EMERGING TALENT//GRAPHIC DESIGNER//ETSY SHOP OWNER
Runecycle – Lisa Taurer and María Parejas
My name is Lisa Taurer and I am from Graz in Austria and I am here on an exchange programme studying Graphic Communication with Typography.
My name is María Parejas and I am from Argentina and I am already a product designer. I got my first degree in product design back in Argentina, so this is my second degree in Graphic Design and Communications. I am also here as part of an exchange programme. I chose Plymouth because of the facilities, it was one of the best. We are both very lucky because we do not have as much access to facilities like 3D printers or laser cutters back home so we are really enjoying this experience and making the most of it.
What is your product?
Our brand is Runecycle and we have developed a series of rings based on ancient runes.
We had the choice of working individually or in pairs, so we decided to team up, especially with María’s background as a product designer. It was really lovely to come together and combine our knowledge and skills as one. María loves rings, so we decided to go with that but we wanted to create something that was meaningful for the user, not just fashionable. We wanted the rings to represent individualism, so we created 28 rings from runes, each containing a different meaning and different letters from the alphabet.
The runes come from the Anglo Saxons so from there we just picked the runes that we thought were the most significant and most powerful. Some of the meanings are fire, emotions, wealth and strength. Our favourite is strength, warrior and beauty.
We didn't just want to make something that was pretty but empty. We wanted to make something that means something to people. The trend today is having something that is individual and something special to you. We wanted something completely personalised and that means something to the user. I think a lot of people will buy it because it stands for the letter of their name or their personalities. It’s a great gift when you want to wish someone strength, luck or love. It’s an easy way to give a ‘feeling’ as a present.
What was your approach to creating your rings?
We did a lot of research about rings, and those being sold on ETSY, as well as runes. We wanted the making process to be as modern as possible and unusual for jewellery making so we decided to use laser cutting. To do this, we had to do research on modern technologies and we wanted the design to be really simple with clean fine lines. If we had used 3D printing it would have been more intricate but we wouldn't have been able to be as sustainable. We have made the rings from waste materials so that we could also make this a sustainable product. To combine these two things laser cutting was the best process to use. Currently, we use mostly left over acrylic to make the rings. We have black, orange, green and transparent acrylic. We currently sell them on ETSY for £5.
How did you develop the idea?
We researched lots of different things before we settled on runes. We also looked at the elements like air, water, fire and earth. We tried designing with many different meaningful symbols that we thought would be nice to have or wear. When we settled with runes we tried to find a way to include that into a shape that would be modern and easy to wear and one that people would like to have. It’s not just a rune, it’s something new, we have taken the basic lines of the runes and made something new.
How did you find using ETSY?
We had never used it before or even heard of it. It is such a great website and we will use it in the future for sure. It was so nice to use and there are so many creative people and their stuff on there. It is quite easy to set up and easy to use and we have gotten a lot of inspiration from there. We also looked at laser cut jewellery so that we could see how they promote themselves and how they present themselves with pictures and pricing. We will continue to sell on ETSY along with our social media pages because it has been very easy.
As a seller, is there anything that ETSY can do to better the selling experience?
Yes, there is one thing. For our product we have 28 different designs and we sell them in different colours and three different sizes. You are able to upload one product, and pick the sizes and colours you wish to sell, but not how many you are selling. You are not able to inform the customer how many rings that are left in each size and colour. We have to manually update the information, which can cause problems.
What is next for Runecycle?
We have already begun our next project, which involves the left over material from the centre of the rings. We want to use every bit of material to create something new in the future, maybe make some bracelets or necklaces. It’s another window to branch in to something new. It is important that we use every bit of the ring, even the centre. Everything down to our packaging and business cards has a sustainable aspect to it. We have made everything from recycled materials and we want to keep it that way. There is so much going on in the environment right now and we want to help even if it is not that big.