A closer look

Lima Lima

This month we are taking a closer look at Bristol indie brand Lima Lima. A bold, minimalist jewellery and accessory line, this is the brainchild of designer-maker Rhiannon Hart and impressively only launched earlier this year – Rhi has wasted no time in establishing a platform and strong aesthetic for her micro brand.

I was struck by how well Lima Lima tapped in to the current brass – air plant - Californian homeware trend, while still most definitely keeping it’s unique, handmade quality and integrity intact. These pieces wouldn’t look out of place hung on an Urban Outfitters jewellery rack, but are obviously rather more elevated than your average on-trend accessory. When I took a closer look at the brand I also found it to have such a considered and solid mission, I thought it would be great to have a chat with Rhi and ask her more about how it all started…

Where does the name Lima Lima come from?

Lima in Latin actually means file, polish or revision. For one word to encompass these three elements was just perfect, I had to take it!

What is the mission of your brand and where does its identity originate?

I’m a strong believer of the slow fashion movement, it’s great to see it gain momentum and make people question how their products are made, where the materials originate from, how ethical the practices are etc. I wanted to create a business that was a rejection of our current unsustainable, throw away fast fashion industry, which is rapidly destroying not only our fragile planet, but negatively effecting peoples lives globally. It was important that not only did I create jewellery that was beautiful and striking, but that also had longevity in the forefront. So despite creating pieces that make a subtle nod to current trends, my jewellery is not trend led, meaning my pieces will hopefully not fade out of fashion too quickly and remain timeless.

When designing, do you ever think about who the Lima Lima wearer is and meeting the demands of current trends or are you more internally lead?

I like to have a balance of both. I try to always stay mindful of what’s happening in the design world, and get a lot of inspiration from all areas of design. I read a lot of interior design magazines, design blogs and keep an eye on what’s happening with design fairs etc. I believe it’s important as a designer/maker to be inspired and excited by what designers and artists are doing in other fields as well as your own. Essentially I always have a general idea of what I’d like to create and in which style, integrating some aspects of certain trends within my work. I think this way it allows me to maintain a distinctive personal style, whilst remaining progressive.

Your pieces really instill a sense of travel, calmness, and a relaxed, effortless vibe for me. What are your sources of inspiration?

That’s very interesting! I guess they do! My inspiration for this first collection ‘Memphis’ came from a number of sources. As the name suggests, the main source of this inspiration came from the iconic furniture and interiors of the Memphis group back in the 80s, and more recently the Memphis design revival, with its wavy lines and bold shapes. Art deco has been a slight obsession of mine for many years; for this collection I considered the architectural forms and curves of the buildings in Ocean Drive Beach, in Miami. I guess you could say that some of my pieces also have a sort of boho minimalist vibe to them.

Some designer makers are content to make the same key pieces year after year and are known for those works. Lima Lima already has such a recognisable style, do you think this will be the case as well, or do you have other directions that you want to take the brand and the future collections?

I am already working on my second collection. I’m finding it a little difficult dedicating enough time to this as it’s been an exciting but busy few months! The plan is still to bring out a new collection at least once a year. There are certain styles of my first collection which have had a great reception and become real staples of my brand, such as my air plant hangers, the ‘Maya & Luna’ necklaces and my ear climbers. I’m looking to review my first collection and carry forward my key pieces but I’d never stop making them as they are really what helped create the brand’s identity.
The plans for my second collection are still a bit of a secret but I am looking to go a little bigger and bolder. Look out for more home accessories, such as large wall hangings. Essentially it will be a lot of Eco silver and a lot of brass, my two favourite metals!

What are your favourite pieces in the collection at the moment?

Top of my list are my Trio air plant hanger, the Luna necklace and my Sunset & Deco rings.

How did you arrive at this point within your work? Was there any lightbulb moments of using your key ingredients? Did you always work in metals?

When I look back at the work I produced at Uni during my Surface Pattern days, I realise that there is such a clear connection with my current style. I’m drawn to interesting lines, bold shapes and simplistic yet striking design. I’m not into fussy over stylised stuff, be it jewellery, illustration, graphic design, whatever. I’m much more of a minimalist. I guess I’ve always had that in me, so to produce a collection of jewellery that’s of this style was a natural progression. I’ve not always worked in metals either. I did design some jewellery years ago made of laser cut acrylic and wood, but the aesthetics and critically the ethics of these materials just didn’t sit well with me. I’m much more drawn to silver and brass. How beautiful they appear, and their potential for longevity makes them the perfect choice.

If you werent making things what would you be doing?

I’ve always wanted to study Architecture or Graphic design, so maybe something in one of these fields?

Whats an average day like at Lima Lima HQ?

On a working day I will start off with making a list. I am a serial list maker! Then I go through my emails, then crack on with making. If I’m working on a wholesale order I’ll start cutting, soldering all the styles, then tumble and polish them all together. But every day is different, which makes it refreshing. I can’t be doing with monotony!

Your fave thing to do to switch off from designer maker life?

I love going for walks around the city or going to the park with my daughter. People watching is one of my favorite pass times too! I also like to meet up with friends and maybe have a BBQ in one of Bristol’s many beautiful parks.

Your current favourite things to watch, read and follow?

I’m currently reading a great little book which I would recommend to any creative working woman who’s on the hunt for a really down to earth no bullsh*t handbook, it’s called Little Black Book, by Otegha Uwagba. I’m obsessed with perusing through Instagram and follow a ton of awesome creative people, I’d be here all day if I was to list all my favourite people, but some of these include: The jungalow, Benumade, Rosie Drake Knight, Abbey Rich, The General Store, The Cool Machine, Nikau Store, Seaworthy, Annie Costello Brown.. I could keep going!

I’m not really a big TV watcher, but am eagerly awaiting the next series of Stranger things!

Arent we all Rhi, arent we all!

Sarika Thakorlal

Thank you so much for catching up with Rhi and myself – be sure to check out Lima Lima and let me know which pieces are tempting you!
Until next next time x