Sarah Killen of New Orleans jewelry brand Saint Claude is an inspiration to me. I find her energy extremely intoxicating because she’s one of those creative beings that has an “insta-cool” touch. She might describe herself as being an absolute perfectionist, but I characterize her technique as compelling and refreshing.
What’s most fantastic about Sarah’s work is that Saint Claude is more than just a shop in New Orleans. Be it jewelry, up-cycled fabric scarves, or unique leather and mineral pieces, Sarah proves that everything can and does function as a work of art. She makes New Orleans shopping an experience in creativity even for the buyer. She manipulates the natural elements around her and can literally turn something as simple as feathers or amethyst into something with a more profound, spiritual, artistic meaning. Perfect example: while awaiting the arrival of the newest addition to the Ellman clan, Sarah invited me over to look at the baby mobiles she’d been working on. “Cool,” I thought. A baby mobile. But really, how does one advance the function and aesthetic of… a baby mobile? On arrival she opened my eyes. Sarah’s mobile is the Nirvana of now, putting an end to the bright, plastic, synthetic hair-metal-esque structures that dangle from cribs. This glistening beacon of feathers and glitter, bones, coral and amethyst all hung in such a way that even I was transfixed by its brilliance.
I was thrilled when I had the chance to sit down with Sarah and interview her for my new GoNOLA series, “Artist Interactive.”
Kate Grace Bauer: Where do you shop to find good deals on home goods?
Sarah Killen: My favorite store to pop in when I get the chance is Dop Antiques. There’s always something unique and cool, often re-purposed from its original function. Think Belgian outdoor furniture for an entryway or side table.
KGB: Do you buy jewelry from anywhere other than Saint Claude? If so, what’s your staple piece this summer?
SK: I’ve had my eye on a few pieces from Jupiter LaLa for a birthday coming up. I love supporting local artists.
KGB: Where do you grocery shop?
SK: We bounce around the grocery department. We live closest to Fresh Market so that’s always easy and I love getting fresh produce from the farmers market when I can (Tuesday’s Uptown) and Whole Foods is always such a pleasant shopping experience. Rouses is a stop for essentials and we recently tried some locally sourced bacon from there that was killer.
KGB: What’s new on your horizon as a creative designer?
SK: “I’m developing a new collection of metals as well as a baby/kid line. Since my most prominent inspiration is my four and a half month old daughter, I’m having fun making things for her that I’d love to offer to other moms and dads.
KGB: If you were a color in a box of crayons, what color would you be?
SK: I would be a crayon that keeps changing colors the further down you get. I couldn’t commit to just one color.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
-Henry David Thoreau