The 3rd Designer Profile is all about Halley Dawn of
Her shop is filled with a collection of goodies inspired by nature, beautifully hand-stamped pieces and she has a really sweet story.
Look below for my interview/questionnaire with her!
Halley has been an artist for many years (her degree is in painting and fine arts) and when she became pregnant last year, she wanted to find a way to utilize her creativity to build a business that would help support her and her little girl. In addition to making beautiful jewelry — she specializes in sterling silver and 14kt gold filled jewelry that is inspired by nature and bohemian vibes, she also makes mosaics! Check out here mosaic shop HERE
In your “About Me” you stated that you’ve been an artist your whole life and you majored in painting and fine arts in college. How do you think this experience shaped or paved the way/influences your designs?
I once read that nobody chooses to be an artist. It’s something that you do because you simply can’t stop, and can’t imagine doing anything else. The older I get, the more I find this statement to be true. Even though I am not painting as much as I used to, I absolutely consider jewelry making, (any type of craft really), to be an art form. Historically, furniture design, clothing and jewelry design, architecture, etc. are all arts that define a time period and a culture. It’s hard for me to pinpoint any one thing I learned in school that has brought me to where I am now as a jewelry designer. I think its come to be as more of an evolution.
Had you thought about making jewelry before or were the summer jewelry classes your first introduction?
Yes, it’s funny because I actually opened up my jewelry shop on etsy back in 2010. I think I had three or four sales. It was a hobby for me, mostly making cute earrings and stretchy bracelets. When I was pregnant last summer I decided it was time to see how I could expand my vision, and hopefully make some extra money doing it. Taking classes allowed me to make more complex designs, and also helped me to take some of the ideas I had floating around in my head and turn them into a tangible pieces. By the end of the summer I was selling my work at outdoor art festivals and getting a pretty great response! I reopened my website in October, and it’s been steadily growing ever since.
Would you say that “Nature Vibe” is an extension of yourself?
Absolutely. I think that every artist feels this way about their craft. 🙂
You enjoy making the hand stamped pieces the most because you truly get to connect with another on an individual basis. What sayings or quotes have stood out to you the most? Do you wear any of the hand stamped bracelets — if so, what do they say?
Yes, and it’s a good thing the quote bracelets are my favorite item to make, because they are also my most popular! Many of the bracelets I sell are gifts, and include sentimental words on them. It amazes me how many customers open up to me and share the stories behind the words! Others are funny (“Suck it up, buttercup!”), inspirational (“She believed she could, and so she did.”), also motivational (“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”) Of course I have plenty that I wear myself, including “Live your dream”, and “You are my sunshine”, with my daughter’s name on the inside. I am currently rocking a bracelet that says “SH P HANDMADE” because I truly believe in the importance of supporting the handmade movement and small businesses. I try to shop handmade whenever possible.
You live in Cleveland, OH currently.. Did you grow up there? If not, where? And how would you say this has influenced your design style and aesthetic?
I did grow up here. In 2004 I moved to Atlanta, GA for school, and that is where I ended up spending the majority of my adult life. Both my business and my daughter were born in Atlanta, and it is a place that I hold very dear to my heart. There is a very strong indie culture in the city, which you will find reflected in the food industry, music, and the arts. This definitely influenced me, and also helped define my style.
How would you describe your own personal style? Is that reflected in Nature Vibe’s bohemian and earthy vibes?
Yes, I have to be honest everything I make is something I could see myself wearing. (Which can be a problem sometimes, because I do end up keeping a lot of it!) I would describe my style as casual, yet eclectic. A summer sundress topped off with lots of handmade jewelry and a cute pair of sandals is my usual go-to outfit.
Tell me about your first memory creating art… whether it was drawing, painting, jewelry. What kind of materials or things did you create with as a kid?
As a child I probably had every type of craft kit available, and enjoyed using all types of materials. One of the most vivid projects I remember making was a collection of art books and journals that I “wrote” and illustrated at a very young age.
How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
It depends on what I’m making. To be honest, what takes the longest is the design process, which begins with an idea in my head, that turn into sketches on paper, and then finally a finished product. Once I have got that part out of the way, it’s easy to make an item again and again with different variations.
Is there anyone who has helped you along with the process?
Although I am a one-woman business, I cannot express enough gratitude to my family for all of their love and support. My mom has been my number one fan since day one. Growing up, she drove me all around town to different art classes, and really encouraged and helped me to apply to an art college. My dad has been excellent for talking to about business advice, especially in this past year.
How have your designs changed or evolved over time? Where do you get your inspirations from?
Nature Vibe Jewelry is still a relatively new concept. I get inspiration from both nature and from the many places I have traveled to. These days many of my new designs come from customers, requesting specific items. I have a collection of crystals and gemstones that I am eager to start working with, as I love to incorporate natural materials. I haven’t done as much with them yet as I would like to, but that’s definitely the next direction I see my work going.
How do you balance designing/running a business and everyday life, especially with your daughter?
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tricky. She’s only 7 months old, and requires constant attention and supervision. I’ve definitely had to make a lot of sacrifices, including giving up our home and moving back in with my parents. Again, I’m blessed to have a supportive family to help us out.
What are some of the most difficult things in owning a business and jewelry designing/mosaics?
As a single parent, time management is particularly difficult. The hours of uninterrupted time required to make a mosaic are a thing of the past, at least for now. Making jewelry has become ideal for me, because I can pick away at things a little bit at a time. For instance, I’ll do some stamping early in the morning, and then come back later in the day and form them into bracelets.
What are the most rewarding things?
Hearing an excited customer contact me to tell me how much they love their new jewelry never fails to make my day. Watching my dreams become a reality is also rewarding in a way that is so great, it is difficult to explain. It’s important that I do this for myself, but also for Maya. I want to be a role model for her… to teach her to never give up on the things you love, and to always follow your dreams.
What are some of your goals? (Life or fashion?)
Right now my biggest goal is to turn Nature Vibe Jewelry into a full-time business for myself. It seemed far out goal at one point, but now I feel like I am getting closer to reaching it every day.
P.S. I wear my two hand-stamped bracelets almost daily! One with part of my favorite Bible verse – “Do not conform to the patterns of this world” from Romans 12:2 and “Je née suis pour ça” translating from french to mean “you were born for this”. Supposedly, this is what Joan of Arc said going into battle and I absolutely love it.