Sara is able to listen to her own experience, what she loves and what she is passionate about and translate it into a project like Project Bon, into unique jewelry that she builds by her own, “I don’t think anything can reflect (personal significance) as much as jewelry does”, she said.
Can you introduce yourself a little bit?
My name is Sara Eom, I am from South Korea. I was born in an island called Jeju, very beautiful volcanic island. I grew up there until I was 7 then moved to Seoul. After finishing my university I went to Beijing and lived there for 6 years. Then I came to Barcelona.
Which was your first thought when you decided to move to Barcelona?
I know it sounds cheesy but it was for love. My husband is from Barcelona. We met in Beijing and we wanted to start new life together somewhere. Barcelona was the perfect choice for starting, the weather, the people and the culture, everything was new for me. I’ve never lived in Europe before, just traveling. Traveling is fun and gives you all sorts of experiences and memories but when it comes to living, I think it becomes more of a wild adventure. You gotta deal with every single thing based on your daily life. And I like my life in that way, trying new things and creating my own the experiences. Maybe it’s too much struggling but always worth it.
What’s the difference between South Korea and Barcelona that you enjoy the most on your daily routine? and on your creative work?
Definitely sun, there is something special about it. I like to look up the sky and it thrills me every single time, the colors and the lights.
The other thing I like about being in Barcelona is the diversity and freedom. Where I come from we are quite conservative, many rules to follow and don’t see that much diversity in terms of the way people dress or their lifestyles. Meanwhile here when I walk around I can see people from all around the world. It’s so much fun to be part of that. And I think because of this you see many different lifestyle, everybody has its own way and somehow makes harmony in one city. I love that.
“Bon is named after my father. Because my father is the one who always teaches me to learn by experience. It’s a continuous project.”
When did your connection with jewelry start? How Project Bon was born?
I started this project back in 2016, it was more of a spontaneous decision. After living in Beijing for 6 years, I decided to go home before moving to Barcelona. I studied business so my career has been involving at multinational companies. Which made me to love learning other cultures, traveling and taking photos. And I’ve been always fascinated by colors and nature, don’t know since when and how. Maybe it started from where I was born.
Somehow along the way, I realized that there would be a way I could mix all my experiences and do things I love. Then the idea of making jewelry caught in my eye. I always loved jewelry, but most of the times either they looked too cheap or ridiculously expensive. Then the idea of making my own came up. So everybody could afford a nice sophisticated custom design jewelry.
Are accessories powerful?
Absolutely yes. Wearing jewelry can be a way to express oneself, to complete an outfit, and to make a statement. But I think jewelry is important because often times it has personal significance. I don’t think anything can reflect it as much as jewelry does. Regardless the economic value, it could passed down through families remind people of their heritage, while some collect pieces of jewelry to remind them of their travels or a specific event in their life. Often there is more than one reason why we wear a certain piece, but is usually because it makes us feel more like ourselves.
What’s inside Project Bon universe?
Bon is named after my father. Because my father is the one who always teaches me to learn by experience. It’s a continuous project. I learn and learn along the journey. The goal of this project is to do what I love and explore creativity. That is why all the works are done by me, from designing jewelry to packaging. It takes quite a long time to do everything by my own but I believe that this is what my project stands for. And by doing this way I am able to add my own color to every piece I make. My work represents all the things I love- discovering new places, taking photos, finding nice color matches, patterns, and nature.
What inspires you for creating Project Bon pieces? And what do you enjoy the most of the process?
I love walking around. Everything I see are my inspirations. Anything like the shapes found in architecture, even desserts. Actually I could stay in bakery for hours just looking at desserts 😀 I also like to look at the details of nature and its colors. They never disappoint me.
I enjoy every process but the most exciting part is assembling materials to create new piece of jewelry. You can never expect what will come out. Most of the time my works are done very intuitively. I try to plan by sketching in advance but it’s never as good.
You’ve collaborated recently with the illustrator Amanda Akerman in order to create two silk scarves, both are gorgeous! Why Amanda and why a scarf?
Amanda and I met through Instagram. I personally like illustrations so I follow many artists. When I saw Amanda’s work I was so fascinated by the patterns and color palettes. I also loved the way she captured every moments of daily life; felt like in between spring and summer in a sophisticated city. Some things are hard to explain, so I believe it was an intuition. Seeing her work made me think it would be nice to have her work printed and wearable. So I contacted her to make silk printed scarf together. She worked on our special prints for over 2 months, it was so much fun to see the progress for each sample. She let me choose some colors and It was such a pleasure that I could add my own idea to her work.
What new ideas do you have in mind?
At the moment, I have new earrings coming in June so I am searching props/ideas for photos. There’s something I’ve been meaning to make for a while, is the cotton bag with the ‘bon/’ logo. Also I would like to explore other materials so I can create something from scratch.
There is something I’ve been learning since I came to Barcelona. Try to focus on the present. If I plan so much ahead, then I will have pressure completing and end up not enjoying what I am doing. Live in the moment, enjoy what you do. Then new ideas come along the way.