25/03/2010 - 00:00

Kalaf closes for some ‘me’ time

25/03/2010 - 00:00

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PROMINENT Western Australian jewellery designer Katherine Kalaf has closed the doors to her retail gallery in Cottesloe after five years.

Kalaf closes for some ‘me’ time

PROMINENT Western Australian jewellery designer Katherine Kalaf has closed the doors to her retail gallery in Cottesloe after five years.

Katherine Kalaf Galleries was WA’s first purpose-built venue for the presentation and promotion of studio-based jewellery, and remained as one of the only outlets of its kind in Perth up to its closure last Sunday.

While the closure reduces access for local jewellery designers to promote their work, Ms Kalaf told WA Business News she hoped opportunities would be presented via the opening of new gallery spaces.

“They won’t go anywhere else because there is nowhere else, representation is built on knowledge and mutual understanding of what you want,” Ms Kalaf said, speaking of the niche she operated in.

She said the gallery was never prejudiced towards only showcasing WA designers’ work, but it gave their work an international platform because it was shown alongside pieces designed and created by overseas jewellers.

While she doesn’t believe it was the only retail jewellery gallery operating in Perth, she said her position in the market may have held others back from entering the retail space.

“The gallery has given Australian designers an opportunity in the mainstream,” Ms Kalaf said.

Ms Kalaf plans to return her focus to designing her own jewellery, a passion that was a casualty of the time constraints presented by her operation of the gallery for the past five years.

She hopes the move will give her freedom to strengthen her client relations, which were neglected to a certain degree due to the gallery’s (and her) focus on representing artists other than herself.

“Retailing is fantastic, I love it and I like the contact with the public, but this is more about me and gives me more design opportunities,” she said, adding that her jewellery workshop will continue to operate as the outlet for her designs.

Feedback from the gallery’s client base has been one of disappointment, particularly from Ms Kalaf’s loyal customers.

“All the time they [jewellers and customers] tell me I am not allowed to close,” she said.

Ms Kalaf is in negotiations to lease the space to a “young couple with a dynamic fashion partnership”.

 

 

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