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.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.