Supporters of Love

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This Week's Feature: Novel Approach Designs by Kari Bryde

Kari Bryde, Novel Approach designer.
Photo provided by: Kari Bryde

Kari Bryde is the owner and designer for Novel Approach jewelry, which is the first jewelry label to ever get the opportunity to show their designs at Little Rock Fashion Week.  Not only is Bryde a multi-talented designer, she is also very involved in the community supporting such causes as the Ovarian Cancer Reseach Foundation, The Anthony School in Little Rock and the Arkansas Chapter of the American Heart Association.  Bryde is currently creating a "Limited Edition" stiletto necklace for The Compassion Fashion Project to help us raise funds for our cause.  She will be at our next event with these fabulous new pieces for auction, so stay tuned for our special Swap for Good party we are planning in conjunction with Today's THV's Monika Rued and the Moms Like Me site.
Her designs captivated the audience at Little Rock Fashion Week as her models cascaded down the runway in simple garments to accentuate her accessories.  The sparkle that came from each piece was a reflection of Bryde's personality as seen in the following interview.
Novel Approach jewelry at Little Rock Fashion Week 2011.
Photo by: Ejji Studios  / Little Rock Fashion Week, LLC

What is your training in design and how has this prepared you for working in the fashion industry?
My education is in interior design. When you design a “space” you have to pay attention to every possible vantage point. I use the same criteria in designing women’s jewelry. The piece has to look appealing and flattering from every angle on the body – people don’t sit still! I also have an appreciation for negative space… I like skin showing through the jewelry and shadows larger pieces can create.
Novel Approach at Little Rock Fashion Week 2011.
Photo by: Ejji Studios/ Little Rock Fashion Week, LLC 

What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start a career in fashion?
That’s hard!  May I ask for advice instead?  Honestly, you have to be steps (not one step) ahead.  Fashion is about what’s coming.  If you are creating looks that are popular, you are already behind.

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Clothing, period.  I love the personalities of fabric and clothing designs – they tell a story and jewelry is the punctuation. When I look at clothes I immediately begin to think about what jewelry I would want to wear with the particular garment.  I am a theme addict!  I love to research what “temperature” fashion is moving toward and where we are in reinterpreting historical styles.  I take my inspiration from those nuances.  I also kind of have a trend sixth sense.  At least I have so far. I kind of get in the mood for something and I soon see it in stores or referenced in clothing.  I’m careful to not be too confident in that sixth sense – I don’t want the gift to leave me, but I am willing to take risks. Not all designs are successes… believe me. Taking the risk is an education opportunity and I guess I usually get lucky!

How would you describe the fashion industry in Arkansas and what changes would you like to see happen, if any?

I do believe we have amazing creativity and taste.  Aesthetics are our strong suit, but without a doubt, I would like to see Arkansas better embrace its own.  I am constantly amazed how retailers outside our state will take a chance on carrying an independent line and retailers within the state seem to want to only carry brands that have made it elsewhere first.

What is the best perk in being a designer?
I can make high end jewelry for myself, family, and friends.  I love wearing the “good stuff” and I love to see the look on a family member or friend’s face when I can gift them something they would not buy for themselves.
Novel Approach jewelry design.
Photo provided by: Kari Bryde

What is the most difficult aspect of running your own label?
For me personally, it is selling it.  If you or someone else made something I admired, I would have no reservations about putting it in front of someone and going on and on about how amazing it was, but I am the worst at talking up my own work.  As I answer this question, I realize I should not be divulging any of this!

Novel Approach jewelry design.
Photo provided by: Kari Bryde

What trends do you foresee being big in fall/winter 2011?
I think we are headed back to a look of elegance.  Beauty is back, but reinvented with modern lines.  Rich velvets are returning. There will always be an “edge” to fall fashion, but clothing has returned to flattering the female form. Deconstruction will give way to organized construction, a somewhat neat and tidy look but, as new fashion always dictates, it must be a modernized resurgence.

Novel Approach jewelry design.
Photo provided by: Kari Bryde

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I’m not sure I remember not being interested in design.

Novel Approach jewelry design.
Photo provided by: Kari Bryde

What was the first piece you ever constructed?
A sterling charm style bracelet made from my grandmother’s broken vintage strand of clear, faceted lead crystals.  I still have it.

Novel Approach jewelry design.
Photo provided by: Kari Bryde

Can you describe your line and where can people find your designs?
 “Au courant” designs are made with high end components and craftsmanship.  The “big stuff” is over the top and the “simple” pieces celebrate minimalism – I admire the value in both ends of the spectrum.  It’s all about time and place – you do not always have to look like a dining room table set for 12… you can wear one simple, pretty piece and rock that quite well! My work is currently for sale on

Have a look at Novel Approach's lookbooks:

*Simply click on the following images and you will be taken directly into the lookbooks*


  1. wow this is fantastic. i love the jewelries. They are gorgeous.

  2. Fabulous jewelry, and it is so great that she supports ovarian cancer research!

  3. She is an amazing jewelry designer and is SO involved with charity. I didn't even mention all the charities she is associated with...there is a long list! You'll have to check out her website to view everything she has done.

  4. And what about those lookbooks?! Such a great idea for designers to have a lookbook you can actually flip through like an actual "book" online.