STUDIO: Chloe Kobernuss - CloeK Jewelry

A little whimsical and dainty, a little rock 'n' roll, all handcrafted with the utmost care and attention - that's CloeK Jewelry. I had such a great time chatting with Chloe in her home studio in San Francisco. As you read, you can imagine laughter after every other sentence and upbeat Sylvan Esso playing in the background, and that sets the scene perfectly for that bright sunny Sunday. This lady is such a talent and has so much to offer the world in her beautiful craft, her loving energy, and desire to lift others up along with her.  

Oh, and spoiler alert: I'll tell you now that CloeK will in fact be a vendor at the Renegade Craft Fair in July! (When we spoke, the applications had just been sent in) Find us sharing a booth, selling all the jewels and bustin' all the dance moves.

Ana: So, I usually like to start out just asking everybody a little bit about their background, whether that’s your childhood or whatever you think influenced you and where you are now...

Chloe: Woah.

A: ...as an artistic being. If it’s a long story, that’s fine!

C: Well, I don’t know if it’s a long story…I just have forever been in La-La Land. So, I grew up in Upstate New York, Syracuse, about 15 min away from my grandparents’ house and they were in the woods, so I lived in like suburb Syracuse. My parents traveled a lot when I was a kid so not only was I always with my grandparents, but my parents would come back with these tales of their travel too. My dad is a live concert sound engineer - a front of house engineer - so he sits in the middle of the audience and mixes for music.

A: Oh, cool.

C: So music has always been super influential in my life. And then my mother is a clown.

A: No way!

C: I’m not kidding. She’s a clown.

A: Haha! Okay, side note, that’s one of my biggest fears, but that's awesome.

C: She’s not that kind of clown. I will show you a picture later, but think slapstick, Charlie Chaplin kind of classic thing. 

A: Oh, that’s amazing. Love it.

C: So when I was a kid, she was part of a three woman physical comedy group called Gams on the Lam (which means legs on the run) and so it was a mime trio basically, and they would travel all over the world.

A: So cool!

C: I know. My mother’s a clown. Haha. And I have pictures to prove it. But it was funny, and movement has always been a big part for me. So the movement, the music, and then my grandparents' house. When we would spend time there - they had (and granted, this is upstate NY, this is not CA so it’s cheap) 160 acres of land. So we would go wild in the woods, like crazy.

A: I love that.

C: Barefoot, in the streams, in the ponds, just nutty children time. I think I’m influenced a lot by children’s stories. My mom’s a big story-teller, obviously with the clowning and having theater in her life. And, I don’t know, I just had a very fairy tale inspired childhood - playing in the woods, playing in mud and vines and building things. When I was a kid I was always building fairy forts. Have you ever seen the movie Fairies?

A: No.

C: I think it came out like 8, 10 years ago. It’s so fricken cute, you would love it! It’s about these little girls - I think in the 1920s, maybe a little earlier. They got a hold of a camera and took pictures and there are fairies in the pictures and there’s this whole big to-do of there are actually fairies and these little girls found the proof.

A: Oh, cute!

C: So a lot of my inspiration comes from just like dreams of Never Never Land and all the things that don’t exist and music. I run this balance of being super girly and hopefully kind of rock 'n' roll.

A: Yeah, I think that translates to what I’ve seen of your work. I can definitely see that.

C: So there’s a lot of balance there. As a kid I was always into art, obviously. And I got really into ceramics in high school so I had mainly a ceramics portfolio going into college.

A: Oh!

C: I got a full ride to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) and I was like “I ain’t staying in upstate NY. I’m gonna pick the most expensive school and have the most loans instead.”

A: Mmhhmmm. Sounds about right. Hahaha!

C: So I ended up at School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

A: Did anything in particular draw you there?

C: My lack of direction. Hahaha. I have always not been able to make up my mind, which probably wasn't the right choice, but I don’t regret anything. But I chose Art Institute because they don’t require you to choose a major, so you can go in and do their first core year and if you want to do a focus in fashion or whatever then you do need to get a certain amount of courses within these programs, but otherwise...I did everything.

