designer which turned into a specific focus on jewelry. I went on to graduate from the leading trade school in the industry with a degree in Gemology and Jewelry Design. I also studied manufacturing and diamond setting while working for a designer in the city. From there I trained with a master jeweler who helped me become very confident with my craftsmanship. Today I live in Albany where I run my business full time and I love every minute of it.


What does your creative process look like?
Although I have a degree in jewelry design, I rarely sketch. I find the creative process much more fulfilling when I simply sit down and make it happen.

I use a lot of my tools as inspiration. Whatever tool I have laying around I use for certain techniques. On some days I like to try out different techniques to see what happens and I usually end up designing based on the outcome. One of my most popular designs is the crescent moon necklace which I created by using different sized circular steel punches and dies. I have a lot of intrinsic motivation when it comes to creating art so, the drive I have when making one of the first models for a collection is unstoppable. I don’t stop until I’m satisfied. My friends make fun of me because I’ll send them pictures of myself working at 5 am.


What does a typical day look like for you?
I love to make breakfast. I have to eat breakfast every morning or I feel like a zombie. Naturally, green smoothies have been a great way for me to start my day. I’ve been keeping a ton of fruit and leafy greens in the fridge lately. It’s really helping me stay happy and energized throughout the day. I’m also pretty active. I have Pilates sessions every week which I could never live without. I also recently picked up figure skating which I absolutely LOVE. We have a public rink at the Empire State Plaza, here in Albany. It’s amazing, plus it’s free! Best winter activity, ever. I also love running. It’s definitely my go to exercise. I try to get outside everyday and enjoy the fresh air, even when it’s cold out.

Between designing and eating and running I try to make time to read the news. I believe that it’s important to have an educated opinion about important issues. I read the New York Times every morning and I try to listen to public radio, when I can.


What is inspiring you right now?
I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed with the internet lately. Pinterest and Instagram can eat you alive as an artist. I try to stick to old books and magazines for inspiration. My creations become a lot more original when I’m not scanning the internet constantly. I really like this illustrator named Julia Rothman. Her books are really cute and great for any coffee table.

My aunt and uncle have owned an estate sale company for the past 20 years so, I’ve collected a lot of old stuff since I was really young. They have acquainted me with a lot of amazing designers and artists over the years. I really love Aubrey Beardsley because his style was so shocking for the Victorian era and Fernando Botero for his political criticism through humor.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of jewelry making?
I love to cook. Both sides of my family come from the grocery business. My grandparents on my moms side owned a market, my grandparents on my dads side owned a different market and my parents owned a gourmet food store which I grew up exploring and learning about food service. We actually have a lot of friends who work at the Food Network so I am always being spoiled with unbelievable food. I try really hard to cook every meal at home. I could never live without a wooden spoon, a cast iron skillet and a really good bottle of olive oil.

I also recently got really into gardening! (I know it’s silly because it’s Winter) But I have a friend who has been showing me a lot about indoor plants. It inspired me so much that I tried to germinate some vegetable seedlings as an experiment and I’ve had 100% success! Right now I have little baby lettuce, beets. basil, parsley and tomatoes! I can’t wait for spring so I can put them in the ground.

Do you have any advice for artists and designers that are thinking of starting their own business?
Hard work pays off. I worked two other jobs while simultaneously running my business for almost 8 years before I could go out on my own. My boss, at a bar that I worked at, once taught me how important it is to work for your employer the way you would want an employee to work for you. It’s the best way to learn about how a business is run even if it’s not the field you want to end up in.

Social media is so important. It’s not who you know or what you know anymore, it’s how you treat other people in this vast world of internet acquaintances. Having proper web etiquette is so critical. Likes and tweets are the currency of the future. You can’t just sit on the sidelines and watch it all happen, you have to get out there, be kind, treat people the way you want to be treated, and ultimately you will rise organically.

Also, never give up on your dreams. If I gave up each time I thought about it I would never be where I am right now.

What do you have in store for Camille Carnevale Fine Jewelry in the coming months and years?
I’m launched my spring/summer collection right before Valentine’s Day and I’m super excited about it. The new collection is heavily inspired by plants and nature. I’m introducing my own version of a rose stem necklace and some staple pieces using rose cut Garnets. Another favorite for the spring collection is a very delicate chain ring that is available in gold and silver.

It’s been a wild ride so far. I’m really excited about the potential that my business holds and I look forward to unlocking future experiences. Being able to watch my small company mature into a quickly growing brand has been the most fulfilling experience of my life thus far.



Thanks so much for sharing with us, Camille!

Here's how to enter to win the Garden Rose Necklace:

Step One // Follow Camille Carnevale Fine Jewelry on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Step Two // Subscribe to the Camille Carneval Blog
Step Three // Check out the Spring/Summer line and leave a comment below telling us about your favorite piece or most loved gemstone.
Step Four // Cross your fingers!

Winner will be contacted on Monday, March 9th. Good luck!

14 comments:

  1. The Rose Cut Pyrite Solitaire Ring is definitely my fave! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Go Capricorns! Love the garnet pieces...garnet is my birthstone. The garden rose necklace in rose gold is def my fav!

    ReplyDelete
  3. the Garden Rose Necklace is gorgeous--such a lovely, innovative take on floral, instantly my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Juliet, you were randomly selected as a winner of the Garden Rose Necklace designed by Camille Carnevale! Please shoot us an email at foxtailandmoss@gmail.com so we can give you all the details. Congratulations!

      Delete
  4. It's so hard to pick!! My goodness... but the Garden Rose necklace total swoon worthy!

    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

    ReplyDelete
  5. My fav is the Rose Thorn Necklace. Simple yet elegant. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I find all of Camille's work to be so thoughtful and inspiring. My personal favorite piece from the spring/summer 2015 collection is the Rose Thorn Necklace. I appreciate the juxtaposition btwn edgy and ultra feminine. It has a mythical quality as if it should be worn as a talisman for a warrior princess.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just wow! The Garden Rose Necklace is so lovely! A perfect gift for my mother, a gardener whose middle name is Rose. I really enjoyed reading this post and have been wearing my gold crescent moon all over the place since it was gifted to me on valentines day at the airport on my way to California! Did a lot of hiking there with a real moon that looked just like it - so of course I showed everyone I met. Living in Albany too, I love supporting local artists proud to work here, and can't wait to see what else you do. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. No way could I choose just one favorite! The Short Barre Earring, The Rose Gold Midi Ring, The Garden Rose Necklace, all my favorites. Such beautiful work.

    ReplyDelete
  9. its all so beautiful, its hard to pick just one favorite! I would have to go with the Rose Thorn necklace, it would layer great with other necklaces or look fantastic on its own!

    ReplyDelete
  10. My favorite is the Rose Cut Garnet Solitaire Necklace.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is such an inspirational post! Thank you, Camille, for sharing your talent with us. My favorites are the Rose Cut Garnet Stud Earrings and Rose Quartz Bullet Cuff.

    Name/FB: Cindy Aiton
    Twitter: @normawatson
    Instagram: norma_watson
    Email: clogzilla(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. My favorite is the rose thorn necklace (http://camillecarnevale.com/collections/springsummer2015/products/rose-thorn-necklace)

    I follow you on all platforms (rachabake)

    ReplyDelete