Drawing inspiration from the unique persona that is the Inner West, Haus of Dizzy founder, Kristy Dickinson, and her pieces of wearable art will feature at this year's Newtown Festival. Creating accessories with so much colour, vivacity and rude words, she aims to alleviate the world from any kind of beige-ness. After all, life is too short to wear boring jewellery.
BYO: Can you give us the lowdown on how Haus of Dizzy came about?
Kristy: In 2002, I moved to Bondi and started making jewellery that I used to sell at the Bondi Beach markets every Sunday. They were these little beaded, leather and feather situations, quite boho chic because that was what I was into. But then I started working at other stores and lost sight of what I really wanted to do. In 2014, I left my job and thought to myself, what am I going to do? I wanted to do my own thing so I started selling my Adidas and Jeremy Scott clothing and sneakers, because I’m such a sneakerhead, at Glebe markets while saving up for my laser cutter, and yeah, it all started from there.
BYO: Your jewellery has a distinct style, where do you draw your inspiration from?
Kristy: I get inspiration from whatever I want. Like, I’ll be sitting on the couch with my fiancé at 11 o’clock at night and I’ll be like, "I’ve got an idea, I want to make basketball earrings!” I’m not one to write things down, so I just do it. A lot of my inspiration comes from Newtown and growing up in the nineties, I was all about the 90s RnB and hip-hop. I bring a lot of that to my jewellery.
BYO: Do you design everything?
Kristy: Yes. Design, draw it, then I turn it into my vector file and put it through the laser cutter.
BYO: Do you have a fine arts background?
Kristy: No, I make up everything as I go along. I originally wanted to be a photographer and I’ve always been into art. I paint, I draw and I just make it up as I go along.
BYO: What was the very first thing you designed for the Haus of Dizzy?
Kristy: My Barbie hearts, they’re my main. That along with the 'Fancy as Fuck' are my best sellers.
BYO: I love your palm tree hearts.
Kristy: Oh yeah, that was a collaboration with a local designer called Martina Martian. She’s really good, you should see her stuff. We launched it at the Newtown Festival last year and it’s been going great ever since.
BYO: Do you collaborate often?
Kristy: I’ve done a couple with Martina and another one is Bianca Beers. She’s amazing. I know her through the Newtown scene and we help each other out all the time.
BYO: Who would be your dream collaboration?
Kristy: Jeremy Scott, oh my god. I didn’t even hesitate.
BYO: Your style is quite unique, would you say your jewellery is exclusive to only a particular type of customer?
Kristy: Well that’s the thing, I get teens and young adults, but then I have these amazing older ladies. Sometimes I get looks of disgust, but there was this one in particular, she came through and she was like, “oh my god this is so amazing”, she was looking at the ‘Fancy as Fuck’ and she’s like, “I’m going to buy this and I’m going to wear it to bingo and I’m going to show all those old girls.” And I was like, I absolutely love you!
BYO: Would you agree when I say that your accessories symbolize little pieces of girl power?
Kristy: I grew up with the Spice Girls and I love when customers tell me that wearing my jewellery gives them confidence. I had this customer who bought the ‘Fuck Off’ bamboo hoops, and she came back to the markets the week after to tell me that when she wore them on a night out, she got like two marriage proposals. She told me that they’re an investment. I really like using rude words, so I suppose wearing something like that automatically elevates your confidence because it's so out-there. That and colour, I love mixing colours. I always say, “don’t be beige”, that’s like my tagline.
BYO: Amazing. Can you please make earrings that say that?
Kristy: For sure!
BYO: That would be fab, and you could make it super colourful, the complete opposite of beige. What would you say is your favourite colour?
BYO: If you were to describe your personality as a colour, would it also be red?
Kristy: I think it would be gold. Red is powerful but gold is very solid and shiny. I like to be shiny.
BYO: Where do you see Haus of Dizzy in five years down the track?
Kristy: I want to have my own store in Melbourne. I love Sydney and I’ve grown up in Sydney my whole life but I don’t know, I mean I could take it anywhere. I have a lot of Inner West customers but now, actually, it’s getting to other places like Perth and the Northern Territory.
BYO: Who would be the ideal person to sport your jewellery?
Kristy: Beyonce. Did you see what she did for Halloween, how she and Jay-Z dressed up as Barbie and Ken? I base a lot of my jewellery on Barbie actually.
BYO: Did you have a favourite Barbie?
Kristy: The black Barbie was Christie, even though it was spelt differently, she was always my favourite.
BYO: Do your friends give you ideas?
Kristy: Yes. They’re always blurting out things. I base a lot of my earrings on my friends as well, like the ‘Kat Margarita’ earrings. She’s a makeup artist and that’s her name, Kat Margarita.
BYO: What’s the hardest bit about living your dream?
Kristy: It’s definitely hard work. I suffer a lot from anxiety and depression, but I try and use this to help with that. So like, creating something helps me with my everyday you know. Some days I can’t even breathe and I feel really low and then I start creating something and I feel better. It’s like therapy for me as well as like making somebody else’s day. One of my customer’s sent me this on social media and I think it’s wonderful, “doesn’t matter how much pastry you eat, Haus of Dizzy earrings will always fit.”
BYO: That's lovely and so true. How do you describe the feeling when you see someone walking down the street wearing a Haus of Dizzy piece?
Kristy: It makes me so happy seeing somebody wear it, and looking happy while wearing it. I live near Central Park mall and I was at the deli and there was this girl wearing the ‘Cactus Hearts’ earrings on. I’m looking at her and then I’m looking at her looking at me looking at her, and she actually started moving away. She seriously took a step aside! I was like oh sorry, I’m creepy but not that creepy.