Designer Spotlight - Karma Victoria

This month Bamboo Ballroom is profiling local designers in their Style Seven series as a way to promote shopping local. I chose to interview jewelry maven Miss Tory Culen of Karma Victoria.

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When did you start Karma Victoria? 
4 years ago after finishing my first 6 months abroad.

Where did your company name come from? 
It was really based on my full name (Karmen Victoria), with a few letters different but also symbolizes my own belief of “What goes around comes around”.We always have potential victory over our own destinies through the process of continued awareness of our actions and choice of honest and positive expression.

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What is the line inspired by? 
The line has always been inspired by my love of nature and sacred geometry - it has changed and progressed ,but through that progression it has always maintained an earthy vibe.

How would you describe your style? 
It’s a balance between bold and understated. It has been called boho meets biker, for many of the statement pieces featuring bone, gemstones, bullets and spikes (often in 3’s) for good measure. I appreciate designs that are timeless, that can be worn through any fad or trend. The basic layering pieces are minimal with clean lines, but still pack a punch.

Where is your favourite place in Edmonton? 
My favorite place to watch the sunset, The End of the World - if it was still as secret as it once was. I’d have to say that my pal Jon’s house (a.k.a. House of Boom) nestled in the Mill Creek Ravine would have to be my favorite place in all of Edmonton. For a good decade it has been my home away from home - if not my actual home, when I was living there about 8 years ago. Still going strong. Still the place with the most heart and soul.

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Who is your favourite Edmonton designer and why? 
It’s hard because I have so many favorites, but at the end of the day, it would be Malorie Urbanovich. I would wear anything she makes. Her designs are classic and timeless, using high quality textiles, and she stands her ground when it comes to her vision. And I agree with her vision. Brave and sweet, simultaneously.

What are you reading right now? 
I usually bounce between 3+ books at the same time, but I’m trying to practice this thing called “focus”. Currently reading Wildwood by Decemberists’ Colin Meloy, and the complete graphic novel of The Watchmen.

If you were making a mixtape right now, what would be on it? 
Temples, Parquet Courts, Timber Timbre, The Wet Secrets, Black Lips always, anything Otis Redding or Sam Cooke, some chill Bonobo classics, Thee Oh Sees, Charles Bradley, Father John Misty, D.D. Dumbo, Cosmo Sheldrake. Pretty all over the map.

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Why is it important to you to support local design? 
It’s the biggest way for emerging designers to make a name for themselves. Especially in a city like Edmonton - it’s a nest for our ‘babies’ to grow and become stronger - by talking to fellow designers in the community who may have helpful tips, provide insight and encouragement in an intimidating position, and collaborate on projects and achieve things you never could have imagined had you tried to do it solo. It’s just really fun. I think it is important to be aware of where things come from, how they’re made, and who is making it - how can we be more sustainable? It always starts by supporting the local businesses that work so hard to bring us quality goods with minimal footprint compared to choosing corporate gigs first. That means independent boutiques and restaurants, local grocers or farmer’s markets, local artists and designers. There is a sea of passionate talent here. I feel so much gratitude for all the people I get to work with every day who do nothing but fuel mine, and inspire me.

For more designer Q&A's, check out the Bamboo Ballroom blog here.

ALSO - Karma Victoria is hosting a trunk show at The Drawing Room next week, Saturday Sept. 6th, complete with a photography exhibit and a diy jewelry making class! More details here.


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