Q + A: Christine Fail of Fail Jewelry November 04 2013

Every so often I get super lucky and come across a line that is truly a perfect fit for Red Sail, and that's exactly what happened when I discovered Fail jewelry while roaming the booths of Chicago's Renegade Craft Fair in September for 2012. I immediately fell in love with the line's simple mixed metal designs, and as soon as the first order arrived in the shop Red Sail customers fell in love too... the pieces are irresistible! Below, Austin-based designer Christine Fail gives us the scoop on her collection with some Q+A.


Bestseller - Crescent Hoops   |   Designer Christine Fail   |   personal fav - Deco Layering Necklace

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

So many places!  Usually it is from my friends and the women in my life.  I am so fortunate to know so many creative and expressive women. They are the types setting trends instead of following them and I am naturally influenced by our conversations, our interests in art, architecture, music, and of course their personal style.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Getting to design, make jewelry, and be creative all day (or at least most of the day)! And honestly, being the boss and getting my way is pretty nice too.

What’s your greatest challenge as a designer right now?

Finding the right people to help me grow my business. As someone who runs a small business, you really are the one who does everything from design to marketing to accounting.  However, to really grow I have to start being able to find people who can act on my behalf, whom I can trust, and who know exactly what I want without me even telling them.

What’s a little known fact about your collection that you wish more people realized?

As a result of my background in metal-smithing, a hammer touches all of my pieces.  Because each piece starts out as wire or sheet, and the form is created by cutting and hammering, each piece is truly unique. Because of my past studio limitations, I chose not to solder or use cast pieces in my designs and relied solely on what are called, cold-connection.  Having to rely on cold connections only has really pushed me forward in the design process.  I have to be more innovative and creative with my technique and style, so that I can set myself apart from other designers.  It has also helped keep a diversity in price-points within the collection so that I can keep my collection affordable and attainable. 

What's in the pipeline right now? Any sneak peeks or upcoming projects you want to share?

I have a few projects in the works!  In May I closed the doors on my small retail shop here in Austin so that I could exclusively focus on fail.  Now that I have moved into my new dedicated studio behind my house, I am finally getting more time to devote to design. I am excited to launch both a home accessories collection as well as a contemporary bridal collection within the next year!

What are you listening to in the studio while you’re working?

Old country and blues. I like songs with a little grit, a good story, and that you can sing along to.

What is the #1 piece of advice you’d share with an aspiring designer?

Build a community of artists, makers, and designers around you that you admire and respect. Having advice, support, guidance and inspiration is so important as a small business owner. As a group, you can all build each other up so that you can all grow together.

The work day is done! Where is your favorite place to unwind?

In the kitchen, cooking dinner with my husband, enjoying a glass of wine.

What’s your favorite piece at Red Sail right now? 

The Nell & Mary tote bag! I can speak from experience that it is the perfect bag for running around the city, holding my water bottle, sketch book, and various other essentials while still looking stylish! Mine is going on 1 year of continuous use and is still looks great! Bonus- its handmade in Portland!