Today is a first of a new series on women Doing What You Love. I had this idea to feature women on my blog that are doing what they love; in varied fields, well known best selling authors, business owners, actors, models, full-time homemakers. I want to celebrate women that are often doing what they love while working inside and outside of the home, raising children, caring for aging parents but also carving out time for themselves. I hope you enjoy this series as much I have learning about these incredible women! If you or someone you know would like to be featured email me (see the about page).
My first guest is Ms. Kiva Slade of Kiva Slade Designs. Please make Kiva feel welcome; by commenting or asking her questions. Check out Kiva’s Etsy shop link below.
How did you get started making jewelry?
I’ve always had my own style and can do attitude, whether it was making new clothes for my Barbie doll or deciding to use a slip as the pattern for a dress to my cousin’s wedding. Did I mention that I made that decision on the day of the wedding and yes wore the dress to the wedding! My desire to be different combined with my can do attitude YET being on a fixed or limited budget meant that I needed to thrift and make my own items.
When did you get started?
My first foray into jewelry making began in 1993. While working in Georgetown (DC), I ventured into a bead store with the intention of creating a masterpiece. I purchased beads, wire, pliers and a few other items and did make what I thought was a masterpiece. I made a few other items but US Airways created a major detour in my jewelry making journey by losing my luggage on a trip to Florida with all my supplies! It wasn’t until 2005 that I pursued jewelry again and once again, I started with beads and stringing. In 2008 , I took a metalsmith class at a jewelry store in Annapolis and fell in love with the transformation process of metal, the tools and fire didn’t hurt either. Since that time, I primarily work with silver and copper metals but I still incorporate beads into some of my designs.
What do you love about being creative?
The freedom…whether it is taking a piece of raw material like a piece of cooper sheet and knowing that I can transform that flat piece of metal into something that now has form, shape and substance.
What Inspires you?
Everything…when we take the time to look around, inspiration is truly everywhere. Nature is a huge source of inspiration-flowers, leaves, landscapes, clouds, etc., but I also love patterns, lines, and color. I often stare at buildings , carpet, wrought ironwork, wallpaper, flower arrangements and more in some of the oddest places. I’ve been known to stop and take pictures of things that speak to me.
Do you see something that then makes you want to create?
Quite often…I try to keep a sketchbook with me so I am ready if something strikes my fancy. The funny thing about the creative process and working with metal is that what you see and conceive on paper may not be your end result. Sometimes during the process, I am moved to change something from the original design but also there are times that the materials cause me to make tweaks.
How do you handle work life balance?
If I am honest, not very well. There are times I tend to swing further in one direction than the other and then back again. This summer I have been learning more about balance, timing and patience. The Lord has been reminding me what my current “job” is and where my focus should be but He has also been showing me that when I do what He asks, He opens doors that I didn’t even know existed.
What are your goals for your business?
Right now, my goals are small in the sense that I want to be able to have a creative outlet. In the future, It is my hope to grow my business to the point that it not only provides me with creative fulfillment but also steady supplemental income for my family.
How does your family feel about you being in business? Are they supportive?
As a whole, my family is quite supportive. Individually, my husband is supportive because he knows that my business provides me with a needed creative outlet in the midst of being a wife, mom and homeschooling existence. My kids are also supportive and I love that what I do allows them to play an active role. They help with many aspects-packaging, mailing, pictures, booth set up, customer relations at shows and more. My venture has allowed them the opportunity to see what is involved in running their own business if even on a small scale.
Do you have any community connections through your business or personally?
I’ve just started working on establishing community connections. In the beginning, my focus was my online presence but it is easy to get lost in the jewelry maker crowd on Etsy. In November 2016, I ventured out of my comfort zone and did a local show followed by another in December. Those have been great opportunities for me to meet others that are local.
What new projects are you working on?
I have plans to start incorporating additional items and I’m starting with clutch bags and scarves. I’ve sewn longer than I’ve made jewelry and I find that I need to have a variety in my creative pursuits. The end goal is more accessories because jewelry isn’t the only way to give us some extra sparkle.
What’s next for you?
A huge Christmas show at St. Mary’s of the Assumption school (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) on December 2,2017. I did this show last December but they made changes for this year to make it a juried show and I was excited to be chosen as a vendor out of more than 300 applicants. I’ve been asked to consider a home show, which I did many years ago, and may think of that but would like to do it with other makers so shoppers have some variety.
Where can we find you on social media?
First place is my Etsy shop