We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Swearingen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Honestly, starting my jewelry business was a necessity if I wanted to continue to learn and grow my skillset as a metalsmith. Investing in quality materials such as genuine gemstones, sterling silver and tools can get out of hand quickly. To my surprise, once I started selling my pieces I realized that seeing others cherish something I poured my heart and soul into brought just as much joy as actually making it in the first place.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My jewelry tends to be on the delicate side, sweet and feminine, inspired by nature with just a dash of southwest. I put my heart and soul into every piece, which results in high quality craftsmanship and works of wearable art that are created with responsibly sourced sterling silver and genuine gemstones. Sustainability is a big part of my core values. From materials, production, packaging and studio practices, every aspect of my brand is centered around the dedication to minimise the impact on both mother earth and my fellow human beings. It’s not perfect by any means but I’m proud to say I do my best, I’m constantly striving to improve wherever I can and by offering my jewelry to others they are also empowered to make better choices.
Running a business has been both extremely overwhelming and gratifying at the same time. I’ve had to dedicate hundreds of hours learning the business administration side of things which can be frustrating when all I really want to do is make pretty jewelry. I tend to over analyze so it’s been helpful to work on balancing my time and energy. Remembering to enjoy the journey and recognize my little achievements along the way help keep things in perspective. It also doesn’t hurt that my craft is it’s own form of therapy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oof. Is it awful to say I’d probably be taking them out of the city? Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of places I could list that would be a good time but if I had to be honest my heart is in the country. The Wichita Mountains wildlife refuge is always an exciting place to go to view free roam bison and spot a variety of wildflowers and it’s only about 1hr away. Just down the road is a little town called Medicine Park that has the cutest little shops. Several times a year they hold music festivals and in the summer you can swim in medicine creek. They have cobblestone cabins and a lot of the houses have the most amazing metal art sculptures!
If we stayed in the city I would totally love to take them to Paseo Arts district for First Friday Art Walk! We’d eat a Picasso’s Cafe and enjoy all the galleries and vendors. Downtown OKC has also grown so much in the last several years. Scissortail Park is amazing and they do a night market on the weekends that we would have to check out! It’s right next to Oklahoma Contemporary Arts which is amazing and newly built. We’d have to eat at all my favorite spots like Jones Assembly, Packard’s, La Brasa, and Neighborhood Jam. I’m always up for shopping at all the small businesses in Midtown and The Plaza. Some of my favorite stores are Field Study Clothing, Twinkle Apothecary, Out on a Limb, Blue Seven and Plenty Mercantile! We could also check out some great antique shops in Guthrie and stop for a sweet treat at Rick’s Chocolate! The Boathouse District has a cool outdoor adventure park with kayaking and all sorts of other activities. I’d love the also check out Myriad Botanical Gardens and walk along the canal downtown. It’s where my husband proposed :)!!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my family instilling in me the love of creating something with your own two hands. I was raised in craft rooms and workshops and continued exploring different mediums into adulthood before stumbling upon a metal stamping kit in a craft store with my husband who convinced me to take it home and give it a try! Neither of us knew just how much I’d fall in love with working with metal and he has been so supportive every step of the way. He is always there to give encouragement when I’m down and honest critique when he knows I have more to offer. Of course I couldn’t continue pursuing my passion without my sweet customers that recognize the beauty in handmade one of a kind jewelry. I am so grateful I can share something beautiful, functional and meaningful that creates connection and promotes self confidence in the wearer.