A: I didn’t know that actually.

C: I went in with a ceramics portfolio and got really into fibers and textiles initially, so I was doing weaving and found objects classes and sculpture - just like hands-on sculptural stuff and then started weaving metal and one of my professors was like, “Okay, you should probably go head over and try some sculpture to incorporate that.” So I started doing iron pours and doing bigger sculpture and that kind of stuff - big molds and kind of messing around. And then I started making in my pours tiny little things and one of my professors was like, “You should really look into fine metals, check out what’s going on over there too.” So I was doing fine metals and then at the same time I started doing designed objects.

A: What does that mean?

C: Designed objects is more in the architecture focus and I would say industrial design. Think like anything from shoes to computer mice to...whatever.

A: Oh, okay.

C: So basically, I was in the design studio a lot and was able to work with CNC Routers and laser cutters and all of that kind of stuff. That was really cool because I can integrate all of that knowledge into whatever jewelry I’m doing. Then I enrolled in some fashion courses. I started doing fashion stuff and was building shoes.

A: Oh my gosh, wanna make me some shoes?! Haha.

C: I actually could. But it’s very time consuming. When shoes are expensive, I now appreciate it because I understand what goes into it when they’re handmade beautifully.

A: Yeah, well, not to interrupt from what you’re saying but I think that’s my main idea with all of this too - to show people what goes into like what you’re doing and why...and hopefully help them appreciate that a bit more.

C: Right, yeah, for sure. There’s the technical stuff of it and there’s just like the love that is behind all of it, right?

A: Oh yeah.

C: So I bounced around like a maniac, as per usual, through all of the different things and I really had no focus and again - I don’t regret any of it. I wish I knew what to do after I graduated because there’s nowhere in art school that said, “Hey, you should think about business and you should think about learning how to live and financial planning and whatever.”

A: Right. Why? I have no idea.

C: In one of my art history courses - well, I had two history courses that were some of my favorite classes: History of Tattooing...

A: Woah, sweet.

C: ...which was awesome. And then History of Hip Hop. So I have all of these really random influences and I have to say, Chicago definitely was the perfect incubator for being a young artist, you know. I didn't feel the pressure that I might've felt in NY... maybe that’s a bad thing, but you know, it was a little more free - Chicago’s warm, it’s Midwest.

A: Yeah, exactly.

C: It’s a big city but it’s warm. Well, not…

A: ...temperature-wise. Hahaha.

C: Yeah. Haha. So there, I ended up doing production work for Amy Butts.

A: Mhmmm

C: And that was super fun and she was very kind and caring and taught me some more stuff. She’s a hard worker too. You know, she does all the shows and stuff. So I saw all that in her and then I also was doing production work for another woman, her name is Kathy Fray. She’s still doing work. She does wire wrap jewelry. It’s really beautiful. So I was doing that kind of stuff, because I’ve always done wire wrapping - even when I was a kid and making fairy forts, there was always something tactile with my hands and twisting and bending stuff. I did that for a while, so jewelry was always in the back of my head.

A: Yeah.

C: Then in 2009, she was leaving Chicago and her company was kind of not doing so well so we got laid off and I flailed. I was like, “ I don’t know what to do. Half of my friends are gone from Chicago...Ummmm...”

A: Yep.

C: “Okay, there’s a boy, I’m gonna move to Canada!” So I did that. Because that’s what you do when you flail.

A: Exactly. Haha.

C: ...and you’re young and you’re like, “I’ve fallen madly in love, I must move!” And so I went to Canada. It was actually a beautiful experience. I learned how to cook - like for real cook - because I worked for a catering company. It was a small catering company that was [owned by] a friend and I was basically their art director. It was so small at that point, so we did everything. I cooked, helped with baking, and just made sure everything was - it was a lot of quality control. It was really cool because I got to experience that and I got away from city - I’ve always been in suburbs or city, so it was really interesting to be out in the Okanagan. It’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s like very close to Banff area which is like the huge - the Rockies in BC Canada

A: Oh, cool.

