Stacy King of Mill Valley
Photo by Barbara Ries
What started out as a hobby in her Sycamore Park home has turned into a booming design business for Mill Valley’s Stacy King. The former ceramicist’s jewelry line Lulu Designs, which has her childhood nickname as its moniker, can now be found in over 20 boutiques in California and in the Sundance Catalog. The self-taught jeweler—she even has her own line of metal castings—has recently begun working with other designers in Thailand, India and Afghanistan. The result has been what King calls “jewelry that is infused with the history of these craftspeople and their jewelry-making traditions.”
Describe your personal style. Simplicity. I choose clothing that is modern and classic. Most of my clothing serves as a blank canvas for my jewelry whether it’s my yoga clothes or something I might wear for going out.
What are you wearing? Margaret O’Leary silk tank with Current and Elliot Jeans. I live in my Swarovski crystal Havaiana sandals.
How did you become a jewelry designer? I studied art at San Francisco State University. I worked in clay for eight years and progressed naturally into jewelry. I started by making jewelry for myself and it grew slowly into a business. Now I sell jewelry all over the country. It is a blessing to do what I love and make it into a successful business.
Who are your fashion influences? Recently, I saw the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the de Young Museum. His work in fashion is awe-inspiring.
What’s your best advice for kids who want to become designers? Practice, practice, practice. Even the simple aspects of design and production can be challenging. I studied art history for five years and I think that it had a huge impact on my success as a designer. Expose yourself to art as much as you can; it’s the key to finding your own style and at the same time it provides endless inspiration.
What’s your fashion pet peeve? I think it’s a toss-up between socks with flip-flops and seeing a woman’s thong underwear three inches above her waistline.
What is your favorite stone to work with and why? I love labradorite. It reflects every color in the rainbow—depending on how the light is reflecting on it. I also have a passion for the tiny trade beads that come out of Afghanistan. These beads are so ancient and natural; their beauty is rare and unique.
Who would you love to see your jewelry on? Michelle Obama—I think she has great style!
Where do you love to shop in Marin? Marin has some of the best shopping in the Bay Area. I go to Margaret O’Leary for my one-stop shopping and when I need a special gift for someone, I can find it at Columbine in Corte Madera.
Where do you go to pamper yourself? The Nob Hill Spa at the Huntington Hotel—I feel like I’m in a different world when I’m there. The setting is dreamy.
What was the last book you read? Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts; I hope to finish it before the movie comes out. Roberts captures India beautifully.
How would your friends describe you? Passionate, creative, down to earth and a little nutty.