Kara Trelford is the artist behind Flora and Fae making handcrafted jewelry and other goods inspired by nature. Each item is lovingly made in Kara’s home in Tara, Ontario using botanicals, crystals, foraged plants, and more. Kara’s beautiful creations are found in stores across Grey and Bruce counties, as well as at local markets throughout the year.
How did you discover jewlery making and how has your process evolved?
About 7 years ago, my friend gifted me a bracelet made with crystals to support pregnancy. I’ve always loved crystals so I was really drawn to how they were combined with an intention in mind.
I started making bracelets shortly after that. My first ones were on beading wire and had clasps. As I got into essential oils I moved towards diffuser jewellery, which was when I started making bracelets on stretch cord.
I kept adding to the diffuser jewellery and started making necklaces, earrings, car diffusers, and keychains. I also got into metal stamping so I could create personalized tags to add to pieces.
Being into oils, I really took an interest in the properties of herbs and flowers. I wanted to incorporate nature into my designs and that’s where resin came in! That was about 2 1/2 years ago. Resin was like the last piece of the puzzle, and brought the creative freedom I was craving.
I’ve come a long way in developing my own artistic style, really focusing in on the properties of both crystals and plants and combining them into intentional pieces.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
Most of my “a ha!” moments come from personal experience or friends, family, and clients. For instance, my Empath Intention Bracelet was designed at a time in my life when there was a lot going on and I couldn’t shake the negative energy around me. It’s a protection bracelet, to ward off negative energy and promote positivity. My jewellery is everyday wear, so it serves as visual reminder too.
I often have people reach out to me for jewellery to help them at a specific point in their life. I use both intuition and research to determine which crystals and/or plants could be included in the design to assist them. Generally this inspires me to create more similar items around the same intention, such as abundance, courage, or grief.
A lot of inspiration comes from nature. Finding a pretty flower and being like “hey that would make a cool necklace.” Wandering the forest and wanting to carry that feeling with me, or seeing how I can imitate the sky using flowers on my mountain necklaces.
Both crystals and botanicals come from nature so the connection is already there, like nature therapy in jewellery form!
Can you explain a bit about what intention jewelry is and what makes it unique?
Intention jewellery combines the specific properties of crystals and botanicals for healing, connection to nature, and inspiration. It goes beyond just being pretty, and delves into a more spiritual meaning.
When creating intention jewellery I use a combination of research and intuition to choose the crystal and botanicals. I love being able to include descriptions of why each element was chosen. You can read the descriptions on my website, and each intention bracelet comes on its own customized card.
Growing and pressing my own flowers means that love and energy are infused during every step of the process. Every bloom is individual and each crystal is unique, so even when I make multiples of a design, they remain individual.
What has your experience been like vending in the area?
Doing markets and shows around the Grey Bruce area has been amazing! My first show was in 2019, back when I was still doing flowers as well (former florist, hence the love of flowers.)
I have grown so much since then, my display has expanded and improved, new tent, new linens, branding, etc.
The best part is meeting people in real life. Clients who come to see me are more like online friends I haven’t met in person yet. Other vendors are so supportive and I have made many friends along the way. Community over competition, everyone cheers each other on and offers tips for setups etc. I refer clients to other vendors when I feel that their product is more suited to their needs, and I get referrals in returns. Sometimes I do collabs with other local artists. It’s an amazing community and always expanding.
What is your favourite offering available right now?
That’s a hard one!
I feel like Empath always has a special place in my heart as it was one of my first Intention Bracelets. Also my recent Hydrangea and Fire Opal Mountain Necklaces are a fav of mine.
My Spell Jar Necklaces I feel are unique and offer a blend of botanicals and crystals, like the little witchy spell jars in a wearable form.
My Triple Moon bracelets are always a hot seller, they reflect on both the stages of the moon and the symbolism of womanhood – maiden, mother, and crone.
Other than that, my favourite combo right now is black tourmaline and sage. Both of these are known for their protective properties and cleansing negative energy. This combo is featured in my stud earrings and a variety of necklaces.