The furniture designer who turned to jewellery

Norwegian jewellery designer Kaja Gjedebo graduated as a funiture designer in 1999 and landed a job in New York on Wallstreet some months before 9/11. Unemployed she turned to her beloved second subject, jewellery design and has never looked back..

karakoram silver jewellery designed by the best jewellery designer Kaja Gjedebo

It has been a ride!

I had a truly restless soul after high school, and went to live in Germany and Spain for a year, where I ran a travelling lottery booth and worked as a construction worker, amongst other things. Love took me to Australia, and then fate brought me to a cabinet making school in the middle of nowhere in Norway. I loved working with wood so much, and I was sure I had found my passion in life! (it still is a passion..)

Three wonderful years in the furniture department in Edinburgh, where one could take on a second design subject. Jewellery seemed like a nice contrast and had the best view over Edinburgh castle, but slowly I started to spend more and more time in the jewellery workshop, where ideas could come to life the same day, and not the same month as with furniture. A new passion was born.

Winning a design competition my final year sent me to Sydney for half a year and I just loved that city! Taking a ferry to the workshop with the view of the Sydney bridge is just my kind of morning. I made my first jewellery collections and met the most wonderful artists and people. Year 2000 started on a beach and life was fine!

An exhibition took me to New York, and by accident I was hired as a furniture designer for the world second largest architect company, SOM. Situated on Wall street.. Due to a plane crash in the neighbourhood, and I was fired three days before moving over and suddenly I had no plans, no place to live and no job.. Happy days! Eventually I could let go of furniture!

So for the next two years I was living in a studio above a jazz-club, working days in the workshop and nights in a theatre. My 3d cufflinks were discovered on a Christmas market, and I remember the crazy feeling of going home that night with more cash than I had had in years, an appointment with the finest design shop in Oslo, Norway Designs, and a true belief that this could actually work out.

Kaja Gjedebo, Norwegian jewellery designer

The world was my oyster, these days it is the subway

Since then there has been ups and downs and never a regular income, but today my jewellery is sold all over Norway, and even Japan and Russia. Meeting all my wonderful, independent and beautiful customers and see their shared passion for jewellery gives me regular highs. Getting a glimpse of my earring on the bus is just as great as seeing them on a TV-show.

Today I live in a neighbourhood of row houses for artists with an in-house studio, with my husband, two kids and our draft dog. The forest is our closest neighbour, but Oslo and city life is only a subway-trip away. The world was my oyster, these days it is the subway:)

I hope to see you on the bus with my earrings some day!

Jewellery designer Kaja Gjedebo in her workshop