We had the good fortune of connecting with Kime Conley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kime, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Peace makes me happy. With peace, I find that life is bearable and even enjoyable even in the hard times.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Interestingly enough, I actually have a career working in commercial real estate by day. I practice my art at night and on weekends. I enjoy the work that I do, but I believe my calling is my art. It excites me that at a time where I was feeling down, my creativity and drive to make jewelry rose up. One day while feeling down, I visited a friend who at the time was the director of a natural hair boutique that also carried handmade goods, to buy products and discuss some frustrations. Before I could get to either objective, a gentleman walked in wanting to replace a bracelet he had purchased there. Unfortunately, the lady that made it was no longer making jewelry. Totally out of character, I interrupted their conversation saying that it looked easy to make, but not offering to make it. Hahaha. I don’t know why I said that. Both looked at me and asked if I knew how to make jewelry. Less confidently, I responded no. He offered to pay me if I could and left his information with my friend just in case. Once he left my friend made me an offer that would change my life. She said that if I could make jewelry and well, she would sell it in the boutique. With a new fire burning in me, I left determined to make that bracelet. The process was difficult. I ordered lots of material not really knowing what I was doing, I wasted material and ended up puncturing my hand with needle nose plyers. I never made that bracelet. It ended up turning into a pair of earrings that I wore to work, where someone asked about them. I sold my first pair of earrings for $20 the following week. As I continued to study jewelry making, I became inspired by African and indigenous art, the vibrant colors and textures of their every day life. I learned that the key to success is first to define it for yourself and then to keep learning. I want the world to know about me is that it’s never too late to start. What I want the world to know about my jewelry is that every piece is handcrafted with love and detail from a place of reflection and homage to my African and Indigenous ancestors, for beautiful humans that want to add unique and eclectic pieces to their collection of art or jewlery.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a complete introvert and truly prefer staying in. If I go out of the house, it’s to eat. I would have to say the following are places that never fail me are: Boss Cat, Escalante’s, Tamashi Ramen & Sushi, El Tiempo, and State of Grace. I also love to go to a good open air art market (although I’m usually participating in them).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my God, who instilled in me the gift of creativity and the desire to truly live. To my children, who give me the will to keep going even when I’m tired, to my mommy whose spirit cheers me on daily, to Keilah Jaques who has been a source of love, strength, and grounding, Tamika Mason who planted the initial seed and encouraged me and pushed me, and to every beautiful human that has invested in my work, shared a post, talked about my work – YOU are the reason I can continue what I do.