Meet: Jeri

Back in February [practically a year ago?!] I created a page called Meet: where I introduce my blogworld to my friend-family who do incredible things. I answered readers’ questions for the first one to get things rolling and then was privileged to Meet: Bree. After that Meet: sort of fell by the wayside. Without some sort of deadline, I get nothing done. Like, period. That’s not acceptable because  I’m constantly surrounded by such talent, such promise and everyone should know! And so, I’m very proud to Meet: Jeri. She was one of the original people I had in mind when I started this so there’s no one better to meet now that Meet: will be a monthly thing!

So, I sat down with Jeri in her Wallingford home studio and basically giggled for about twenty minutes. Here’s what we could make out.

Meet: Jeri

State your name, for the record [which isn’t a question, really, ha!]

Jeri Adrianna Mack and I created Objects & Subjects, I design and create handmade jewelry that incorporates up-cycled materials to create edgy, feminine, industrial-chic jewelry.

Do you prefer to work alone? Also, mention how you feel about in-home studios versus resources such as ActivSpace.

I do prefer to work alone; my mind goes to a lot of places when I am working in my studio. I like to sketch out new designs and start creating something new from those sketches, but a lot of the time the shapes of the metal inspire me in another direction. I’m constantly thinking, “Well, what if I do this?” Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way I would like, but that’s how I learn. I had a studio at Activspace for a year, and I am glad I experienced that because I learned that I prefer to work from home. One nice thing about having a home studio is that when inspiration strikes, I just have to go upstairs. With the community art space, I had to get in the car and drive across town which prevented me from going there as much as I would have liked. Had I met any of the other artists in the building or took advantage of the Artwalks, it could have been a completely different experience, but I was just starting out so for me it was just my space to learn.

studiophoto by Andrew Walsh

What sort of things do you do to get in the zone?
I start out a regular day with a nice, hot cup of coffee and check my online shop to see if I have any new orders. Sometimes I check out creative blogs or Pinterest to get my mind warmed up for the day. While I’m in my studio, I like to play Brazilian music because it’s chill and up beat…it puts me in a good mood. 

Where can we find you?
I started selling on Etsy a little over 3 years ago. It’s been great and has taught me a lot about running a successful business. I remember when I made my first few sales… it was so exciting! When I made my first sale overseas, I wanted to celebrate! It’s been interesting bringing my business to where it is. There has been a lot of trial and error as well as the realization of what I want my business to become, and that is all in the learning process. You always need to be working toward something new, something different.

I also sell Objects & Subjects pieces at B.(resale) shop, voted the BEST resale shop in Minneapolis. It is an urban-based, used clothing store in South Minneapolis. They carry gently used men & women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, as well as wonderful pieces by some very talented local designers. They also sell their goods online which is very cool!

Finally, I started my own website where people can buy directly from me! I am currently working on a collection of jewelry inspired by the modern-day gypsy and high fashion bohemian styles. I plan to debut the collection on my website when the pieces are finished and photographed.
Go there now, I’ll wait.

As a champion of a creative lifestyle, what advice do you have for up-n-comers? 
Don’t lose your drive. If you want to make something successful, you have to keep at it and continue learning your craft and never give up. Sometimes I get distracted and want to spend my time doing other things. I have to remind myself that although I can’t do everything, if I want my business to be successful I need to be consistent and continue to learn things that will benefit my craft. A creative mind is easily distracted, and sometimes I just have to refocus and reexamine my goals.

What do you want the people to know most about Objects & Subjects?
I used to work at an award manufacture and there was always a bucket of off-cuts and scrap metal pieces that they couldn’t use so they would just send it out to be recycled. One day, when I was going through my supplies, I came across a few pieces of the scrap stainless steel. It just clicked, and I got my tools out and started playing. I recycle scrap metal as well as using other kinds of industrial pieces in my jewelry. Most of the beads and other elements are from old discarded pieces of jewelry found at thrift stores or vintage markets. I love giving something that was once loved a new life, and I feel it is important to reuse and do what you can to minimize your impact on the environment.

puts the hammer down

How much time do you spend working on O&S?
Everyday I work on O&S in some way. Some days it’s just a few drawings in a sketchbook and some days I spend up to 12 hours in my studio. It’s different everyday. I work as a cake decorator and when my husband and I get a day off together we like to go out and explore the city together, but if he’s working on my days off I spend all day in my studio. 

What are your thoughts on style? How do you encourage others to find their own personal style? 
I feel like jewelry is the icing on the cake when it comes to putting together an outfit. Your jewelry and clothing should compliment each other in some way, but I also love statement jewelry that stands on it’s own. My go-to look is a nice black sweater with some big dramatic statement earrings. I did not always feel bold enough to get away with statement jewelry, but I always loved the pieces on their own. I finally told myself to go for it and now whenever I wear my big earrings or big interesting necklaces I get a ton of compliments and that just boosts my confidence!
Meet: Jeri
Thanks, Jeri! I always have a ball when we get together. Unfortunately this interview ends on a bittersweet note for me as I’ve just learned that Jeri and her husband Jesse [who drums for Super Plaid] are moving back to Minnesota. Seattle will miss you in a big, big way. Honeybee and I wish you all the absolute best. All of it. Big smiles, big hugs, big love,
❤ Sunshine



Structure & Purpose

Oh hai!  Wonderful to see you. How’s Monday treating you?

