Self-taught jewelry maker, Jamie Carlson, creates recycled leather jewelry featuring vivid color combinations and striking geometric shapes. The mastermind behind SCANDINAZN, she promotes creative self-expression and sustainability through her ethically-made jewelry. Originally from Kelowna and now based in Vancouver, Canada, her brand’s name is a portmanteau – coined from a combination of the words “Scandinavian” and “Asian”.
Describing her aesthetic as “fun, quirky, bold, and pattern-driven”, Carlson designs her products in multiple color options—the brighter the better! “I want my pieces to be eye-catching,” she explained in an interview with the Etsy blog. “I’m also part Scandinavian and part Japanese, so a lot of my design influence comes from those two cultures. The name of my shop is a mashup of my heritage.”
While the shapes and pops of color are borrowed from Scandinavian design, the subtle handmade intricacies of her designs echo Japanese art. All of Carlson’s pieces are crafted by her, by hand, in her studio. “My background is in apparel design, but I started experimenting with jewelry during a project at school where I worked with repurposed materials,” she explains. “I discovered that by cutting leather, I could make some really nice fringe, and from there I moved on to making earrings. My jewelry-making process is self-taught, but it’s guided by what I was taught about design and construction.”
Sustainability plays a big role in Carlson’s philosophy. Using recycled garments and scraps as the main component of her products she hopes to minimize our carbon footprint as much as possible. ” There’s so much textile waste in the world, so I want to make the most of materials that are already out there,” she says. “When people hear that my pieces are made from repurposed leather, they want to know more about the process and it changes people’s perception of what sustainable fashion can look like.”
Take a look at some of her finished products in the gallery below: