I’m Vic, the queer oddball who’s the sole creator behind Destai.
When I put my pieces on, I feel strong, confident, ready to take on the world. Is there any wonder I never take them off?!
As a person who struggles with being different, wearing my own jewellery gives me a visible and tangible identity, all through wearing these bracelets, necklaces, and wallet chains.
I want to share this feeling of inner and outer strength with other people,
As a queer person, I feel power in wearing Pride colours on my wrist,
and I can layer them up to show all my different identities as a whole.
I want to share this with everyone. I want everyone to be able to stand up, be proud of themselves, regardless of how weird or outside-ish you’re feeling. Everyone deserves a place in the world, and everyone deserves to be able to show who they are with their accessories.
Always remember you are as shiny as a well polished stainless steel bracelet, and as strong as titanium. Wearing pieces I make just enforces this, and you can face the world head on knowing you have a small reminder firmly attached to your body.
Time for a History Lesson:
Chainmaille, chainmail, chain mail – the many different spellings show that this is a technique people have an interest in.
Dating back to at least 200 B.C., chainmaille has been used by everyone from the Celts to the Romans to the Vikings and its proud tradition and culture has continued right up to the present day.
With such a rich history it’s no wonder people are intrigued by both the armour and the jewellery.
Macramé can be traced back to knot arts in China in the 3rd century! That’s quite the legacy.
It was also used extensively by Arabian weavers in the 13th century onwards.
This art of knotting cord had its golden age in the 1970s, but now in the late 2010s we see a revival of the jewellery, plant hangers and wall hangings all around the globe.
Pride Riots leading to Pride Parades started with the Stonewall Riots in 1969.
Cops raided the Stonewall Inn, a big LGBTQ+ hangout, and people had finally had enough. Among the first stone throwers were pioneers Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. We have these brave trans women to thank for many of the rights we now enjoy as queer people.
Stand up, be amazing, and remember the proud tradition we come from.
Be Proud. Be You.
Read on to see Vic’s full story:
I am a true Viking, born and raised in Fardal, Norway, close to the site of the Battle of Fimreite! My heritage is a huge part of me, like the farm next door where my mum grew up that has been there for hundreds of years, and the long, long history of Sognefjorden, one arm of which stretches right past the mountains where I grew up.
I’ve always been a creative one, ever since I was very little. As a child I’d draw, paint and craft; later I did acting, learned to play the keyboard and started writing songs. I still write songs now, more than a decade later.
A few days before my 20th birthday I decided to up and move to the UK. This was a massive change for me, but one that would turn out beautifully. On the south coast of England I found love, friendships and a love of the English Channel almost as strong as that of the fjords back home. I ended up settling in Brighton & Hove, a very alternative city which suits me very well.
At the age of 24 I had to quit working due to health reasons. For a long time I drifted without a purpose, unable to work and with not much to keep me occupied. But then one day my good friend came over and taught me how to make friendship bracelets – and it was done. I was hooked on crafts again. I moved on to more advanced macramé. From there it moved quickly; I fell in love with beads of all kinds, learnt the basics of wire wrapping and found out that such a thing as chainmaille jewellery existed!
Chainmaille has become my passion, which I put down to my Viking heritage. You can take the girl out of Norway but you can’t take the Viking out of the girl! Most of my creations now come out of a pile of small rings. I have become familiar with different types of metal, learnt many different ways of weaving the rings together and the pliers have become my second pair of hands. Honestly, some days I feel like Edward Scissorhands!
Since deciding to focus on the metal jewellery, I have also started stamping metal. This is a fun way of being creative which requires some special equipment and some practice, but the possibilities are endless!
I started my tiny little business in August 2013, and made my first sale in October that year. By then I had been making jewellery for friends and family for a while and honed my craft. I set up shop on Etsy, as well as a website through which I take custom orders. Who doesn’t love having something made just for them?
And here we are now. I’m always perfecting my work, always learning new things and forever trying to come up with new designs which will not only appeal to other people, but which I would wear myself. I want to make shiny things to share with people, and I want there to be something for all tastes.
I focus my energies on the more alternative market, however I am always happy to make something for you, specifically. If you have anything in mind, i’m all ears!