Throughout the month of November, we'll be interviewing artists who will be selling their work with Field of Artisans for our holiday pop-up series at Whalers Brewing Company. Check into to Field Notes (our new blog) every Monday to jumpstart your week with a dose of inspiration from these movers and shakers!
Field Interview: Kelly Jarvis, Blue i Designs
Our first Field Interview is with Kelly Jarvis owner and jeweler of Blue i Designs. Kelly has been selling with Field of Artisans since our very first season in 2015. She is loved by shoppers and fellow artist vendors alike. Her spirit is welcoming, uplifting and contagious! If you've ever been in the Field when Kelly is there, you know what I'm talking about! The Blue i Designs booth is ever changing. You'll find new pieces every time you shop her display. Working alongside Kelly is an honor and we can't wait to see what she has created for the holiday season!
Find Blue i Designs in the Field at Whalers Brewing Company on:
SUNDAY, 12/10 11:30-4:30
1. Everyone loves when they hear that Blue i Designs will be selling in the Field! How did you come up with your business name?
I actually intended my business name to be Blue Eye Designs (Original Handmade Jewelry) but the name was taken. So I substituted the small letter "i" it means, how I see, or how I create through my eyes...which are blue!! Deciding on a business name was actually really difficult for me, and I often think of changing it! But I never will!
2. The stones in your jewelry are always so unique and eye catching. Some of your jasper resemble small landscape scenes and your turquoise reminds me of diving into a tropical ocean. Do your stones come from all over the world or mainly the US? I imagine it must be a blast sourcing the stones!
I absolutely love searching for stones and beads! There are so many! Its still amazes me that such beautiful gems are dug from the earth! I purchase as many as possible from Lapidary Artists. A Lapidary artist is a person who cuts, polishes and/or engraves stones and gems. I prefer it if I know where the stones come from. Especially the turquoise. For the most part I know which state each of my turquoise pieces came from!! Other stones I get from random rock and mineral shops that I frequent, and some from online shops. I have a hand full of sources that I have been buying from for many years so I know the quality of what I purchase. I also collect sea glass & wampum from the Beaches in Westerly RI, where I live! People love the sea glass & wampum pieces. Jaspers, Turquoise & Labradorite are my personal favorites. They truly are magic~
3. Your settings always compliment the stone perfectly. Do you create the setting for the stone? Or, do you pair the stone with your favorite setting?
I never purchase a stone with a design idea in mind, unless I am working on a custom order. I purchase what I like. I pick out a few stones that I feel like working with that day and go from there. So I guess the stones decide the settings. My general rule in designing is “keep it simple and balanced”. That goes for everything else in life too!
The beauty of the stones should always be noticed right away and the setting should just enhance or accent the beauty of the stones..
4. There is something for everyone in the Blue i Designs collection. You create a wide variety of pieces from beaded wraps, to sterling silver stone pendants to copper stamped bangles. What's your favorite to create? Do you have any new ideas in the works for the collection? (As a fellow Aquarian, I know ideas are never lacking ;)
I am all over the place when it comes to my collection of jewelry, and sometimes its a real burden! My roots in jewelry making and designing are bead weaving with tiny seed beads, and stringing. My mother taught me pearl knotting and stringing semi precious stones when I was 12 or 13. The possibilities were endless and I taught myself everything else from books and videos. I still love beading and stringing and I try to incorporate it into metalsmithing as much as possible! I love working with metals and stones the most! I have a million ideas floating around all the time and I know I will never get to all of them! I am currently making tons of dainty little flowers and adding them to everything! Who knows what I will come out with next week!!
5. What is a "must have" in the studio for you to do your best work?
Obviously my must haves are my torch, hammers, files, pliers, and tools, but really the most important must have is MUSIC! Once in a great while you can find me working in silence, but 9 times out of 10 i’m blasting my favorite playlists! I holler along like I’m a vocal master, but i’m sure I sound pretty ridiculous!
6. Is there a Blue i Designs piece that you are always wearing?
I usually always wear a tiny Lotus charm that I make from my scrap silver. I’m pretty simple when it comes to accessorizing. But once in a while I do love to wear a chunky labradorite or turquoise ring.
7. You have such a dedicated and loyal customer base. This is obviously due to your beautiful work and genuine personality. Do you have any other secrets to growing a returning customer base?
Having a loyal customer base is important, and you definitely want to keep the customers coming back. I would say be unique, be yourself, do what YOU do best & don’t ever try to replicate another artists work. Having a wide variety of styles and price ranges is very important too. I don’t really have a “line” of jewelry, if you know what I mean?! I generally make a lot of random stuff, and I think this plays a huge role in my customers returning. They can get something completely different than the last piece they bought. And, I never push anything on anyone. I generally acknowledge a customer when they enter my space and let them take it all in. I don’t like sales people bombarding me with a sales pitch as I enter a store.
8. "Your vibe attracts your tribe" is something you embody! You always bring such positivity and heart to the Field. I know that you're a dream neighbor to any artist vendor at a market. How do you approach fellow jeweler relationships in such a collaborative and supportive way rather than a competitive one?
Setting up at an art venue is the social part of my life. I spend most of my week working from my home, so its nice to meet new artisans and like minded people when I am in the field! I don’t feel there’s a need to be competitive with other jewelers (or Artisans), as it creates negative energy which others, especially customers definitely feel. There are always enough customers to go around. I try to treat others as I would like them to treat me!
9. In the past couple of years, you've become a full time jeweler. What advice would you give to someone who is working two jobs but really wants to make their passion their full time job?
Don’t give up or get discouraged and quit. There will be times when you think you want to. Do the best you can with what you have. Give it time. Downsize or change the things in your life you can live without. One day you’ll find that you forgot they even existed! There are plenty of hard times, but somehow you’ll figure it all out! Because you’ll want to continue on this path. I happily work more hours for myself than I did at my job, and It’s much much more rewarding! Be creative but also be realistic! I recently returned home from a weeks vacation. I couldn’t wait to get back to work. I sat in my studio thinking...”this is fuc#&%g awesome!!!! I love what I do!” It gives you such a sense of accomplishment and freedom! And also realize, you can always get a job if you need to! Trust me though, you won’t want to!!
10. Dream collaboration? Can be a specific person, general person, company, etc. What would you create together?!
This is the hardest question for me. I guess a fellow local artisan. We would create some kind of wearable art! I actually have always wanted to create a line of jewelry made from little original paintings or drawings set in silver.
She also sells online through her Etsy shop!