It seems like every time we turn around we discover a new Seattle jewelry designer putting out a collection of to-die-for baubles. Talk about a good problem to have. This city's bling makers, who work in materials ranging from industrial cords to precious stones, have their creative game on point.
Joining those illustrious ranks is local craftswoman Khadijah Fulton of White Space, specializing in earthy-meets-modern pieces with a somewhat rough-hewn, but entirely wearable aesthetic. Fulton, who studied at Parson School of Design in New York, aims to create new classics (at a surprisingly affordable price point) grounded in traditional inspiration. We chat with the jeweler about her Magnolia studio, doll-sized harem pants, and her uplifting design philosophies below.
Shop Talk: What neighborhood is your studio in?
Khadijah Fulton: My studio is in Magnolia, which is such a quiet and stunning gem in Seattle. I often take a “nature break” and have my lunch overlooking the water and looking out for bald eagles. The whole combination of peace and natural surroundings contributes to my concentration and focus.
What is your earliest memory of designing?
I think I've actually known since the age of 11, but at around eight years old I distinctly remember spending hours in my room designing clothes for my dolls out of African Kente cloth. I cut out all the little pieces and stitched them up by hand. I think I made a crop top and some harem pants—very trendy! When I started sketching and obsessively devouring every fashion mag I could get my hands on (from 11 years on) that’s when I really knew that design was my true calling.
What do you do to get yourself in a creative or productive headspace when you're feeling stuck?
I sometimes take one of those aforementioned nature breaks (thanks, Magnolia) or I go to a museum and focus on other creative disciplines. Thinking about creative ideas in other techniques helps me look at my work in a different way, and it’s also inspiring to see the work of amazingly talented artists and remember we all have common struggles as we work at our craft. And when all else fails, I just go do something completely unrelated to work and don’t think about it at all until the next day. I love the philosophy that every new day has the potential to be better than the last.
Five things you can't work without:
Bench tools: This kind of goes without saying, but they are so near and dear to my heart. My favorites are my flexshaft, my files and my chasing hammer.
Music: Stevie Nicks, Niki and the Dove, Atoms For Peace, and Daft Punk’s new album are currently on heavy rotation.
Sketchbook: (Or anything with a surface to draw on.)
Inspiration board: The images don’t really change. I occasionally add things, but creating timeless pieces is a mission of mine, so there are some key inspirations (African art, midcentury modernism, minimalism, natural beauty) that will forever inform my work.
My gut instinct: It always leads me in the most interesting direction—not always the easiest, but always the most true.
What is your favorite thing about your studio?
I love that I have everything close to hand. I can sketch, select my materials, work on something on the bench, work with my torch if I need to, and finish all in one place.
Where can we find your jewelry, and where would you like us to be able to find it in the future?
You can find my work on my website and at seasonal trunk shows. I'm also working on some exciting collaborations (sign up to for email list to get all the details and hear about upcoming events). As for the future, I'd love be in specialty boutiques and retailers that have a similar brand sensibility and carry other designers that I admire.