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.
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.
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.
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!
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,