C: Sorry, I’m like all over the place, I can’t imagine writing all of this.

A: Oh my gosh, no, don’t even think about that. That’s my own task I’ve taken on happily so don't even worry about it. Haha.

C: But it’s like wine country, Canada - it’s forests. There were a couple times that we would go for hikes and you realize how in the middle of nowhere you are.

A: That sounds amazing.

C: Here, you go to the woods and you can get to human life within two hours of walking... there you’re like “I drove to this trailhead and I have flip-flops on, I’m not gonna go any further because there are actually bears. And there is no one around.” So I really felt it with nature. Felt really small. That was really cool. It was not the best experience but I made some of the most amazing friends that I’ve kept forever, so yeah.

A: You can always take something good away from it.

C: Exactly. Again, I don’t regret it but it was not easy. And then I flailed again and moved back to the East coast. I think there’s some boxes still in Canada...I’ve sprinkled boxes all over - there’s some in Chicago, I think someone took some boxes to Montana, I think there’s a box of stuff in Colorado...

A: Hahaha

C: I’m not kidding, and in Canada. Umm so I went back to Syracuse for a minute - I spent a month in Syracuse and was like, “Ahhhh! I can't do this!”

A: It wasn’t right.

C: No. And so, part of my dad’s job, up until two years ago - he was doing sound for fashion shows, so I went down to Brooklyn for a few weeks and I was in the production of fashion week.

A: How exciting!

C: I’ve done that before, but it was kind of more meaningful then because I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna find inspiration and meaning in this” and it’s a weird world. It’s that super elitist, bougie world, but the stuff - the art behind it is so inspiring.

A: Yeah.

C: I was working shows from Betsey Johnson to Donna Karan.

A: Ahh I love Betsey Johnson!

C: Yeah, insane stuff, Nanette Lepore - her stuff is so beautiful in person. So I was doing all these weird shows and getting this inspiration behind it.

A: So cool!

C: Yeah and being on the production end of things, not necessarily being within fashion group, [it] was easier to slip in and out of spaces because I had a general pass to go wherever I wanted. I was able to just get really close to work and be involved and understand what happens behind these fashion shows - the production value that goes into it, which is insanity. Some of it is just insane.

A: All for a few minutes.

C: Right, not even sometimes. How many thousands of dollars go into this? But it was really cool. The last one we went to was when they switched fashion week from Bryant Park to Lincoln Square, which is up the island a little bit...what is that, like Upper West Side?

A: Ummm I don't know haha I’ve been to NY a couple times but….

C: Haha I can’t say I’m from New York because I’m upstate, I don't have that much street cred. But anyway, the last event I went to was the 25th anniversary of Tommy Hilfiger, which was fucking hilarious. Because he had a giant party at The Met and my dad did the sound for The Strokes. And The Strokes played in the lobby of The Met - it was so bizarre. I was like, “This is amazing!” When I walked in - this is one of my favorite star-sighting moments - when I walked in with my best friend, Nora and my sister, this woman was hugging someone and we’re walking up these grand stairs and it’s just full of people you see in magazines and it’s bizarre and someone's hat falls off and I grab it and go to hand it to her - it’s Regina Spektor. I was like, "Ahhhh!" - words did not come. Hahaha. It was really funny. She was sweet. And umm…what’s his name - Doogie Houser - Neil Patrick Harris?

A: Yeah.

C: We watched the Strokes and I’m standing there and am like, “This is great!” and I look at Nora and then I look to the other side and there’s Neil.

A: Hahaha. How fun!

