Jay Jay makes seriously gawgeous jewelry. There's not a single thing in his shop that I'm not in love with. Now let's get on with the interview!
|LAD Series Cufflinks - Silver Wings|
I'm Jason Pike, otherwise known as Jay, JayJay, The Lad, and Lad Named Felix. I'm the owner and designer of Lad Named Felix, a handmade jewelry line that seeks to unite the mundane with the extraordinary by creating bold pieces inspired by pop culture, vintage quirk, and timeless style. In my pieces, high-quality materials, vintage chain, industrial and precious metals, gemstones, crystal, and glass play alongside unique found components where it's all peppered with sarcasm, modern edge, and a sharp wit to manifest jewelry that does more than just hang around your neck. I'm a somewhat flashy-trashy Chicagoan with lots of aces up my sleeves and a lot of irons in the fire. A professional makeup artist, and a jewelry designer, a writer, photography enthusiast, and a reluctant-though-damn-good karaoke singer, I have big crazy dreams of seeing my work appreciated by those of like mind, spirit, and style. I believe in self-expression wherever I can find it, and hope the art I create inspires the same.
|Drowning in Bali|
I began Lad Named Felix in 2009 as a way to honor my inner artist (take THAT Oprah!). I was tired of attending craft markets and art shows, seeing gorgeous jewelry pieces and works of wearable art that I couldn't afford. Lad Named Felix spun out of a desire to put my art into the world and offer it up at prices that were totally accessible to anyone who wanted to join in the fun of wearing my jewelry. After all - what fun is amazing jewelry if you can't afford it? I believe style should not be a luxury, but instead act as a way to transform yourself into whoever you want to be, whenever you want to be it.
|A Countenance Foreboding Evil|
3. How long have you been doing it? (Your craft/trade, not doing IT)
Lad Named Felix saw its genesis in 2009, and has grown into my full-time job since. I held my nose and metaphorically plunged into the deep end of the pool, and it's a wonderful feeling.
I remember playing with dolls, Legos, drawing, sketching, putting on little plays that directed my friends, cooking with my grandma, working in my grandfather's woodshop. I always wanted to be an artist, and my entire life has been in pursuit of creation. Humans have the unique ability to create art, and I feel very blessed to have been raised by a family and surround myself with friends who honor that spirit and help me grow.
5. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Recently, a client shared a story with me about LNF. Her mother had passed in the preceding weeks, and she sent me an Etsy conversation to tell me how wearing Lad Named Felix makes her feel special and beautiful, which in turn helps her to move through her grief and make her feel better every day. I'm a total softie, so her story touched me very deeply. Its inspired me to do everything I can for charities like the Regretsy Alchemy Fund, April's Army Shop, and donating pieces to women's charities to be auctioned to raise much-needed funds. It's important to use art to promote love and healing in the world, so I strive to do that.
|On Your Knees|
6. Do you sing in the shower?
Every single day. I'm a music junkie. :)
7. Who do you think would win in a fist fight, Meryl Streep or Johnny Depp?
Meryle Streep, hands down. Johnny Depp is a robot.
Thank you so much Jay Jay. Awesome jewelry! Awesome artist! Hie thee to his shop and pick up a great father's day gift. Then buy a little pretty for yourself. You deserve it!