It is too easy to slip into the Instagram black hole. It doesn’t matter what your interests are; the platform’s discovery feature inundates your view with perfectly timed photos and all things painfully beautiful. Two years ago, I didn’t really explore past my immediate Instagram circle and did not let myself get too lost in all of it.
Then, one of my best friends in San Francisco tagged me in an Instagram post in the hope of winning a giveaway that a Seattle-based company jewelry company was promoting. The giveaway consisted of a beautiful gold ring with a simple band that arched into a delicate triangle in the center. I instantly wanted to win it, as I’d already been that person who had gone through all of this account’s old posts, commenting on their posts from six months ago, gushing about how beautiful their work was. Not only was the jewelry lovely, but photos of the precious store front proved it to be everything that my minimalist dreams are made of. Oh, you have individual tulips on the wall held up by multicolored washi tape? Yes. Sign me up for everything.
I have always admired people who are able to pull off big statement pieces in their outfits, but that has never been me. Fresh Tangerine is for those of us who appreciate the design details that make each piece unique without demanding the spotlight. I like to think that the cool girl I aspire to be would be wearing this - you know; the cool girl who takes half the time to get ready and manages to look more elegant than you thought was possible, who finished an advanced yoga class by 5 am, and is doing an organic juice cleanse while on an art tour in Europe. You know, THE COOL GIRL.
The best part is that the owner of Fresh Tangerine, Kim Kogane, is the coolest of girls. She would not say it herself, but I will for her. Her studio is located in Pioneer Square, but you can find her pieces in other well-known boutiques in the city such as Moorea Seal and Pipe and Row, with more jumping on the Fresh Tangerine bandwagon. On top of her jewelry work's growing presence in Seattle, she has worked with other local artists to host events. For example, she’s hosted two multi-level calligraphy classes as well as an IRL (In Real Life) Party where attendees had the opportunities to actually meet their Instagram friends in person.
"I have always been mindful of keeping our product high quality while maintaining an accessible price point."
With so many exciting projects happening right now, I asked Kim more about how she got started and where she hopes to see her business going:
Did you always know that you wanted to make jewelry? Did you have to take special classes to learn? What was it like to get your ideas off the ground?
“I grew up in Alaska, helping my mom at craft fairs. I have always been making things and have been mostly self-taught. I took one class once to learn some new welding techniques, but I really just had to figure out my own style.
After leaving Alaska I moved to Portland for a couple of years, and eventually made the move to Seattle. It was challenging transition because I didn’t really know anyone here. I really had to commit to the dream, following my passion. I had to work a hard day job and make jewelry in my free time before I could do this full time. One of the first items that I started with was the Friendship Bracelet that is still available on our site. I had to make hundreds of them by hand myself – to the point where sometimes I would actually fall asleep making them.”
How do you hope to see Fresh Tangerine grow?
“I want Fresh Tangerine to become THE Seattle jewelry store someday. I have always been mindful of keeping our product high quality while maintaining an accessible price point. I hope to keep growing that same idea along with the brand. I would also love to host more events to really connect Fresh Tangerine with our community!”
You can find out more about Kim’s newest line of jewelry or any of the studio’s upcoming events by visiting her website or visit the studio itself.
Thank you, Kim, for this interview.
By correspondent Lindsey.