If you haven’t heard of Austin-based Killer Queen Jewelry — which, yes, is totally named after a song by Queen — today’s your lucky day. Aside from all the unique, hand-made awesomeness they sell, this weird Austin business definitely embodies the best parts of this city’s art scene.
Killer Queen’s jewelry collection is about as eclectic as they come, and includes everything from teeth-shaped earrings to teapot necklaces. There’s all due to the precision of Killer Queen CEO Katie Cowden, an artist who laser cuts and etches most of the pieces herself. Some of the jewelry is even painted by hand.
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“I’m very detail oriented,” Cowden told Austin.com. “I put a lot of effort into my paintings and jewelry, making every aspect perfect. Even the back of the art, that you wwouldn’t normally see, is done just the way I want it.”
Cowden started Killer Queen a year-and-a-half ago when she grew tired of teaching preschool. She had long been involved in art in her hometown of College Station, and explained that her mother is an art teacher, her father is a blacksmith, and her siblings are artists — so the creative bug has just always been in her genes. That led her to create jewelry on the side while she was living in College Station, and the habit stuck after she moved to Austin 10 years ago.
Today, thanks to the Austin business scene, what started out as making jewelry and art mostly for friends has turned into a full-time endeavor. In addition to her retail installation at Secret Oktober on South First Street, Cowden also markets jewelry on Etsy and makes frequent appearances at local craft fairs, selling each piece for a very reasonable $10-$20.
“There are so many creative people [in Austin],” Cowden said. “I never lack inspiration. I can go out to galleries and shows and be inspired all the time. And the art community here is very welcoming. People are always saying they’d like for me to participate in this and that. I feel like I’ve settled into my niche here.”
To see that niche for yourself, check out the Killer Queen Etsy page or tour their space during the East Austin Studio Tour on Nov. 15-16 and Nov. 22-23.
Featured photo: Katie Cowden of Killer Queen. Rebecca L. Bennett, Brave Bird Photography.