I was surprised on Valentine’s Day when my boyfriend gave me a diamond solitaire ring. We had actually agreed beforehand that I should have one and that I ought to pick it out first before he bought it. Later, I heard that SL and RL jeweler and winner for the best in jewelry category in the Ewing Fashion Agency Design Awards show in January, Hibiscus Flossberg, does custom jewelry work, so I decided to go to her and have her make my ring. I am so glad I did, just look at it! It is more beautiful than I had imagined!
After some days, I helped inspire Hibiscus by showing her more pictures of other diamond rings that she could look at to create more items for her store, and now there is a new solitaire line of rings in her store named after me! I feel so special! I decided to give Hibiscus an interview to learn more about her.
Zuri Kattun: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, Hibiscus. Let me start off by asking just how long have you been around in SL?
Hibiscus Flossberg: I was ‘born’ in SL in November 2006
Zuri Kattun: When did you start making jewelry in SL, and how long have you been making jewelry for?
Hibiscus Flossberg: I have been making various types of jewelry in RL for 20 years, concentrating mostly on silver chain work, but also doing beaded pieces. I started making jewelry in SL about a month after I started – thanks to a few classes at ASL and then working with a private tutor.
Zuri Kattun: Nice! What made you want to take up jewelry in RL?
Hibiscus Flossberg: I’ve always been someone who likes doing things with their hands and have tried all sorts of different crafts. I spotted a bead shop one day, went in, made some earrings and a bracelet and then was hooked. Not long afterwards I went on an intense weekend sterling silver jewelry making weekend and then I was REALLY hooked. I moved to the UK in 1996 and took 3 years of evening classes to improve my skills. I am about to start re-creating some of RL pieces in-world.
Zuri Kattun: Very cool! So, where do you get your inspirations to make jewelry in SL from? Does it come mostly from your RL jewelry work or are there other things that inspire you?
Hibiscus Flossberg: At first I was just trying to see if I could make what others were making in here, as I needed to learn the skills for building in 3D. Now, I spend time on the internet, looking at magazines and, really, have only just recently gone back to looking at my RL work for inspiration. Additionally, I have been given challenges by different people – including yourself. It would be great if more people gave me pictures to work with – as long as they aren’t looking to have the piece made yesterday. Some challenges will require me to spend time torturing prims quite a bit to get the right look and also looking for new textures, making my own or having some custom made.
Zuri Kattun: What is your favorite type of jewelry that you like to create?
Hibiscus Flossberg: Chains are what I do most in RL and that seems to be about the same in SL, as well. Although, I like doing full sets in here, really.
Zuri Kattun: What was the strangest piece of jewelry that you have ever created?
Hibiscus Flossberg: In RL, one of the funniest things was a glow in the dark turtle made in FIMO. And in SL – someone gave me a really good challenge for their rez day, which resulted in The Junkyard Set. It was a cute and funny beer can bracelet, an old, beat-up license plate necklace and a rusty bucket hat with a crushed beer can gem in the front. More funny than strange, but definitely different.
Zuri Kattun: Taking us back to the EFA Design Awards in January, how did it feel like when your name was announced and that you won the best in jewelry award?
Hibiscus Flossberg: Stunned. But in RL I was freaking out a bit. Kind of like I had won the lottery. I’m not the type to win prizes, really, so I was prepared for not winning. But I did think that set was one of my best ones. And I had already won – thanks to the people that bought my items.
Zuri Kattun: What did it mean for you when you won in the best in jewelry category?
Hibiscus Flossberg: I was very honoured, but also felt that I had learned something about marketing and promotion through the event. I don’t think I was all that great at that before the EFADA
Zuri Kattun: What have you done with the award you were given since then?
Hibiscus Flossberg: The award itself has a place of pride in the middle of my store. The money I used for acquiring more textures in-world, plus uploading more of my own and spent a bit more advertising. Oh, and one or two treats for myself. There are a couple more elements to the prize that I am still looking forward to using. Just not sure how they will come together yet – the fashion show part of the prize, I mean. I have also been using the award texture on some of my recent released ads.
Zuri Kattun: One last question. What are your goals for the future when it comes to your jewelry making and your shop?
Hibiscus Flossberg: I have a whole stack of ideas to tackle. In addition to doing more affordable and fun pieces, I am also slowly creating a line of Haute Joaillerie sets and pieces. A quote I saw recently said ‘Haute Joaillerie is to jewelry what Haute Couture is to off-the-peg fashions.’ I like the idea of trying to lift my game a bit more in that area. As for the store, I have a lot of space still to be filled. That will be my target for the coming year.
Zuri Kattun: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I wish you the best of success to your store and I am looking forward to seeing more of your work.
Be sure to come out and visit Hibiscus Flossberg’s store, The Hidden Jewel, and see the new solitaire ring line!