Maker interview - Kirsten Devitt

Kirsten’s colourful home-based studio in Northern New South Wales is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The diversity of imagery displayed on her Instagram reflects her reality; the sparkle and glamour of her jewellery label Each to Own, the serene country backdrop on which they are created and the adventures her young family. It’s a contrast that has drawn a crowd, with over 13 thousand Instagram followers and a successful online business, which has grown to become Kirsten’s full-time occupation.

The first pair of Each to Own earrings I ever owned were a pair of round glitter drops, given to me by my sister as a birthday present. I loved them and was instantly hooked. The fun, friendly and sparkly pieces were addictive to wear, and exciting to gift as they felt like the lavish treat my friends deserved. It seemed necessary to stock them at The Boroughs and continue to share their generosity.

We wanted to know more about Kirsten, and her creative processes, so I asked her to chat to us about her world and her business, Each to Own

The Boroughs:  What were the origins of Each to Own?

Kirsten Devitt: I started making and crafting in 2009 and, being a new mum, working from home suited and the company grew from there... with a few late nights and little hands helping in the workshop!  I had previously owned shoe shops with my family and had been in retail for many years but I had a little time spare at home so I opened an Etsy shop.  I was making mostly assembled wooden and glass pieces and then started having my own designs laser cut in the US.  It was the beginning of laser cutting back then in Australia and there weren’t many places to get original designs cut.  I bit the bullet and decided to get my own laser cutter and it was then that ETO really became my own.  

TB: What is the relationship between the landscape you live in and the work you create?  We understand your studio runs in an environmentally conscious manner. Could you tell us more about it?

 KD: The main, and really quite fundamental, relationship that I have with the landscape I live in is that I run a totally off-the- grid studio.  We moved from inner city Brisbane to rural Northern NSW last year - it was a very big learning curve but I love it.  All of our power for the studio and our home is reliant on solar so sunny days are really appreciated!  Beyond that I love to use organic shapes in my work and am very inspired by the wide open spaces and cool little details in nature around me.  I am a colour lover and having lots of great art and super bright materials around me every day really inspires me too.

 TB: Our customers are always interested in stories of creativity and how their beautiful gifts and treasures are made. Without giving away your secrets, of course, could you tell us how a pair of Each to Own earrings is crafted?

 KD: Once I have an idea for a piece, I sketch it out and then usually let it sit for a few weeks.  I will often have little ideas and send myself little doodles on my phone too.  I wish I was very organised and had a sketchbook but I don’ think I ever will so it’s scraps of paper in a folder in the workshop for me!  There is a bit of serendipity to what ideas resurface in a cleanup, too, which is fun! I sketch out something that I am happy with I transfer my sketches to the computer and turn them into compatible files for the laser cutter.  Then comes the fun part.  I cut prototypes and play around with colour until I am happy with what I have.  This also sometimes means that pieces will sit in the studio for a few weeks and I will come back to them and tweak things.  When I am happy I go into production on the pieces.  It takes time because I am a one-woman- band but my husband Richard is coming on board more this year, which is great.  It is lovely to have a job that allows you to be involved in every step from the inception of an idea, right through to hand-making, packaging, marketing, and dispatching - from go to whoa.  Not many people have that privilege and I am very grateful for that.

TB: Your pieces are big, bright and very glamorous. Is this an expression of your personal style?

KD: God no! I am very much a dag I think! I do love fashion and I love taking in all of the colour and brightness and sparkle of the materials I work with so maybe, just maybe, ETO is the inner me screaming to get out.

TB: I feel very confident when I’m wearing my Each to Own earrings. What do you think the power of accessorising boldly is?

KD: I love the way that you wear yours!  I think that there is a really great culture at the moment of big statement pieces that allow us all to say “Hey!  This is me and this is what I love!” without saying a word at all. I love the power that a big piece can give the wearer - the confidence that comes with it is quite liberating.  

TB:  Do you have a favourite piece in your collection? What does it mean to you?

KD: Of ETO, I have always loved our Full Moon Drops - they are simple but BIG.  They give the right amount of understated punch!

Kirsten’s pieces are available to purchase in store now at The Boroughs Store.


Hester MacKinnon