Article By: Amanda Dobek
Photographs Courtesy of: Timmery Turner, EYE KNOW PHOTO, and Seth Dobie
Meeting Timmery Turner for the first time, she was dressed as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, boldly and beautifully singing in front of a small gathering at the Queen of Hearts Gala, an art show held by the local artists and community. Up close and personal, Timmery’s collection resembles something one would probably see in the toy box as an adolescent: toy cars, cassette tapes, star-shaped sun glasses, and Perler beads – those little beads you put onto a stencil and ironed into one solid shape – remember those? Oh, nostalgia. However, who would have thought that you could take such items and use them to create eclectic, unique, and totally one-of-a kind jewelry? Well, Timmery did.
A Germany-born baby, Timmery and her family moved to Massachusetts and then later settled in Tacoma, Washington. After realizing her passion for the fashion industry, she set out for Los Angeles at the tender age of eighteen and attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She first started experimenting with jewelry construction and designing in high school – a time when she was too nervous and shy to sell her own jewelry. However, despite her anxiety, she continued grinding away at the creative wheel. After sharing her creations, Timmery’s friends saw her talent and began to assist in her venture by acting as her sales reps.
The idea for Timmery’s collection was birthed out of adverse circumstances. With a friend’s birthday approaching and the sudden realization that she didn’t have the funds to purchase a gift, Timmery was forced to get creative, finding herself in a situation all of us have encountered at one point or another. As a result, Timmery constructed one of her signature pieces, a set of decoupage guitar pick earrings that were an instant success. Not only did her friend absolutely adore them, but Timmery also received a vast amount of compliments on the hand-made pieces. This companion mentioned the idea of Timmery starting her own line of jewelry as a means of getting into the fashion industry, and from that, the 1981 Collection was born.
The title for Timmery’s collection arose from a number of different elements. For one, 1981 is her birth year. Secondly, she felt that the title represented who she is as a person. Ah…the 80s. A time period where VHS tapes, Atari, Nintendo, neon colors, and huge hair reigned – a time period which Timmery draws inspiration from in addition to her childhood. She considers herself a big kid, boldly expressing, “I don’t want to grow up!” Even now, she still admits to enjoying kids’ meals and skateboarding.
Timmery, much like many others in this day and age, has been affected by the downturn in the economy. Her jewelry, which once served as a supplement to her income, has now transpired into her fundamental revenue resource. Despite this minor setback, Timmery’s attitude towards life and her ambition for her collection have not at all been diminished. In fact, she feels these obstacles keep her driven and focused on her goals. She now draws from that energy in order to create, not only because she needs to for survival, but because she refuses to let go of her business, her collection, and essentially her dream. While Timmery wants the 1981 Collection to thrive, she does not, by any means, want to sit at home and make jewelry all day. At one point, she was replicating pieces for her collection daily – an activity she did not want to make into a ritual.
She has her sights set on expanding her business which include opening a factory of sorts where she can produce her jewelry line for a high-volume capacity, allowing her to effectively appeal to the masses. She draws inspiration for this idea from another fashionista named Tarina Tarantino, a designer who has set up shop in downtown Los Angeles as well as in Milan and New York. Tarantino creates the first piece, has a team replicate the originals, and then sells the merchandise to the public.
Now, what does a designer do all day if she isn’t sitting around creating and experimenting? Timmery also enjoys singing and writing her own lyrics. She attended the Los Angeles Recording School where she studied audio and engineering. She takes time to write as an alternative to her collection.
Timmery considers her jewelry more of a work of art than an accessory. In addition, the jewelry is handmade, so customers understand that a lot of time, effort, and love went into each piece. Even though her designs are mimicked by others, she feels the other designers help to inspire, recreate, and draw inspiration from each other. She also feels that what she creates, in essence, is of her and her creativity, and no one can completely mimic or copy that in any way, shape, or form.
So what is in the pipeline for the 1981 Collection and Timmery? She’s been keeping busy with numerous shows, most of which are art shows featuring local talent such as The Queen of Hearts Gala and Sugar. If you want to catch Timmery and take a gander at her collection, you can usually find her down at The Melrose on Sundays. She’s also attempting to showcase her collection at Marina Nights in Marina del Ray. If daytime shopping isn’t your thing, swing by Dragonfly on Monday nights. This night club-meets-art scene is something new and refreshing to both realms – imagine DJs, music, tattoo artists, and art. That alone sounds like a wonderful fusion of two worlds!
It would be inaccurate to say that the birth of the 1981 Collection and Timmery’s journey towards her ultimate goal have been nothing less than inspiring. Surely a talented designer would have a few words to say to her friends, fans and the public, right? Timmery concludes, “Have fun in life, don’t take yourself so seriously, and don’t be afraid to stand out and make a bold statement.” Amen, sister.
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