C: It was funny. It’s just a funny world that - I kind of like that glamour, that rock and roll side of stuff - there’s a part of me that wants to be in the production side. Part of me that wants to be in it but I also can’t stand a lot of those people, so that’s where my goal for the jewelry is to make it big but somehow have an impact that’s not involved in stardom - I don't know how to explain it... I went to JCK, which is that insane jewelry show in Vegas. It’s so glamorous and the people there have this production value like a fashion show and it’s just so much money and it’s this weird pit in my stomach that I have where I’m like, “I wanna make work and I want it to be as sustainable as possible and I want it to be big," but I also have to give in to this, like, crappy side of the fashion industry in the sense of the consumer, the people that buy nice stuff. I do wanna put diamonds and stuff in my work, but...

A: Do you feel like that is gonna attract a different kind of person or you’ll have different expectations of you?

C: Yeah, probably. I mean, I want everyone to love my stuff.

A: Yeah... I think when you start working with more precious things like diamonds and precious metals, there’s a different expectation of what all of your work should look like maybe, but I don’t think you necessarily have to cater to that.

C: I agree with that, it’s just that because I worked at the high end jewelry store, I think I just see that side of it and maybe I became a little bit jaded.

A: Yeah, that could be.

C: I mean, we dealt with people coming in that had unlimited resources and unlimited money and they would just complain. You know, it’s that kind of stuff, I don’t like that part of that world, but I’m trying to stay away from it.

Anyway, from New York, I packed two suitcases and I moved out to San Francisco. I had previously visited here for two weeks - that was the only time I had visited and I just had this feeling, I just knew I had to go. This was in the beginning of 2010. I was like, “Alright, I left my boxes scattered across the country, I've got two suitcases, we’re good!” Oh, there were boxes in Idaho too, but my dad brought those to me.

A: Really all over the place! Haha.

C: Really really all over the country. So I came out here. A friend hosted me down in South Bay, and I walked around for almost two weeks with my phone and found a place in Lower Pacific Heights - tiny little bedroom. I paid $700 a month for my rent when I first moved here.

A: Ahh! Oh my god. That’s crazy.

C: And it was a little house, with three bedrooms, one bathroom. We both had our sinks in our own room - it had to be like the servants' quarters.

A: Oh yeah.

C: But I found a place, I found a job that was in walking distance. I nannied when I first got here, for this beautiful little boy...I have no idea what he’s doing now, he’s probably, what - five? That’s crazy. And I had put my resume up on Craigslist and this jewelry store found me. In the mean time, I was making stuff here and there, but it was all wire wrapping - which is totally cool - but I never had a drive to do my own work as a business... Just because it - I think it scared the shit out of me.

A: Yeah. That makes sense to me.

C: I am absolutely that person that - even in grade school I had a hard time finishing anything. That was a huge thing to overcome, because right from the get-go I thought I was gonna fail. If it wasn’t gonna be perfect, I didn’t wanna do it.

A: Yeah, I can relate to that.

C: So it was really hard for me to even think about it. I got this job in the jewelry world and I was like, “Awesome! I understand it, I’m gonna learn a lot” because it was a high-end jewelry store - it’s Eric Trabert Goldsmiths and it’s on Fillmore Street and it’s this beautiful mom and pop shop that has been there for about 14 years now, I think. It has been a watch or a jewelry store for like 50 years. It’s this little jewel box in SF.
     They found me, which was great because I almost took a job at this findings company in East Bay, but I would've had to take a bus to the BART to a bike to get there and they wanted to pay me $12/hr...I was like “Ehhhh, not gonna happen.” I also got accepted to Melissa Joy Manning, their production work. She’s in the East Bay too...for the amount of money they were willing to pay, it wasn't worth it. And these guys were a walk away and it was perfect. I started there and it was wonderful and inspiring and I learned so much about how things should be properly set and connections - I already had an attention to detail - I mean come on, you make a lot of fairy houses, you know how things are supposed to look - but it’s just the little things that really mattered in that kind of business. Because you're making jewelry that is worn for a lifetime, rings that are between $2,000 and $100,000, and they're super meaningful and this person will have them and wear them more than anything.

A: They will get passed down through generations.