Me–I’m good, solid good. I’ve spent the majority of my time, lately, with my nose applied directly to the grindstone. This weekend I spent 6 hours carving, 4 drawing, 2 cleaning and at least 4 attending to assorted math and art history assignments. [I also went jogging for the first time since I overtaxed myself after hurting my foot.] Busy-busy! Another thing I’ve been doing is making payments on my new camera. Remember when I got upgraded? Well, I couldn’t afford it all at once so I made $50 payments until I paid the balance. Well, I have a disconnect when it comes to numbers. Somehow they slip away from my mind and I never feel sure when asked to recall them. My slippery brain remembered that it was payment time, but didn’t think to remember whether or not I’d finished. Turns out, I was! I am! I officially own my camera. Sunshine Press made an investment in [her very own] interests, in possibility, in the future. I don’t know about you, but I’m [fucking] thrilled.

I’ve been thinking a lot about structure, spacial and personal, as of late. See, I have a tendency to wander. There’s absolutely always a part of me that will give chase. That will, at very least, make a note of where the exits are. If you pick up what I’m putting down. What I mean is: I have always been one to tell you my wildest truth but not my name OR admit myself and edit accordingly. It is a dangerous thing, the internet. Anyone in the whole wide interworld can see. It’s a choice and I choose to write here  because the structure, the purpose of Sunshine Press is to be a real outlet, a sample, resume, a portfolio, a photomontage and a journal entry all at the same time.

You put your whole heart out there and anything can happen.

No matter how flaky I ever get, I always come back to the Press. Over the years [from DiaryLand, to LiveJournal, to Allpoetry, to MySpace to Facebook to WordPress, no matter what, I come back here to talk it out. And, so, I really appreciate my readership. Thanks for all the comments, the likes, the loves.

I aim to move forward with purpose. Coming up next, you can expect more regulars [Meet:!, Nuptials!] as well as new treats [Portfolio! Playlist!] with greater consistency. I’ve also been pondering things like advertising and other directions the Press can grow. Can’t wait!


❤ Sunshine



Pepper cheesesteak (Steak Queen)

A big plate of brotherly love.

The circumstances found me in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. The town I was leaving is known as the city beautiful and it showed. It was a tourist explosion and hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on the flowers whizzing by on I-4. As soon as we descended below the cloud line I felt better. The bitch who’d caused me to miss my original flight, my time in the “problem child” line was pushed out of my mind and there it was. 

All I could think of were bad movie references, native band the Roots and those delicious cheese steaks that I’ve been known to have perfected. I wanted a beer, but since funds were lacking it seemed appropriate to buy food that would last me until I landed in my final destination. 

In line at Route 66 Joe’s, Joe himself asked me what I wanted. He was eager to get my food cooking before the cashier could even catch up. All I could afford was a hot dog and a fresh lemonade (because somehow fresh lemonade was cheaper than water). The guy in front of me ordered an authentic Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. I didn’t see them on the menu. They must’ve been on the expensive side. 

I asked Joe if he could make me a baby cheese steak and he looked up at me, half offended, “they only come in one size.” The guy in front of me asked if I wanted to share his. I looked over at it and it was the size of a football. “You would do that?” “Yeah,” he said, “I can’t eat all that before my flight. I hope you don’t mind onions and hot peppers.” “That’s exactly how I like it.” 

My funds were as safe as they could be. All I had to buy was the lemonade and we found a table not far from each of our terminals. 

He was going to LA to work. His name was John and he was married, had two little boys and wanted nothing more than to hear what interesting things a young person like me was thinking about. I told him about the job I was seeking in Seattle. I told him about the jobs I had in Orlando. After hearing my explanations on why college didn’t happen for me he suggested I get an, “M. R. S.” “What’s that?” I asked. “A husband.” 

I explained that I’d caught one of those and threw it back. He laughed. He listened. We ate and just as we were finishing he diagnosed. 

“You need to own your own business and you need to hang out with people who own their own businesses so you can learn how to do it. That’s all you need. Well, that and confidence. Confidence is very important.” 

I told him that it’s one of those things I don’t have much of and he suggested I watch people who seem to have it and emulate them until it comes naturally, that’s all that really counts. “Looking confident is very important, I mean.” 

“Thank you,” I said. 

Overhead someone called for what must have been his flight so he got up to leave. “You like clouds?” he asked. “Yeah, I love em,” I answered. “This one’s a miracle.” 

He pulled out an iPhone and flipped through with a flick of his fingers to show me a picture of a beautiful cloud that looked like a bride overlooking the city. 

“Paint that.” 

And he walked away.