Friday, May 3, 2013

KAREN BUDER | SUGARLIME

14K Gold Plated Violet Earrings
Canada’s Pacific Rim National Park Reserve consists of three regions with Long Beach being the most visited.

The sumptuous Long Beach area is peppered with over ninety campsites for eager campers.  Canada is also home to featured jewelry designer Karen Buder.

The sleek, doily-like 14-karat gold plated pendant designs of Buder’s ten-year-old fashion jewelry brand, Sugarlime, are so crisp and breezy they seem as though they could float on air!

The glossy surface details of filigree prints (that appear to be laser cut) and textured metals culminate into a visually arresting aesthetic that is sophisticated and modern.

In addition to serving as designer for the brand, Buder also acts as Sugarlime’s publicist and marketing specialist.  However, despite being a jack-of-all-trades the former legal secretary initially did not believe she had the chops for jewelry design.

“I was addicted to fashion jewelry when I lived in Japan.  I had no idea I had a flair for jewelry design until my husband, Mike, and I founded Sugarlime in 2003.  My husband’s background in production and operations management helped to get the brand’s development underway.

He and I were inspired by our travels through Asia and we actually began formulating the brand’s concept while in Vietnam.  I started working with chains, crystals and semi-precious gemstones and developing designs came to me naturally,” she recalls.

In three years, Buder acquired more employees as well as office space in Vancouver.  She and her husband pulled out all the stops to expand the brand’s visibility through “free ʽwine and cheeseʼ jewelry shows” held at locations like the Vancouver Golf Club.  It proved to be a great concept.

14K Gold Plated Mia Cuff Bracelet
“We chose a really unconventional way to push our brand out there.  A lot of people could not understand why we would participate in such shows like tradeshows but I recognized that the women who attend these shows will shop!”

Sugarlime’s beautiful assortment of etched cuff bracelets—in sterling silver and 24-karat gold plating—and Moroccan-inspired earrings has reaped the following of the likes of Rebecca Romijn, Natalie Portman and Jennifer Aniston.  The brand also has the distinction of providing inventory for several notable award show gift bags including the Emmys, Geminis, and the 2011 Academy Awards

“It was a mad, crazy rush to prepare items for the Oscars,” says Buder.  “Being asked by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to submit our designs was truly a great honor.”

And despite rubbing shoulders with red carpet luminaries, Buder remains focused on her “everyday” clientele like moms and university students. 

“We offer a wide range of price points so that the line is affordable to everyone.  I think it is really important to point out that the line is versatile, eclectic and affordable.  I would describe the collections as classic with a definite trendy edge due to its unusual variations of chains, my signature asymmetrical necklaces, and the glitter of Swarovski Elements.”

14K Gold Plated Rosie Filigree Print Necklace
2013 Jewelry Trend Alert: Buder implements the fluid-like gleam of sterling silver (a top metal trend) and floral etchings in her breezy jewelry.

NOTE:  Since preparing this write-up a few months ago it appears that Ms. Buder is now in public relations and brand developmentThe official website for Sugarlime retains items from the collection but has been renamed IslaFound and is presently helmed by three Canadian women.  
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