C: Exactly. It was interesting to be involved with that because not only are these precious things so personal but they also have to be so perfect and we did a lot of repairs too - I have to say, a lot of people don’t (and i can fully appreciate how hard it is) set stones correctly and I just saw it over and over again. It’s difficult, if you don't have that training, but diamonds just need to be set correctly, it’s just something that you have to do.

A: Yeah, for sure.

C: It was such a wonderful experience and because it was a mom and pop shop, I got my business training there because I was doing design work and helping customers in sales and stuff, but I also did the back-end stuff. I was working with the POS system and doing all the photography and working on the website and helping with social media - all of that stuff. Dealing with money and balancing and project management, it was all of it. I did everything from writing down notes of what a person likes on their ring to laser welding little things and everything in between. It was really cool. And understanding different metals and I got to know - because I had never worked with gold or platinum before, that stuff’s expensive. I was able to see a whole different side of the jewelry industry. Like I said, not all of it’s pretty and not all of it is fun, in the business sense, but it was really cool because it just taught me so much.

A: Yeah, that sounds like a really great experience.

C: It was amazing. Ummm. I think I stayed there too long.

A: You just got worn out?

C: I got worn - it was exhausting - but I also felt like I wasn't being creative anymore at the end. And I was really upset with myself more than anything because I couldn't break away. There was the stability factor, but there’s also like - I never was able to make time for myself to get my hands back into things and I wasn’t creating anymore. I was making designs for other people, I was doing little projects here and there of what other people wanted, but it was never with love and joy in the same sense that I make my own stuff. So I love those guys and they taught me so so much but it was time. I quit my job as of 2015 and Brian, my boyfriend, helped a lot - he’s such a big supporter, he’s got my back no matter what. And things fell into place from there. I did some contract work for this tech company, just doing mailings and project management for a minute and then I enrolled in the Passion Company. That is a beautiful company founded by women - the leading lady, Jessica Semaan, she worked at Airbnb for a long time and then founded this company. I actually would love for you to come to an event or something...

A: Oh, yeah! Cool.

C: It plays into that part of community in SF that we’re losing... but anyway, she started this company - basically it’s a project incubator where you come in and try to delve into what makes you happy, what’s your passion and what you wanna pursue in life. It might be a hobby or a side project, or something super personal, but I was able to join it for the February class so I had a month of building my studio in January and trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go and then come February, I had enrolled in this course, because she basically strong-armed me. Haha. But I knew I wanted to do jewelry but didn't know what kind. It’s this five week course where it holds you accountable and then there’s an event called Shine at the end of it. So you meet once a week and you're assigned a partner. My partner, Maggie, she was doing these workshops and getting creative energy to flow and so her project was more based around trying to meditate and move - yoga maybe and just getting community around that - kind of like the course itself but trying to get people to engage in their own creative flow. So she was my partner and you hold each other accountable, specifically. We would meet or talk over the phone and just see how each other was doing and have goals set up for ourselves each week.

A: That's awesome.

C: And then you had to have a plan for what you would present at Shine and my goal was to have at least 3 pieces of jewelry. Because I had nothing. I had some stones and some wire wrapped work but I didn't know which direction to go or where I was going...Right at the beginning, they ask you what your passions are, just generally, what you love...mine was everything from fashion to playing in the woods to - you know, all of that stuff - and I ended up landing on - again - fairy tales. Specifically, illustrations from fairy tales were starting to have a lot of influence on me, because I love the way old illustrations are, the art nouveau to art deco looking illustrations with the line work and children playing - it’s just beautiful and a lot of them are really dark, which I think is really cool too. There’s like demons and monstrous fairies...

A: Yeah, old fairy tales were definitely a little twisted.

C: Exactly. I love that - that there’s this kind of playful, girly, flowery vibe and then there’s also this really dark, mischievous vibe from the stuff. So I was like, “You know what, I've always wanted to deal with fairy tales in some way” and I just ran with it. I have that photo - the girls and the kite - as my inspiration for the project. So I started doing a lot of work with flowers and kite shapes - very obvious from the picture, but it got me to a point where I got onto a roll and was able to produce... I think I had 5 pieces for the event.

