Designer spotlight: Chelsea Kolakowski
by Lisa A. Fraser
Apr 20, 2011 | 5152 views | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Chelsea Kolakowski loves to surround herself with pretty things. She spends her lunch hour strolling through bead stores in the Garment District hoping to come across some funky piece of unique jewelry or to stumble upon a chain that she could make use of.

But she isn’t shopping to wear what she buys. She’s shopping to feed her creativity and to incorporate those finds into her own creations.

The Astoria-based jewelry designer is always on the lookout for any and every distinct gemstone or creation that will in turn help her to churn out hand-made belly chains, necklaces, rings and bracelets to sell on her newly opened store on Etsy.com, called CBDesignsNYC.

Hot pink, yellow and turquoise blue skull bracelets and necklaces, body chains, chains, unique gems – they are all up for grabs by the Pittsburgh-born designer who studied music business at Berkelee College of Music.

“Ever since I was a kid, I was always making things and crafting things,” she said.

Never having studied design, she decided to go for it and make a collection based on what she was creating and wearing.

“People started commenting and asking about what I was wearing and it gave me the inspiration to make more of it in case people were interested in having it for themselves,” she said.

Since then she’s been building the collection so that she could launch a substantial amount of product. She opened up the CBDesignsNYC store on Etsy.com in March and already the response has been positive.

When not designing, Kolakowski spends her days working for a music merchandising company – for her it’s a bridge between music and fashion. “It’s the best of both worlds for me,” she said.

The balance between her love for music and crafts help influence her design style. Her designs are made to find a balance between the colorful and creative, and she enjoys combining the unexpected. “I really like to combine hard and soft and edgy with pretty,” she

said. “I think that appeals to a wide variety of people because they can take whatever they want from that piece.”

She plans to take her creations to local flea markets in Brooklyn and Queens soon. “Once I’m able to keep adding to my collection, I’d like to get into local boutiques and shops,” she said.

To see Chelsea’s creations visit www.etsy.com/cbdesignsnyc.
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