Designer Spotlight: Love Me Knots
Love Me Knots is that mega-beach jewelry collection — a brand that truly puts its money where its mouth is, given a business philosophy that prioritizes support of our furriest friends.
Here’s our chat with designer and co-owner Jaclyn Park.
How did the company begin?
Love Me Knots was founded over scones and high tea. Sophia [Vuong] and I used to work as servers in a high end hotel. We became very close friends over hours of serving tea by day and cocktails at night in a jazz lounge that overlooked the ocean. We met a lot of different people from around the world, many of them business owners. Working there allowed us to dream big. Sophia and I worked seamlessly together. We would be so busy running around, but didn't have to explain every little thing we needed from one another. We were so much in sync. Life is short — you need to take risks and fight for your future and create your own happiness. We enjoy each other's company and have fun together.
When designing, where do you find inspiration and what girl do you design for?
Hawaii is beautiful. The people, the mix of cultures, the landscape — it's a melting pot of ideas. Our ideal Love Me Knots girl is someone who is intelligent, stylish, and knows how to enjoy life. Someone who works hard and knows how to have fun. A girl who inspires those around her.
Can you tell us a bit about the making of the pieces?
All of our pieces are handmade and assembled in Honolulu. We pride ourselves on this. Sophia and I both choose materials, collaborate on the direction of the collections, share mood boards. I draw designs out, and she makes them. We are constantly in contact. Ideas pop up at all hours of the day and night. We test out all of our designs, make changes, and don't always agree on all designs — but we always include something that we both like. We also source within the U.S. Quality is extremely important to us. We would never sell an item we would not wear ourselves.
What's your favorite piece and why is it so special?
Anything from our Shipwreck collection. We wear the Shipwreck Necklace or Shipwreck Drop. It's timeless, classic and feminine. You can dress it up or down. It's our most versatile style and adds elegance to any outfit.
I love all the names of your products which relate to the ocean. Where did this appreciation for the beach lifestyle come?
We were both born and raised in Hawaii. The ocean is a lifestyle here. It surrounds us, inspires us, gives so much to us. It doesn't matter to what degree of time you spend at the beach or in the water — living in Hawaii for whatever amount of time will change your life. It's a magical place. We design jewelry that is not necessarily the typical beachy, shell-inspired designs. Those are beautiful, but we wanted to do something different, a little more versatile and sleek, with touches of the natural beauty of our home.
I read that you give back 20 percent of sales to animal shelter, food and care. Have you had a one-on-one or touching experience with these animals in need? How involved are you?
Volunteering at ASPCA and The Hawaiian Humane is a part of the reason why we feel so strongly about donating to animals. We love our own animals and can't imagine what it's like for those animals who don't ever get to experience a good home or have been abused. We try to do what we can. Last year we did a quarterly campaign for Oahu's only horse rescue, Equine 808. We were touched by the stories told to us by one of their most avid volunteers, Liane. Rehabbing animals back to health or finding them a good home directly relies on donations and volunteers. You can see when you volunteer on the ground level how you truly are making a difference and the importance of funding.
Why is it important for Love Me Knots to give back to animals?
Besides business and fashion, we love our pets. We love animals even more than people at times. The passing of Sophia's dog inspired us to give back in his honor to animals in need. Animals bring humans so much joy without expecting anything in return.
What inspired Love Me Knots to use sustainable materials for packaging?
We wanted our product to reflect "the perfect blend of fashion and ecology". Ecology is the study of the relationships between organisms to the world around them and each other. We want to always keep the individual, animals, and the environment in mind. Sustainable materials for packaging just made sense. Designing products that show we've thought about the bigger picture. Our items represent more than just an accessory. They stand for thoughtful connections … something greater than just yourself.