A: Nice!

C: It was a beautiful event that turned out over 200 people and it was so good, so worth it. I highly suggest anyone that’s kind of in-between and not knowing what to do next, to do it. It just got me to a place where I was more comfortable with working, and not failing - like, “Okay, I’m gonna try this because I actually think I'm good at this."

A: Right, it’s a good confidence booster to have someone hold you accountable and then see that you actually can do it.

C: And hold your hand and say, “You’re great! You’re awesome!” the whole way through. That helps too. Hahaha.

A: Definitely.

C: Having someone say, “Oh, I love your work” all the time, even if - I don't know if they mean it, hopefully they do - but that’s a huge thing. But that definitely pushed me over the edge and made this happen. So this is all pretty new. The studio set up is from this year January and I have just gone with it. A lot of my stuff is inspired by kind of that floral fairy tale stuff and there’s a lot of kite shapes, there’s a lot of mystical la-la-land that I carry from my childhood. I work with a lot of sterling silver and brass or bronze - the brass that my caster is using, it’s a little more gold-toned so it’s really beautiful. It has this softer look to it, but I can have hard shapes with that soft color - it’s really pretty.

A: Yeah, a great juxtaposition.

C: For sure. I’ve just been playing with shapes and playing with stones. I don’t set stones yet, because I’m kind of... I think, weary of setting stones, now that I know so much information and I’m like, “I’m not gonna do this right!”

A: Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine if I knew all of that - I’m just like, “Oh, yeah, sure! I’ll throw this on a ring, bend some prongs around it, cool!”

C: I know. But because I know all of that, I’m like, “Ahhhh, I don't know if I can do this right.” And again, that plays into my, “I’m gonna fail, I can't do this, I don't know what I'm doing” thing. I don't know, I get scared.

A: Yeah, I mean, this whole having-your-own-business thing comes with lots of challenges and that's definitely one of them.

C: Yeah, for sure. I’m doing everything myself besides casting, because I obviously can't have casting in this space. I don't have the right tools. I'm just figuring it out as I go.

A: Yeah! That’s great. Well, now I'm trying to think of what else to ask you because you kind of covered everything I would've asked you about.

C: I just went for it! Haha.

I would love to make this into something that’s more than me. I want to hire people, I want to turn it into an actual business that I can sustain, build, and create jobs with.

A: But, well, what do you have planned out, what are your goals for the business?

C: Short term goals: I need to get into shows, so hopefully Renegade will take me even though I'm like, not - I have 12 pieces. You know what I mean, I'm still putting stuff up and I'm gonna put a bunch more up tomorrow because I know they're probably gonna start seriously looking at people after the 27th.

A: You’ll be fine, by the way.

C: I don’t know! Because I don’t have content. Like, I don't have a following, I don't have content on my blog, or a blog...

A: No, I think they take into consideration that you're obviously newer and the fact that you don't have as many followers as somebody who's been doing this longer - that doesn't really mean anything bad.

C: Right, but I feel like I'm less professional in that sense because I just ordered some boxes so I can package my stuff and make it look nice.

A: You know, I think we kind of all feel like that most of the time. And I think it's good to talk about it because then you realize that you're not alone in that.

C: Yeah, for sure. Because I do always feel like I'm flailing. Haha.

A: It’s easy to look at somebody else and be like, “Oh, they must have their shit together.” But you never really know and they're probably…

C: Not together...or as much as you think they are.

A: Yeah. Hahaha.

C: So, I’m just trying new things and making work and I'm constantly taking inspiration from these illustrations because they're all different. They're all super inspirational and my influence will probably change eventually but I have so many different ones. I have this beautiful illustration of a deer sitting on a branch with a moon over it, a crescent moon - that’s the next one. It’s a deer with a bird beak on his face.

A: Weird!

C: It’s bizarre-o. Yeah.

