Seulye Jo of CLED

INTERVIEW

Again, and we can not stress this enough, we’d like to make it absolutely clear: we’re really excited about WCC Los Angeles.

And instead of just freaking out in our offices or bottling all of that excitement up, our team therapist has advised us to channel that excitement in constructive and fun ways: surfing these webwaves and using our brainwaves to share with you some new WCC vendors that tickle our braincells. 

In the second installment of “The WCC Series Of Interviews for Brain Picking Brand’s Owner’s Brains About Their Lives and Brands”*, (*Editors’ note: we’re still not calling it that) we chatted with Seulye Jo of CLED, the upcycled glass jewelry brand that will be at both of our Los Angeles and San Francisco shows this winter. If you didn’t know about CLED before you’re now going to be all about now. 


Where is home now?
I'm originally from Korea and live in Los Angeles. I came to LA to attend FIDM, and I just loved this city and everything in it since I’ve been here.

What led you to jewelry design?
I've always loved creating and making from a young age. I knew I wanted to work with my hands but wasn't sure with what until I got into jewelry. I worked in the fashion accessory industry for a few years and started CLED in 2018. This upcycling journey is not easy, as I have to work with waste and turn it into wearable jewelry. It’s definitely challenging and experimental, but also fun and exciting at the same time to see the unexpected results and final pieces made by hand.

Worst job, if any?
I think all experiences are important to grow from, so I don't consider any past job as being “bad”. I worked in the fast-fashion accessories industry so I realized that the use of plastic materials and the waste created was tremendous. That’s how it led me to start CLED, and to use discarded or existing materials instead of creating more new trash. If I hadn’t been in that industry, I may not be where I am today.

What have been the challenges in building CLED? 
Where do I begin? Starting any brand is tough! There's so much to do and not enough time, it seems. Creating something from the discarded glass was tough, and I spent over a year testing to figure out what works or doesn’t work. Jewelers and artists typically use art glass for their pieces, which has predetermined melting temperatures. But with recycled glass, since all glass is different from various sources, it took many trials and errors to find how it can be melted to get the desired forms and designs. We call a finished glass piece our “upcycled eco-gem.”

What is your 2019 goal for CLED? 2029 goal?
My goal today is to keep growing CLED and make more new upcycled objects. By 2029, wow so far ahead(!), it's my hope to see that upcycled items are the norm. My ultimate goal is to have an upcycling factory, for other designers and brands to be able to source our upcycled eco gems to be used in their pieces. I hope to have more variety in products with this dream factory.

Your go-to burrito order?
The breakfast burrito at Sage Vegan Bistro in Echo Park. Sage is one of our glass bottle sources where we get our bottles weekly.

Dream vacation locale and companion?
Camping outdoors with my partner and dog as I always want to be out in nature. My ultimate dream is RV-ing in countries throughout Europe with them.

If you had to pick one musician or  album that influenced your work, who or what would it be?
It’s hard to pick but I love stuff by Bill Evans, and have been into the Canadian group Men I Trust lately.

What is your favorite place in Los Angeles? Why?
Highland Park has everything - yummy vegan food (including my favorite donuts from Donut Friend), cute independent stores, and the yoga studios I go to. Highland Park is close to home so I go to this area a lot.

How do you unwind and keep those creative juices flowing?
First, eat sweets for my brain and relax. I go out to be in a new space without having to think about work or designing. It can be just being in a new neighborhood or restaurant, a park or museum. And believe it or not, Home Depot. It’s probably one of my favorite places that makes me happy, haha. I know where each aisle is and I can literally spend hours there!

What do you always have with you?
My glass boba straw, reusable cup and a container in case I go out to eat and have leftovers to take home. And depending on the weather, a hat.

Tell us a few brands you are really digging right now!
Back Beat Rags, Town and Anchor, NOTO, Gracemade