We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Barnthouse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hannah, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started making gem hair clips for myself and my daughter at my kitchen table in 2020 when I couldn’t find what my mind’s eye had created as “hair jewelry.” I’ve collected vintage jewelry since I was a child; hunting for beautiful, rare jewelry was something my mom and I loved to do together. Vintage jewelry caught my eye and soon my heart for many reasons, but my two favorite reasons are because of how the way it made me FEEL when I wore a detailed vintage piece and also because it made me wonder who else had worn my beautiful piece and what their story was. Vintage jewelry tells a story through its details and somewhere along the way, we’ve lost the art of detail, so I wanted to bring it back, but with a modern twist so I could incorporate it into my everyday fashion regimen.
When I scoured the internet for gem hair clips, I couldn’t find what I was looking for ANYWHERE, so I decided to dip into my vintage jewelry hoard and make them myself. I broke apart some of my oldest gems to create what I decided to call “hair candy!” Hair Candy was quite literally, jewelry for your hair! I sprinkled my hair full of my newest treasures and before I knew it, all of my friends and even strangers were asking me where I got my pieces! That’s when the business idea truly began to take form. I uploaded my first run of “hair candy” to my Instagram and within 10 minutes, every single piece had sold. I did the same thing the next day with the same result. My brain began to tick. I NEEDED EARRINGS to go with my new treasures! What better way to compliment my detailed and various gems than with detailed RAINBOW earrings? This time, my creations sold even faster and I had a list of pre-orders from those who weren’t able to get any!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work is a story. Every pair of earrings and hair piece I make is handmade and made with love, care and my customer in mind! I make all of my items from vintage jewelry and modern medium, making each piece a little bit different and entirely unique. My business is a place where my customers have become my friends and the community that has been fostered is full of INCREDIBLE and beautiful women who strive to encourage and love one another while sharing in our mutual love for gems.
I LOVE GEMS, in a really nerdy, I want to know every last detail about them kind of way. I’m a collector of all things rare and crave a treasure hunt that ends in an even better story. I think accessories say a lot about a person and the best pieces are the ones that were inherited or are collecting dust at the bottom of your jewelry box. I breathe new life into beautiful, broken things and believe in it on a soul level. I have found that there’s a whole lot of people who believe in redemption too. There’s beauty and potential in all things if you really stop and take the time to see it for what it is.
I’m in the business of making my customers sparkle on the outside, but I’m hopeful to make their soul sparkle along the way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friends were visiting, we would absolutely go vintage jewelry hunting. We’d start at a coffee shop to gain some energy and then we’d hit all the local antique stores and maybe even a couple estate sales along the way. It’s a treasure hunt, so we would explore until we found our perfect pieces!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family has been my ultimate support group.
My husband has been my ROCK through it all; He’s my place of encouragement, my best cheerleader and ultimately my loving and caring partner who has helped me through the busiest of seasons! He is who I look to anytime I feel overwhelmed or need support. I sincerely could not do it without him!
My husband, my mom, my dad and my sister have all stayed up with me into the wee hours of the night working on new systems, packing orders and analyzing orders to be sure they’re PERFECT before they go out! I sincerely have been so blessed by their support and love.