Video: How the home workshop became the most popular fashion jewelry brand in the US: Kirks Folly fabulous jewelry
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 13:10
Smiling moons, witches on a broomstick and mermaids swinging on branches … Kirks Folly jewelry is well known to vintage jewelry aficionados around the world. Their fabulous motives, complex colors and many unexpected details leave no one indifferent. And while brands that do not agree to play by the rules often do not succeed, the Kirks Folly story shows that it is important to follow the call of the heart - and the rest will follow …
The story behind Kirks Folly is very simple - and this gives their fanciful jewelry even more charm. The company was born in 1979…. on the kitchen. Kirks' two sisters, Helen and Jennifer, were chatting at the kitchen table one day. Helen was twirling chopsticks in her hands and she came up with an unusual idea - another. Everyone around knew about Helen's love for bright and unusual gizmos, and in her collection one could always find bright beads, strange pendants, ribbons with an unusual pattern … And now, using simple materials at hand, Helen completely spontaneously collected a hair ornament from them - wrapped sticks with threads, stringing shells, small crystals, pendants and round beads on them. Jennifer was delighted and persuaded her sister to do something else. This is how the first Kirks products appeared - headbands, headbands, hairpins, hairpins, all kinds of clips, bows and ribbons. Feathers of various birds, artificial pearls, crystals, shells, fur, plastic pipes and wooden buttons were used for decoration.
The path of the newborn company to success took … three months. For three months, Jennifer Kirks besieged the largest stores in New York, interspersed calls with letters, until she got a response from one of them. Retailers who have responded to Jennifer's insistence on promoting the family business have paid off. In record time, the hairpins that the sisters made in their kitchens were completely sold out, and Kirks received new orders and offers. Other family members, George and Elizabeth, soon joined the family business. Jennifer's favorite phrase - “If you can dream it and believe it, you can do it” became the motto of the enterprise. Indeed, imagination and self-confidence have allowed the small family-owned company, which made infantile fantasy jewelry, to become one of the most popular fashion jewelry brands in the world. It is known that several fans of Kirks jewelry were so fascinated by their fantasy world that … they quit their job and came to work for the benefit of their favorite jewelry brand.
On April 19, 1980, the first major article about the company was published on the front page of The New York Times, around the same time Kirks Folly appeared on the pages of Vogue, but at the same time they remained what is called a "niche" brand. From hair ornaments, they moved on to more complex compositions filled with fairytale characters - pendants with mermaids, charms with unicorns, earrings with a pumpkin carriage from the tale of Cinderella … creations at QVC. QVC (short for Quality Value Convenience) is an American free-to-air television network and TV channel of the same name that specializes in round-the-clock television broadcasts of various items available for order, the so-called "shop on the couch."Before the era of online sales, this was a fairly popular form of advertising. Many find such programs annoying, but the audience of QVC at that time already totaled several million people from different countries - which means that those who present their products on this channel literally have world fame.
However, this time, the channel's management strongly doubted the success of the strange bizarre decorations that the eccentric Kirks family showed them. Adorable fairies, mother-of-pearl angels, grinning moons, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz … would a wide audience appreciate such sophisticated things that you can't wear with a business suit? Doubts were not justified. The Kirks Folly jewelry collection sold out in less than forty minutes. Calculations showed that purchases were made every second!
World renowned fantasy artist Josephine Wall has been sketching the jewelry for Kirks Folly for some time. It is not hard to see how fantastic motives and images “move” from her paintings into brooches or necklaces. Later, Kirks Folly expanded their production, opened factories in France and China, began to produce women's accessories, textiles, bags and … magic wands of the Fairy Cross. As Cinderella dreamed of getting to the ball, so the Kirks sisters dreamed of decorating the whole world with their masterpieces. Jennifer Kirks proclaimed herself the "fairy godmother" of the brand - the magic wands she invented, although they were not utilitarian, and could only be used for fun or for the sake of play, were among the most popular things from Kirks Folly.
Kirks Folly has always been pure jewelry and never used expensive materials, but they closely monitored the quality of alloys, gold plating, enamels and Aurora Borealis crystals. Kirks Folly, in the format in which they were known to their clients, ceased operations in 2014, after thirty-five years of stunning - literally fabulous! - success. This was largely due to the fact that the Kirks sisters were already tired of managing the brand - and at the same time, they were not ready to transfer it even to their immediate family. However, it was the closure of the enterprise that caused a sharp jump in prices for its products - and a new round of interest in it.
The Kirks sisters continue their creative path to the delight of loyal fans of fabulous brooches and pendants. Surprisingly, Kirks Folly jewelry, according to the brand's website, still continues to be shown and sold on the QVC channel - however, no longer as fun jewelry, but as collectible jewelry, the value of which is increasing every day.