Exile Jewelry | Maker Feature

Friday, November 06, 2020

Can you believe we're almost halfway through November? With the colder weather and less busy schedules (hello Covid), we have a notebook full of goals for the community. It seems we've been plugging away even more so these past days to get things rolling. And, with that comes another maker feature - something we've been neglecting a little lately. We can't wait for you to meet Charlotte the maker behind Exile Jewelry. She has the complete story behind taking those first steps and getting the support to keep at it. And definitely a fun side you'll love to learn about. Take a peek:

What is your name and company?
Charlotte - Exile Jewelry
Where are you from?  
Windsor, NS

What do you make?
Handmade sterling silver jewelry.

Where can we find you and start shopping?
Instagram: @exilejewelry
Shop: Etsy + Website

Does your company contribute back to the environment?
Emphasis on recycled & repurposed metals.

The business side of the interview...

Tell us more about your company - what's your business' story or something unique that we'd love to hear?

I started metalsmithing almost three & a half years ago after my obsession with sea glass started to take over my dining room. My boyfriend decided I needed to find a way to get rid of it, knowing I would never stop collecting.
How did you get started selling? What made you finally take the leap?
I started selling almost a year after I started smithing because one of my very good friends encouraged me. She had started small artistic sea glass business, and wanted a partner in crime for the craft shows, and also saw the potential in my work. After a few coworkers & siblings asked for custom work, I decided it was time. It was a very small church Christmas craft show in Halifax and I sold three items. I was SO EXCITED my work was good enough that strangers wanted to buy it!

Give us your best advice for others that want to start making and selling. Which did you wish you knew when you had started?
Research and networking are both super important. I found a great community of smiths on Facebook - I swear there is a group for just about everything! Even being a passive observer in this environment has taught me a lot of things I would have never considered on my own & made me more confident in creating. Industry entities (like @metalsmithsociety on Instagram!) that bring the community together exist, and the more you immerse & invest yourself in the community, the more you’ll find.
Are you a messy creative or an organized creative? What does your workspace really look like? Can you give us some of your storage tips?
My workspace actually looks like chaos. I’m very messy and I like to work on about 20 projects at once, so I never get bored with one thing. Because I’m part time, I can pick and choose what I feel like working on with benefits my creativity. The vast majority of my customers are super understanding. I have a lot of tools like pliers, hammers, setting tools and gravers and use a variety of pop-up racks for the lighter items (kitchen isle of the dollar store). I’ve also found that modifying my work bench by drilling holes in it for commonly used tools has been really helpful in deterring me from misplacing things. 

Now the fun personal side...

Would you rather spend your vacation at the beach or sight-seeing?
I am not known to ever pass up a beach day! Any opportunity to find sea glass!
What’s your favorite part about home? Are you a homebody?

I am a total homebody! I love my outdoor garden, but my favourite place is my home studio.

Salty or sweet? What is your favorite of the one you chose?

I have a wicked sweet tooth & I’m a prolific baker. Bad combo! 🤣😉

Something unique about yourself that nobody really knows? (IE, one thumb is longer than the other, skipped a grade in school, etc)

Before the age of two I had several seizures including a grand mal seizure for which I needed an ambulance.

Three favorite Instagram accounts you think we should all follow, and their main focus.

@stringtheoriesca is the sweetest human and makes gorgeous macrame wall art & plant hangers. Her work often uses driftwood for the perfect beachy feel!

@metalsmithsociety for anyone interested in metal work and what goes into it!

@slightlyirreg for beautiful, handmade Nova Scotia Earthenware ceramic work.

Ahhh... Thank you so much Charlotte for telling us more about your handmade business. We loved hearing the honesty about building courage and knowledge to achieve your dreams. And of course, it's always nice to know that a passion can be very messy and sporatic - we can certainly agree! Your jewelry is absolutely beautiful and so unique, we hope all of your dreams come true with your business. Once again, if you want to see more stunning jewelry or get in touch with Charlotte, here's where you can reach her:

Instagram: @exilejewelry
Shop: Etsy + Website

HC ♡

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