We had over two hundred submissions to our 2013 Jewelry Design Challenge, and although we saw many amazing pieces we wanted to put in our own personal jewelry box, Katie Lime’s Fern Frond Hoops truly stole our judges’ hearts. The design holds a simple elegance for everyday wear, yet Katie’s innovative touch is undeniable. From the mixed metals of brass and sterling silver to the design’s geometric, whimsical shape, these nature-inspired earrings are more than just jewelry. They’re tiny pieces of art. And because it’s no secret that we are such big animal lovers, Katie donating a part of her proceeds to animal shelters was a huge cherry on top. (Details of where she donates to are below the interview.)
Meet Katie Lime, the newest member of our UncommonGoods artist family, and read about her jewelry-making journey from taking classes in high school to creating her very own jewelry company.
Give us an uncommon fact about you and your hometown.
An uncommon fact about me is that I’m a Science Fiction/Fantasy fan and a huge Harry Potter nerd. An uncommon fact about Carmel, Indiana is that they absolutely love roundabouts. There are over 80 of them!
When did you realize that jewelry design was what you wanted to do?
I took some jewelry classes in high school and absolutely fell in love. When I went to college for Art History I realized that I could study Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. After that first semester in metals I realized it was what I wanted to do so I stayed in school an extra year and double majored in Art History and Metals.
What was the biggest message you took with you when you finished school for metalsmithing?
I learned to really explore my ideas and to play around with materials. I learned to not be afraid of trying something new and different and not to be afraid of failure. I also learned that having a network of peers can be a wonderful resource. We are very lucky these days to have outlets such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter to meet like-minded people who will be there to support, answer questions, share knowledge and constructively critique our work.
When was the moment and how did you feel when you made your first sell?
I made my first big sale at my senior thesis show in a formal gallery setting. The necklace that sold was a big show stopping piece, not really all that functional but more sculptural. It felt great! It gave me confidence in my work and made me feel like I was headed in the right direction.
We love your earrings, but we also love the amazing fact that you donate to two animal shelters. When was the moment that you decided this was going to be something you would be a part of?
My boyfriend and I have rescued three dogs in our adult lives. They are the sweetest, most loving and giving souls in this world and we don’t know what we would do with out them. I wanted to do more for other animals in need, so I started donating money from my company.
What inspires you the most when you create your designs?
I am inspired by the natural world surrounding me. I like to examine all the beautiful and small things in our world and take inspiration from them. I’m also inspired by all the people in my daily life and all the makers in this world who create for a living.
What’s your favorite part of the design process?
I love creating new designs, playing around with new ideas and making pieces with gemstones. I also really enjoy working on custom pieces for my customers. I love that I’m creating something just for them!
How exactly was Moira K. Lime Jewelry born?
When I moved to Chicago I was designing and producing for another jeweler and creating my own jewelry in my spare time. I realized that I could really make a living off of my designs when my work started to sell consistently and I began running out of time to make my own creations. It’s great to be able to be your own boss and create things that you like for other people to cherish.
Creative people all have those days (or weeks!) when we feel unmotivated, lost, or stuck. What do you usually do when you catch yourself in this frustrating rut?
I usually step away from my studio and give myself some time off to get that creative mojo flowing again. I’ll also go for day trips, hikes, or places in the city that inspire me.
Are there any interesting future projects you’re pursuing or currently working on?
I’ve always dreamed of opening my own storefront/showroom/workshop space. I’d like to use the space as my working studio, a place to meet customers to work on custom designs, a small show room and a place to teach workshops. I’m really hoping to make this happen one day soon!
If you could give away one of your secrets to all those who want to win a design challenge, which secret would it be?
Be yourself and your designs will be truly unique and eye catching.