In December 2014, Scott Kay died suddenly at age 57. The renowned designer was known for his intricate craftsmanship and flair for marketing, and his sudden passing left a void that the industry is still coming to terms with. But that loss was felt even more acutely by his family, including daughter Tiffany, the only one of Kay’s three children to work with her dad.
“When my father died, I played a huge game of pretend,” she says now. “I was back at work two weeks later and did my first QVC appearance a month after that.”
Now Tiffany, at age 30, has set out on her own. She will debut her first Tiffany Kay Studio creations on QVC on March 22 at 10 a.m.
Kay admits she didn’t expect to be in this position. A year after her father died, she left his company and found herself going through a bad period. She started knitting as a form of meditation to help with her grief. While at first she found it “mom-ish,” she discovered she could lose herself in it.
She eventually became so engrossed in knitting she decided to mix it with her other love: designing jewelry.
“When you are doing fine jewelry, it’s really hard to figure out what your core texture and core element is,” she says. “When I brought knitting into my jewelry, it became so easy to design the collection.”
Each of her collections is built around knitting stitches, including the most common stitch, the purl and knit, as well as the herringbone and eyelet.
“The pieces are so detailed,” she says. “I wanted them to seem actually woven.”
It helps that she really likes designing jewelry—and learned from a master.
“My father didn’t really teach me to make jewelry,” she says. “He just did it and let me watch him. I watched him do it for some time, and after a while I really could feel how to do it.”
All the pieces are sterling silver with semiprecious stones. She brought her work to QVC, as she has appeared on the channel several times talking about her father’s line.
This time, however, she’ll be touting her own work. And that feels very different.
“I feel like there are a lot of people watching what I’m going to do,” she says. “I’m actually petrified about it. But it’s okay to be nervous. I’m 30 years old, and I’m starting something new.
Eventually, she hopes to bring her designs to the wider industry. But that’s not what’s on her mind at the moment.
“Right now I just want QVC to be amazing, and then I’ll figure out the next step,” she says. “If there is one thing my dad taught me, it’s to focus on one thing.”
(Images courtesy of Tiffany Kay Studio)