Skip to content Skip to navigation menu

Small Business Saturday: Jewelry Artisan Spotlight

It’s Small Business Saturday, our personal favorite day of the biggest shopping weekend of the year! You may be wondering, “Why? You’re not a small business?” And this is true! However, the hundreds of artisans who’s products we carry are the smallest types of business there are. Some are one-man-shows, some are just a few people in a small studio, and some are entire villages across the globe. These “little guys” are the artisans and small business who make up the whole big VivaTerra, and we love to take the opportunity to spotlight their work and say thank you!

This Small Business Saturday, you can save 20% on our artisan-made jewelry collections! And we have some beautiful new, nature-inspired pieces that arrived just in time for the holidays. From Nancy Nelson’s sterling silver cast twigs to Amy Huml’s hand-wired tree necklaces (each one of those takes her at least an hour to make in her home studio!), you’re sure to find something for every lady on your list and probably a little something for yourself too. We took the time to ask a few of our USA-based, woman artisans about their humble beginnings, process, and inspiration for their work. We want to introduce them to you and share their answers here.

Meet Elaine B!

Elaine Blog Photo

Tell us about how it all started, how and why did you get into jewelry making? 
While in school I had the realization that everything is a job, anything you can imagine somebody gets paid for.  So I asked myself, what do I want to do?  How do I want to spend my days?  I have always loved crafts of all kinds, and when I went to school at VCU jewelry is what stuck.  As a designer I started out making the things that I wanted to wear (and could afford) as both the company and I matured so did the jewelry line, going from playful brass rings to engagement rings.

What inspires you and your creative vision, how does that translate into your work?
I am most inspired by everyday life. I soak up all kinds of things around me and think about how something can be altered to be more interesting or more wearable. At the studio, we put a strong emphasis on lightweight pieces and wearability while also trying to be fresh, new and detail oriented. I believe that people like to know where things come from. Everyone wants to get out of the traditional office setting, shopping at the mall, we want a more authentic life. I think that people want unique pieces that are sustainable and have a story, not just flashy or expensive.

Shop Elaine’s Collection Here

Meet Nancy Nelson!

Nancy Nelson Blog photo

Tell us about how it all started, how and why did you get into jewelry making? 
I enrolled in a metalsmithing class while I was obtaining my BFA in Industrial Design, and fell in love with working with metals and stones. This was the moment I realized I found my calling. Nancy Nelson Jewelry started in 2007. They were humble beginnings as I worked from my kitchen table and sold jewelry at craft fairs and markets. The business organically grew over time, and--in 2011—we began a fully operating business. As the business grew and thrived, I hired an assistant and built a home studio nestled in the woods to accommodate Nancy Nelson Jewelry’s growing needs that allowed me to balance my many responsibilities as a wife, mother and successful business owner, while remaining inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds our forest home.

Can you share a bit about the process of how you create your pieces after inspiration strikes? 
Inspired by detail and beauty, each piece of birch bark, every twig, pine cone, lichen and botanical leaf is hand-picked for its perfect size and weight. These findings are then made directly into molds to preserve their delicate, natural designs. Molds are then cast in metal using the lost-wax technique and transformed into wearable, natural jewelry. Each final piece seeks to evoke memories of enchanted forest wanderings. 

Shop Nancy’s Collection Here


Meet Amy Huml!

Amy Huml Blog photo

Tell us about how it all started, how and why did you get into jewelry making?
I’ve always loved jewelry for its ability to reflect personal style and often start a conversation.  I took a basic jewelry-making class about 10 years ago and was instantly hooked. 

What are some things you stand for beyond the beauty and unique aesthetic of your work? Such as standards and sources for materials, sustainable or eco-friendly processes, etc.
I support handmade and often buy materials from vendors who not only sell supplies but are also artists. Most of my materials are purchased in the US and often from sellers of locally sourced stones. I look for quality materials and use recycled materials in packaging.

Shop Amy’s Collection Here



Meet Britta Ambauen!

Britta Ambauen Blog photo

Tell us about how it all started, how and why did you get into jewelry making? 
I was introduced to jewelry making as an apprentice at “Angie Star Jewelry,” a very cute boutique in Boulder, CO. I had just graduated from the University of Colorado with
fine art degree, emphasis in printmaking, and was figuring out what to do with my life. I found the apprenticeship opportunity on craigslist and went in to meet with Angie, who became an important mentor in my life. Her small boutique has a full metal smith shop in back. Each day that I came in, I would learn a new technique and then make jewelry for the shop, work in sales and eventually, I got to feature my own line. I didn’t work at the store for more than a few months, but I learned enough to teach myself new techniques as I collected tools and supplies at home. A few years later, I was working in advertising and decided to take the leap and do what I really wanted to do. I quit my job and rented a small studio space in March of 2009. I’ve focused my energy on jewelry every since and business has grown slowly yet surely. 

Where do you do your work? The city or state, as well as your workspace location?
My studio has moved with me from Boulder to Brooklyn, to Seattle, and now to Austin, TX. I work in a space within a warehouse of artists on the East side. I make jewelry here, but also paint, sculpt clay, sew clothes and experiment with a variety of mediums.

Shop Britta’s Collection Here

Mon Mar 04 08:47:44 EST 2024