The Craftswoman Behind ‘Henderson Dry Goods’ and ‘Someone Somewhere’

Photo: Janis Nicolay

Between working on her jewelry line, Someone Somewhere Jewelry, and other projects under the brand Henderson Dry Goods (check out her much-coveted layered wooden wreath here), local craftswoman Alex Henderson took the time to answer our Q & A as she prepared for the TOQUE craft fair (Nov. 30 – Dec. 2). You can also get your hands on her various creations at Euguene Choo and The Block.

What is your neighbourhood and what makes it home? I moved to Port Moody about 6 months ago. About 7 months ago I had never even been out here but I really love it. It’s quiet, has lots of big old growth trees, lots of secret paths, creeks and parks.

Your neighbourhood haunt? Sasamat Lake.

Tell me about your design background? I graduated from Emily Carr in 2006 with a degree in industrial design. I dabbled a bit in different kinds of design related work but I always knew I was ultimately going to work for myself. I start my first real company, Henderson Dry Goods, in 2009. I’m coming up on 10 years of self-employment, which feels like a real achievement.

Why did you decide to start making jewelry? I’ve been making jewelry since 2005. After doing a project using laser-cutting I was impressed with what could be done with it, specifically being able to make very intricate things. Jewelry seemed like a natural thing to try and make using that as a tool.

Describe the Someone Somewhere aesthetic in 10 words or less? Ever-evolving.

What is the significance of the name “Someone Somewhere”? I wanted something a little poetic. I feel like the name says something about the relationship I feel between me, the designer/maker, and the recipient/wearer. Jewelry is such a very personal thing, and I think a lot about the people who wear my jewelry. They are all someone somewhere to me.

Tell me about the creative process of designing your jewelry pieces? It’s a very interesting sculptural exercise with a pretty clear end goal, in my mind. To be beautiful and complimentary.

How about the technical process? It’s all over the place. I have recently taken a bunch of jewelry making classes where I learned many traditional jewelry making techniques but it’s just one thing I’ll draw on. I have also taking basket weaving with a desire to use some of those techniques in my jewelry making.

Why did you decide to rebrand your line and/or differentiate it from Henderson Dry Goods? I’ve been wanting to do it forever. It felt like an awkward fit to have what I was considering to be fine wood jewelry featured along side Christmas ornaments and magnets. I felt like it was holding me back from exploring a different aesthetic in my jewelry designs. It’s been a slow rebranding. I don’t even have a website yet.

Your pieces seem to be very Art Deco influenced…what is your favourite era for fashion design? I always like now. I’m not into vintage. The Art Deco thing is really more about non-organic shapes for me.

Who is your current favourite designer? I like what Rachel Comey is doing in jewelry right now.

What is your personal accessorizing philosophy? Extremely minimal. I hardly ever wear jewelry. I like a big summer hat.

Who is your fashion icon? I don’t have one.

Your last unexpected or unusual source of inspiration? Rattan.

If you could adorn anyone with your jewelry, who would that be, what would you choose for them and where would they wear it? I can’t boil that down to one person. I’m happy when anyone wants to wear my jewelry and works it into their style and their life.

How do you choose the materials that you use? I like natural materials.

What is your favourite material to work with and why? Wood. It can do or be almost anything. And it has a gentle presence.

What material have you not yet utilized but would like to in the future? Oh gosh, so many… Pebbles, horse hair, thread, paper, rose gold….

What is your most invaluable tool? My laser cutter.

What is your favourite part of the creative process? The first feverish flash of a great idea or inspiration.

How about your least favourite part? Trying to stay organized and focused.

What are you currently listening to while you’re working? Frank Ocean, Blonde.

What do you do when you need a creative boost? Run on my treadmill.

If you had to choose just one signature piece from your collection, so far, what would it be? I really like this necklace that I call the Heshi bead necklace. It’s silk cord with these very delicate shiny tube beads. You can slide them around on the cord and compose them how you see fit. You could wear it around your wrist. It’s delicate and a little fancy but not too fancy.

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