STEPHEN: How did you come up with the idea of ring-holders?
Paige Smith: I had taken a sabbatical from my full-time “real” job with an intention just to play. I got onto the idea of making jewellery holders. I started with bigger ones shaped like figures, then I simplified them to the base and saucer.
S: What role does style play in your life?
PS: Style to me is beauty. I just want to be surrounded by beautiful things. I want to be in love with the things in my life, like a person in love with a necklace they wear. It makes them feel good — and that to me, is style.
S: What is your personal style?
PS: Eclectic. Only because I’m a designer — and I love too much. I can love everything from classical to hip and modern. I don’t define myself by one style and I don’t think I ever could.
One constant for me is… vintage. Growing up, my parents were collectors in their own way —nothing was ever new, everything was old and I hated it (laughs). But now, that’s my roots, where I come from and that’s where I feel most at home. I live in a modern condo, but I have random collections of journals, writings, letters, antique buttons, etc. I’m all about mixing the old with the new.
S: Do you think style is important to arts and culture in Calgary? How do you find your style plays into your experience of arts and culture?
PS: I find that sometimes, in your own city, you can get stuck in your own little bubble and then when you go somewhere new, you’re so excited — everything is so cool and new!
But we forget that there are so many cool things going on right here in our city. It takes being open to things you might not normally be open to. It gives you more — being open to the power of “yes”. It’s so important. Say yes to it all.
S: Do you have a style icon?
PS: I can’t narrow it down to just one…though a while ago there was an Oprah show on “women who make beautiful things,” and I thought — I want to be a woman who makes beautiful things! I started collecting papers and photos of beautiful things in binders, so it’s impossible to narrow it down to just one person, or one medium.
It’s all about the creative process for me. [It’s about] how that person infuses the creative process into their life. It’s not a separate thing for me. There’s a real art to that.
My style inspiration is beauty but I also find beauty in things that people would probably not find beautiful. I went to art school and went through dark and angst-filled days, so maybe that’s where that comes from. (laughs)