Rock Salt Vintage is an Ohio-based company that creates unique jewelry. Every single piece made by owner, Katelin, is crafted by hand. You can see the true elegance and attention to detail throughout their whole collection. Meet Rock Salt Vintage at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!
Tell us about your local business.
Rock Salt Vintage is a project initially based upon upcycling vintage and salvaged materials, but has evolved to represent handmade jewelry created from brass, sterling silver and 14k gold metals. Each piece is created by hand in my Cincinnati home studio with close attention to detail and craftsmanship. I use recycled or ethically sourced materials as much as possible to reduce the impact of waste and unsafe working conditions in the industry.
What drew you to your craft?
I love working with my hands. I began experimenting with jewelry making about 6 years ago. I tried out a variety of methods and materials such as beading, clay, wood and more and finally settled on metalwork. The ability to manipulate metal in endless ways continues to fascinate me. Processes involve hammering, sawing, soldering and filing to name a few.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
With each new collection or wave of designs, I tend to have a new favorite. My latest favorites are the Chime Earrings, they are lightweight, playful and elevate any simple outfit.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I had dreams of being a Veterinarian but like many kids, was turned off by the idea of extensive schooling. When I was a kid, I told my mom I wanted to be a beautiful jewelry lady at K-Mart. I get the jewelry part, but not sure where K-Mart comes in, ha!
My adult dream is to photograph the beauty in landscapes, at National Parks and other pockets of the world. I find a lot of inspiration in hiking and travel, I’d do it all the time if I could. When I’m outside with my camera is when I’m most happy, doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing or there are 40mph gusts of wind.
What is your creative process?
I’m often inspired by shapes I see in architecture or by spending time in nature. A design will pop into my head and I’ll jot it down for reference later. New designs most often come about during production of existing pieces. Scraps or discarded parts will be lying around and a unique shape will catch my eye, which often turns into a new design!
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
When you support a local artist, you are really supporting your community and helping it grow. Because most artists like to shop small, the money you spend with a small business will likely be spent at another small business, which in turn brings a lot of life and vibrancy into the city! You are also helping an artist achieve their dream when you purchase one of their works.
Why do you love doing what you do?
I get to be creative, meet other inspiring artists, tackle tough challenges not only in creating the works but also in the odds and ends of running a business. I get to travel and show my work all over the country. It’s tough work, it’s much easier to work for someone else than yourself, but I find these challenges much more satisfying.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
Make sure you love what you do. People will see that passion and drive in your work and truly begin to understand the effort that goes into it. There is a difference in those who solely care about making money and those who live for their art, happiness is key!
What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?
I love that Cincinnati has grown so much since I moved here. I’ve watched the small business scene grow rapidly and it’s pretty amazing. As for nature, I grew up hiking in Yellow Springs, have had the opportunity to visit beautiful Hocking Hills, and can’t wait to check out Cleveland’s parks.
Meet Rock Salt Vintage at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!