A: So, cool! Okay. So, long-term goals?

C: Long term goals… I would love to make this a business. I would love to make this into something that's more than me. I want to hire people, I want to turn it into an actual business that I can sustain, build, and create jobs with.

A: Yeah!

C: I think that, hopefully, I have some kind of inspiration, or - I don't know - something to offer the world in the form of beauty, you know? I would love to get involved in womens’ foundations and get this to a point where not only am I sustaining myself but also giving back. I think that's really important when I think of long term as a business. I wanna be involved with saving all of the animals, everywhere in the world - that’s first. And then obviously helping and sustaining other women. I helped this one woman with some production work and under her, she had another jeweler that was helping women in third world countries craft and basically make a living out of crafting. It was really cool to have that kind of involvement and give back. No matter how you do it - you give back.

A: Yes!

C: That is really important and is always in the back of my mind. And trying to figure out ways to - when I do build this company - to stay sustainable. I know everyone wants to be green and it's such a hot term in general, but it’s really important to me.

A: What are the ways you see opportunity to do that?

C: Right now, it’s harder on a small scale. When you don't have money and you are basically only grasping at the things that are possible, like recycled casting grains, recycled materials - I order as much as possible in recycled materials. I’ll do Hoover and Strong and all those kinds of things that have recycled materials. There's another company that I'm blanking on, but then there's things like some stones - I’m not sure where 100% of them come from, so I want to get to a point where I know exactly where things are coming from, where I'm aware. That's really important to me - potentially have a relationship with wherever things are coming from, because they're all coming from the earth and they're all involved with people and again, giving back and understanding where resources are from.

A: That's great! That is a challenge.

C: Especially in the jewelry world, in materials, because it hasn't been thought of or hasn't been really acknowledged until recently.

A: Right.

C: Even when it comes down to my packaing - I went through and I was like, “Okay, where can I find 100% recycled?”

A: Yeah! I need to do more of that too.

C: Well, it's hard. Honestly, on my Etsy account I said, “I'm trying to be sustainable, where I can."

A: Yeah, because you can’t be 100% of the time. 
So... now, I'm just trying to take a step back, because I get so into conversation and then I realize later, “Oh, I forgot to ask about this!” but I think we’ve talked about some really great stuff!

C: I was in sales too long. That is why I can talk. I also was one of the tour guides at my school. But when I talk about myself, I'm all over the place - I’m like, “I did this! I like fairies!” There’s something wrong with me.

*Both laugh*

A: There's nothing wrong with you! It's wonderful!
So I also like to ask people, not necessarily related to their craft - what other hobbies and interests do you have?

C: I like to dance. A lot. The clown mother taught me well.

A: I love that!

C: Body movement is really important to me, I really like to dance. I haven't done it, becasue it's expensive, but I really wanna take some dance classes - whether it be modern or hip hop or like… afro-salsa - all of it mashed together.

A: That sounds fun! I’m just picturing what afro-salsa would look like - that would be amazing. Hahaha.

C: Hiking, being outside, riding bikes.

A: Awesome. Okay, one more thing - and I feel like you're gonna say something like, “I’m not experienced enough to answer this” - but... advice for other people...

C: Oh, god. Haha.

A: ...who want to get out there and do their own thing?

C: I think... give yourself a chance. Yeah. I think that would be my biggest advice - at least go try it. I took so long to be able to get to a point where I wouldn't be terrified of failing. And I honestly have a very strong support system, so I have no excuse... but I waited this long. I would say my biggest advice is just go try it, at least try it. What's the worst that happens?

A: You might succeed at it.

C: Exactly! You figure something out. I was even the kid in elementary school that would get 90% of my book report or whatever done and then I didn't like the way it looked or it didn't feel right and I would stop and then my mom would be like, “What's wrong? Why is it not done?” I’m like, “I don't know. I just…." 
     Just finish. Finish something. Just take one little step towards whatever you are into doing, making. Even if it's for you personally, just making something.

A: Perfect!

Further exploration: