Glass Sky creates jewelry to "connect you to your natural, beautiful, nuanced self". We interviewed owner, Andrea, to learn more about her small business. Meet Glass Sky Jewelry at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!
Tell us about your local business.
Hi! I'm Andrea, the artist behind Glass Sky Jewelry. My background is in Fashion Design and while I was working in that corporate world, my least favorite thing was the message that you aren't good enough unless you wear ___ and know ___ and follow the fashion "rules." With Glass Sky, I hope to focus instead on emboldening, supporting, and really celebrating the strong, natural spirits of the amazing, complex, everyday women.
What drew you to your craft?
I have always been a maker and am infinitely inspired by shapes and textures. Metal-smithing started for me as a hobby and, honestly, as stress relief because it gave me a chance to be creative for no reason other than expression and enjoyment. Putting on the jewelry I made ended up becoming a daily ritual of self care and the pieces became like armor, keeping me connected with my authentic self through out the day. It confirmed for me that jewelry can be something we love to wear for looks, and also for connection to ourselves. Jewelry is almost more intimate than clothing because I think a lot of us end up having our favorite pieces that we wear again and again. I love having the chance to create pieces that can become staples of your style and spirit.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
My number one go-to piece to wear is the Many Moons bracelet. It's the first design I made with metalsmithing skills. It has grown on me and with me and feels so full of energy. I had this assignment in an astronomy class in college to observe the moon on different days and at different times to watch its progression. While I don't do it everyday now, I still love to look for the moon and I feel comforted knowing that it's cycling through constant changes. I love contrast and the tension of juxtaposition, so the idea that it reliably changes is so inspiring to me. Other top favorites are the broken glass earrings (I made the first pair on a fire escape in Brooklyn) and the custom pieces that give me a chance to try to tell a story and create something one of a kind and full of meaning.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
In my late teens, I remember talking to adults who had these fascinating journeys and stories of how they came to what they loved. I have always felt very open to the journey. My jump to entrepreneurship though was the first time I felt like I was not only picking a job, but also a lifestyle that I believed in. I didn't realize until I left my old job how much anxiety I carried with me everyday, how sleep deprived I was, and how drained my spirit was. When I left that world, I told my mom it felt like the square peg to my round hole spirit. Being a maker and working in a way where I receive from what I give is really the dream, the Round Peg. And it supports a lifestyle where I can be healthy, content, and inspired. What more could you want?
What is your creative process?
For me it starts with emotional inspiration. I pull from my own experiences and from the things I hear around me. I hope to capture some of those grey moments of life, where things are complex and nuanced and so human. A theme I've been working with lately is dusk and the idea that it's a transition with no clear tipping point. It's self-fueled, unwavering, reliable, unstoppable. The key shape I'm playing with is what I'm calling the Balance Symbol. It shows a strong horizon with the moon and the sun hanging halfway in the balance. Lately I've been riffing off of this shape, adding in materials, creating variations, and really listening to what the women who shop my jewelry ask for. My goal is to create jewelry that supports you, so I love to hear what people are responding to and let that be inspiration to create more.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
My message would be the one I hope to share with others through my jewelry today.. Don't apologize for who you are. Don't be hard on yourself for who you are not. Embolden and celebrate your strong, natural spirit, whatever that means to you.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
It is so easy to buy a thing. But when you buy from an artist or a maker, you buy more than just the thing, you're also buying their passion and their point of view or their view of the world really. I think the reason we emotionally connect with things is because they represent something we believe in too. So when you buy from a local maker, you say with your purchase "I believe in what you believe in. And I support it." And that connection is unbeatable. It serves that artist and their work, but I think it might even serve us as buyers more.
Why do you love doing what you do?
The connections. The challenges. The rewards. It's more than I know how to say really.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
1. Don't be motivated by fear.
2. The other makers and artists around you are not your competition, they are your colleagues and your community. Don't forget to connect with them and share with them!
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
Fall leaves, sunsets, and live music.
Meet Glass Sky Jewelry at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd, 2017!