SE Designs creates handmade jewelry in Cincinnati, Ohio. We interviewed owner, Samantha, to learn more about her local business. Meet SE Designs at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!
Tell us about your local business.
About five years ago, I started working at a local bead store in Cincinnati for some extra spending money while I was working full-time as a lab tech. I learned how to make jewelry there, and completely fell in love. Around the same time, a co-worker at my full-time job taught me how to knit. Together, these became the creative outlet I didn’t know I was missing.
I finally started SE Designs last year. “SE” stands for Samantha Elizabeth, my first and middle name. I strive to create unique, high-quality jewelry and hand knit accessories.
What drew you to your craft?
I have always loved creating. I am drawn to anything I can make with my hands. If I have the time and means to make something myself, I’ll give it a try.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
I recently made a ring with this huge, beautiful moonstone cabochon. It was the first ring I tried to make with an open bezel setting, and turned into a little bit of an experiment. It’s perfectly imperfect.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I have never had an answer to this question! I wanted to be and try everything.
What is your creative process?
My inspiration comes from the materials. It’s kind of backwards, but I get gemstones and yarn that I love, and then make a mess laying everything out and deciding how best to showcase the materials. Very rarely do I have an idea in my head first and then get materials to bring that image to life. The best part about jewelry and knitwear? If I’m not happy with what I make, I can tear it apart and start over.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Keep your eyes on your own paper. In the age of social media, it can be easy to compare your life to the lives of your peers.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
When you support local artists, you are helping to support someone’s dream. Each item you purchase is a representation of someone’s time and passion.
Why do you love doing what you do?
There are always new techniques to create, learn, and master; I love experimenting with new techniques. It is impossible to get bored when you are obsessed with your craft.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
Be confident in your products and your process! It would be great if everyone liked everything you made, but it’s not realistic. Try not to rely on the approval of others.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
My favorite thing about exploring Cincinnati is that it is really a city of neighborhoods. You can move 5 to 10 minutes away and have a completely new living experience. I’ve lived in Norwood, Oakley, Walnut Hills, and Columbia Tusculum, and love different things about each neighborhood.
Meet SE Designs at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd, 2017!