MAKER OF THE MONTH: KELLY DAVIE
Whisperwill is owned and operated by jewelry designer Kelly Davie, who makes each piece by hand in her Los Angeles studio. Kelly channels her vibrant energy and unique curiosity into exploring new metalsmithing techniques, reviving ancient jewelry methods, and crafting structural pieces for the modern woman.
My main sources of inspiration are modern architecture and nature, especially the desert landscape. I really just love those empty desolate spaces. So kind of a combination of those natural spaces and big glass buildings.
On her customer:
I think I imagined my customer after I made the designs that made me excited. I like clean lines and I like simplicity. And so, once I started making those kinds of pieces, this woman in my head came together and gave me a vision for my business and where I wanted it to go.
One of my favorite things about my business is talking to people. One of my favorite experiences was the first time that I made an engagement ring. I just think that's a really special thing, so any time I get an engagement ring I get really excited. I normally don't do traditional dimaond things but there are a lot of girls out there who like kind of alternative rings for their engagment ring and I'm into that. I was pretty surprised when the first man approached me about making a ring for his fiancee. Because that's a big deal, you know? She'll have it for the rest of her life. I tried to make sure I made a real good one!
I listen to a lot of tips from more experienced rock collectors because there are certain parts of the state that have a lot of good stuff that I might not know about. So I'm a member of this little lapidary society so I always go on a field trip with them because they know where the good stuff is. We went to a tourmaline mine last month, and that was really cool because I got to sift everything myself and I found some good stuff!
On starting her business:
I started my business because I didn't know what I was going to do. I actually went to school for Biblical Studies and Classical Greek, so...not that applicable really! I had started making jewelry as a hobby just because I like to make things. I moved out here to Los Angeles with my husband and I was like, well I like making jewelry so might as well try just making jewelry! So I started my business in 2012 and it really stuck.
On challenges of owning her own business:
I haven't run into too many challenges other than the ones that come from myself. My biggest strength and my biggest weakness is over confidence. I always think that I can just do anything and make anything. And it usually works out. But the problem is sometimes I do over-estimate. Earlier this year there was a couple that came to me about making custom wedding bands. And their wedding was in about a week or two. I had never made anything that thick before. I was like,"Of course I can!" And then I was really sweating because it was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I got the rings there the day before the wedding. So that's taught me to be really careful with time.
On the best parts of being a business owner:
I think being able to do whatever I want to do! I think our generation really has that sense of working because we like something and not to support ourselves. I mean, obviously you do have to support yourself but I am so happy doing what I am doing and so I'm glad that I started!
On how she takes care of herself:
I'm kind to myself. I think that's really important. I'm kind to other people, but I'm kind to myself too. I think negative thoughts towards yourself or telling yourself you're not good enough is so damaging to your spirit so I just try to make sure that I'm lifting myself up so that I feel great.
On silly working habits:
As far as when I'm working, I always have these very vivid fantasies of doing karaoke which is really funny because I have pretty bad stage fright when I actually do karaoke. That might be a little weird, I guess!
If Kelly were a mystical creature she'd be:
A BASILISK! I really like how fearsome there are. I wouldn't want to meet one. It's hatched from a chicken egg but when a toad sits on it. But they're big! It's a big serpent!