On Jewelry-Making, Confidence and Evolution: Becky Joiner of Oh My Jewelry
this fall, our theme is: flourish.
flourish (n.): to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
When we make work under our best conditions, we do more than survive—we thrive.
And what grow toward (or say no) to has a lot do with it. Whether you’re a small business owner, independent artist or side hustling creative, your career pathway will take resilience and strategic decision-making. Where do you choose to go? What makes something a yes? Which environments are best for your growth?
Those answers are nuanced, and for the most part they vary. So, as we prepare for craftHER Market Fall ‘19, we’re interviewing some of this market’s featured makers to learn more about their businesses and the ways they create favorable environments for their work. Read on for a peek into their process.
about today’s featured maker: becky joiner of oh my jewerly
“I have always been making something, and my mom has a great story about me and a concoction called 'pudding mix' in the bathtub when I was a wee tot! Art has been my focus throughout high school and college, and although I did skip around during those years, I finally settled on an Illustration degree from The School Of Visual Arts in NYC. I'm born and raised in Texas, so after graduation, I knew Austin was the only place for me. I shifted my interests from the fine arts to apparel sewing and fiber arts. I found a love in teaching at Stitch Lab with some amazing people, and when that darling studio said 'adieu', I started experimenting with other materials, including Polymer Clay. I started making my own jewelry designs in February 2019, and haven't looked back.”
How would you describe who you are and what you do?
I would say I am an explorer. I love trying new things when it comes to crafts and artwork, and I get the most joy from new projects and doing something different every day. Before when I have had thought of starting a creative business, I would struggle with the idea of making multiples of the same thing, so I would grow quickly bored and abandon the endeavor. Clay is the perfect medium for me because each time I make pieces, it's different. New color palette, new textures, new combos. I rarely make more than one of anything, so each piece really is one of a kind.
Our theme for this Fall’s craftHER is flourish. How are you looking to grow your business at the moment?
So far I have focused my efforts on exposure through markets and pop-up events. The people I've met at various flea markets are awesome, and I am so grateful. I would love to see my pieces being sold around Austin at boutiques or salons, and I need to work on my online presence. I am no graphic designer, so websites and technical things are quite alien to me.
What are some of the biggest growth moments you’ve experienced as a creative and/or business owner over the last year? What can others learn from your experience?
The biggest has been confidence and evolution. Because I've dabbled in so many 'projects' I often feel like I haven't stayed with one thing long enough to see the change and growth. Like I had mentioned, the markets I've attended have been fantastic, and my wacky creations have been very well received. I get the 'warm fuzzies' when someone tags a photo of themselves wearing my earrings or a stranger comments on a post. The validation has been so helpful, which proves you never know what will happen until you actually just put yourself out there. I'd tell others, GO! Say yes and see where it takes you. You don't need fancy displays or expensive printed decals in the beginning. Baby steps, but you have to take a step.
Sustaining a creative business is tough. What are some money mindsets you’ve had to learn as an artist / entrepreneur?
I enjoy collaborating with others. In fact, I just started collaborating with a friend who works with Alcohol Ink with some amazing results. We both have strengths and weaknesses, so I'm excited to see what happens when our powers combine.
How do you hold yourself accountable to the goals you set? How do you bounce back when something doesn’t go as planned?
I make a list of six things each morning while drinking coffee. As a mom of three, there really is nothing that goes perfectly each day or week! I am good at adapting and switching things up when necessary, so making just a small list each day gives me focus on the essentials.
What’s one thing you wish people better understood about your craft?
It's trickier than it looks. Getting clay to be smooth takes time, plus sanding and finishing. The pieces I draw on are made in the moment, which makes them even more unique.
Would you like to meet Becky in-person? Come out to craftHER Market Fall ‘19 on October 12 and 13, 2019 at Fair Market and stop by her booth. Click here to learn more.