Kharisma Sommers Featured in Arts Business Institute

“Winged Heart” Pendant by Kharisma Sommers – Etched Copper, Red Brass, Bronze, and Dyed Agate
Last September I was honored to be featured in the Arts Business Institute, a website that's dedicated to and features great craftspeople and artists from all over the globe and arm them with business skills!

When you knock on enough doors...

Like many of us, I sometimes suffer from self-doubt and demotivation. This is when listening to Mel Robbins helped. I also joined to this amazing business community that kept my head out of the sand and focus more on my goals.

It wasn’t easy but I tried to apply to as many opportunities that I could handle.

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.

I applied to be featured in Artsy Shark but instead, Carolyn from the Arts Business Institute reached out to me to feature me on their website instead. What an honor! If you’re not familiar with the ABI, I suggest you hop on to their website. Aside from featuring artists, they also have killer marketing and sales tips from real makers, artists, and designers from all around the world. Without further ado, please read the interview below. 

Note: This article first appeared at the Arts Business Institute.  

Artist Kharisma Sommers describes what inspires her unique line of mixed metal jewelry and her goals for her creative business.

“Winged Heart” Pendant – Etched Copper, Red Brass, Bronze, and Dyed Agate
“Winged Heart” Pendant – Etched Copper, Red Brass, Bronze and Dyed Agate

ABI: What has inspired you to make such unusual jewelry?

KS: Since I was little it was rather apparent that I liked uncommon things. I didn’t want to be like other kids. As grade school students, we were completely stripped out of fashion identity in school.

We couldn’t color our hair, we were only allowed to wear either plain black or white shoes, no makeup and minimal accessories (small earrings/necklaces/bracelets).

The only time I had the chance to show my true style was during the weekend when I was out with friends. That’s when I went crazy with jewelry and other quirky accessories I could throw together. After twelve years of being confined in a uniform prison, college felt liberating to me!

“Heart of Lucy” Pendant – Silver, Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, Dyed Drusy Agates
“Heart of Lucy” Pendant – Silver, Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, Dyed Drusy Agates

We couldn’t color our hair, we were only allowed to wear either plain black or white shoes, no makeup and minimal accessories (small earrings/necklaces/bracelets).

As someone who embraced uniqueness, I found myself always on the hunt for unusual jewelry. When Popnicute Jewelry was born, I made it my mission to empower other women to stand out — to make their unique personalities shine brighter with my jewelry. 

I learned a lot of different crafts from a young age which has helped hone my vision for designs that are identifiably mine. My inspirations mostly come from nature and textiles. The curious child in me has always been fascinated by the colors and shapes of flowers and leaves. Maybe that’s why I love macro photography as I’m a very detail-oriented person.

“Flower Quilt” Pin – Argentium Silver, Copper, and Red Brass
“Flower Quilt” Pin – Argentium Silver, Copper and Red Brass

My mother’s side of the family is all so crafty. My mom is good at sewing and one of my aunts is a fashion designer. I was surrounded by pretty fabrics and dressed in custom-made clothing literally since I was born. My mom taught me a little about sewing and hand embroidery techniques, or as much as a child with creative ADHD could take.

While I took after my mom’s aesthetics, I learned how to think outside the box from my dad. He is a civil engineering genius. Although my jewelry style is pretty organic, there are also technical and tinkering aspects to it where you need a little bit of math and ingenuity to pull it off. Like my dad always says, “Focus on the solution instead of the problem.

“Heart of Meli” Reversible Heart Pendant – Argentium Silver, and Labradorite
“Heart of Meli” Reversible Heart Pendant – Argentium Silver and Labradorite

Being a graphic designer, I loved working with papers and ribbons so I combined and adapted some of the folding and sewing techniques into my art. Layers and textures are “it” for me. When I see an interesting texture, I always think of ways I could implement it into my jewelry designs.

“Heart of Eila” Reversible Heart Pendant – Argentium Silver, Copper, Red Brass, Labradorite, and Rainbow Moonstone
“Heart of Eila” Reversible Heart Pendant – Argentium Silver, Copper, Red Brass, Labradorite and Rainbow Moonstone

ABI: How do you sell your work?

KS: I sell my work mostly online through my website and a couple of art shows a year. I’ve also started selling wholesale and consignment through a local boutique.

“Malachite Madness” Pendant – Copper, Malachite, Swarovski Crystal, Swarovski Pearl, and Leather

ABI: What goals do you have for your creative business in the future?

KS: Having been deprived of jewelry education when I needed it most, I’m very thankful to the other jewelry designers who took their time sharing and teaching their techniques online. 

After getting Popnicute Jewelry established as a brand, it’s my dream to someday build an art jewelry school that is 100% donation funded to provide affordable education for the future generation of art jewelry designers. I’m currently teaching my craft at my YouTube channel as my way to pay it forward to the community that has taught me so much.

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What’s your favorite way to get unstuck?

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Kharisma Sommers

Kharisma Sommers

When I'm not working on improving my metalsmithing skills, I like to take macro photos of flowers (but only when the weather is warm because I'm picky like that). I spend my days watching funny animal videos on Facebook and/or glued on Netflix. It's hard to imagine that I won awards for my jewelry if you judge me by my silly pajamas.

I wanna know... What are you thinking? Tell me what's on you mind...

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