I design and create jewelry and accessories by hand – using a variety of different techniques (lost wax casting, cutting and piercing metal and wire-wrapping). I work mostly in sterling silver, brass and gold vermeil – I also use freshwater pearls and other gemstones in my work.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
Well, my work as a jewelry designer began after a New Year’s resolution at the end of 2008. I’m usually not a sucker for New Year’s resolutions but I was very bored and uninspired by my day job in media (the industry was dying and I felt that I was plateauing) – I live in NYC so I decided to drop by FIT one day and check out the course offerings they have in the evening. Jewelry was the first thing that struck me (and it makes sense because my Dad has worked in the business for 30+ years on the sales side). I started taking classes in January 2009 (stringing, jewelry 101, etc.) and have been going strong since! I love the dynamic of being in a learning environment while creating new pieces. I have met some wonderful jewelers through this as well.
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
Nope – for now it’s just my name…I couldn’t imagine another name and another line of designs just yet. That would require leaving my day job for sure!
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I certainly do not “work” alone – I have a WONDERFUL boyfriend, Ben, who happens to be in law school, runs two successful blogs and doesn’t get too mad when I cart over to his apartment all the beads for whatever project I am working on at the moment. Ben helps me keep my books and he’s been busy building my website from scratch (launch is set for the end of March!). My Dad is also the other man in my life who’s in the business with me. He’s a vet in the fine jewelry world and has a creative eye. Sometimes I’ll work on something and he’ll add input to change it for the better. Also, being a native NY-er, I don’t have a car – and he does, so he helps me out when it comes to going to a show where I need to drive! As someone who has a full-time job, I have the mantra that I MUST make 1 new piece a day and I usually stick to that goal and sometimes double and triple it around the holidays.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
I sell my work online at Etsy. I do find that I LOVE to sell in person. I mainly do shows in the NYC-area, including the Brooklyn Lyceum’s big spring and holiday shows, Artists and Fleas and even my local church’s holiday fair.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers you’d like to recommend?
I love handmade notebooks and books and boxes is one of my favorite sellers.
What inspires and motivates you?
A lot of times fashion and what I’ll see in magazines inspire me – but living in NYC and all of the different people and places really do inspire me. I also get inspired by broken jewelry – I rework a lot of pieces into something new.
Thanks Kim. And if you would like to be interviewed next, just head over to DIY Interview.