My first post is just to give a little bit of background on who I am and where I am coming from. My Jewelry Design career started in New York City (technically since a kid, but professionally) and I am now living and working on the West Coast.
I have loved crafting and drawing since as long as I can remember. Seriously, I would draw on anything and everything as long as it had a blank space with crayons, pens, markers, nail polish, whatever. I remember really loving crazy, brightly colored bauble costume jewelry and wearing as much of it as I could. I had my ears pierced when I was an infant, but for some reason I would still wear clip on earrings because other earrings weren't big or cool enough for me. Throughout my life I continued to enjoy drawing and creating, but it wasn't until high school when I started to make and sell beaded jewelry that I considered making Jewelry Design a career. I knew it would not be an easy journey but nonetheless I applied to one college my senior year of high school. I knew the path to get into and pay for college was not going to be easy on my own, but The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City was the only place I saw fit to pursue my jewelry passion.
Fast forward to the end of my college education four and a half years later. 86 classes, a degree in Jewelry Design and another in Production Management, and multiple full time jobs later I was exhausted. I was relieved because I knew I had accomplished many things for my age and I was working full time in design for a corporate jewelry company. It was still hard for me to relate to many people my age in NYC. My main priorities had been school, work and career, and I had been on my own and responsible for every decision and action I made since I was a senior in high school. There was no need for me to "find myself" because growing up on my own made me realize things I was willing to sacrifice and work for. Of course in the end living, going to school, and working in New York City was an invaluable experience that has given me so much insight on who I am, what I want, and what I value in my life.
With a sudden job opportunity in Los Angeles, CA my amazing, supportive boyfriend of over three years decided he wanted to take the job and start a new life for the both of us. I was freaking out and having a hard time fully committing and taking the leap of faith. I had worked really hard to build relationships and had really emerged myself within the private label and mass market jewelry industry in NYC. I was scared to leave it behind to start completely over.
Now I am sitting in the sun on our balcony in Los Angeles. I obviously took the leap and with some major support of a small handful of caring people I know I am starting my own jewelry line. It was hard for many people to understand why leaving ended up being so easy. It's hard to explain to other people what I have been through but I was looking for a fresh start. Now is the time to take risks and pursue even bigger dreams. Leaving New York lit a fire under me and I don't think I'll ever lose the desire to stop creating, but working on my own designs and handcrafting my own pieces has never given me such pride in my own work.
There was an article my cousin sent me while I was still on the fence with the move. After reading it aloud to my boyfriend my decision became a lot easier because the article proved I was not alone in my decision to "quit New York." Here's an excerpt from the article from The Cut "Why I'm Glad I Quit New York at Age 24" written by Ann Friedman:
In an excerpt from Goodbye to All That adapted for BuzzFeed, Ruth Curry describes the heady infatuation with New York that I never managed to feel: “The city lent itself especially well to a mental configuration in which you were an extra in an artsy, high-budget movie and saw everything as if through a camera on a set.” Part of that infatuation is a willingness to consider New York from a cinematic distance, overlooking the city’s many irritants except insofar as they add grit and drama to your story. This seems like the general approach of many New York evangelists, who complain vigorously about little things like subway hardships and bedbug plagues, and then post Instagram photos of the skyline at sunset. A not-insignificant number of the vehement New York lovers I know — especially the young twentysomethings — are actually pretty unhappy day to day. I picture the prom king’s girlfriend sitting near him at the party, ignored but still kind of proud to be in the room and on his arm — and incredibly defensive should you suggest she break up with him for someone who dotes on her more. When I describe my West Coast existence (sunshine! avocados! etc.) to some New Yorkers, they acknowledge that they really like California, too, but could never move there because they’d get too “soft.” At first this confused me, but after hearing it a few times, I’ve come to believe that a lot of people equate comfort with complacency, calmness with laziness. If you’re happy, you’re not working hard enough. You’ve stopped striving.
Like I said my experiences in New York helped shape who I am and gave me invaluable insight on what I want for myself. My boyfriend and I had worked so hard for everything we had accomplished and yes we were living in the West Village in Manhattan, but we valued and wanted a different life. I now have the time and space to have my own bench and make jewelry which living in New York would never have allowed me. We get up early, go to the beach, and then I come home to wax carve and polish my pieces. Being a creative person I always feel the need to be pushing myself to make something new. I will never lose that passion and hopefully you will follow me and my journey to start my own line.