We had the good fortune of connecting with Lin Cyrus and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lin, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Originally making jewelry started as a hobby, something to do when my kids were babies to keep myself occupied and artistically challenged.

A few years later I found myself divorced, unable to afford childcare for two toddlers. So I decided to take my hobby to the next level after my friend Lizbeth Ortiz asked me to vend a show she was curating at a gallery.

Since then it’s been my main source of income.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started out making beaded jewelry, and resin bottle cap jewelry. In 2015 I took metalsmithing classes at the Crucible in Oakland, California. Since then I have made the majority of my work from my own designs using upcycled copper electrical wire, vintage brass, and reclaimed items like sea glass and broken vintage jewelry.

It hasn’t been easy, and many people do not realize how expensive it is to be an artist of any kind. For a long time I would use engine parts as mandrels, and I have a stage weight as an anvil. I have made do with what I have and slowly collected a toolbox of supplies over the last 12 years.

My main goal as an artist, is to make things people want to keep forever, and reuse materials so that less things go to waste.

I have learned that sometimes you have to make your own way. That certain “techniques” won’t work for everyone. The way I work is not the way another metalsmith may operate. But I’m happy and confident in my abilities. I learn every day new ways of doing things and expand my knowledge so I can make better quality items for the world to wear.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am terrible at planning, and sticking to a plan! If a friend was visiting we would definitely eat a lot of good food. My favorite places are BB’s cafe, Torchy’s, Bohemeo’s, Hank’s, and pretty much anywhere that has great crawfish, topo chico, tacos, and fried pickles.

Numbers has been a staple in my life since I was 15, I still love going when I get the chance. Poison Girl is my favorite bar, and I’m super sad that the Continental Club closed down. I spend a lot of time at Little Woodrow’s in Katy because it’s so close to where I stay.

The Houston art museum is fantastic, as well as the Menil. I love thrift and antique shopping and Houston has so many great places for that.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would be nothing without my vendor family. Lizbeth Ortiz pulled me out of my shell and had me submitting my artwork to gallery shows, and eventually had my vending my jewelry at the same shows

At those same shows I met Robin Silvers (of Linkster Love), the artist Johnnie Rosales, Blue Rooster Customs, and Melissa Campbell of Menstrual Flux. Each of them has had a huge hand in helping me grow as a business, including getting into more shows and expanding my customer base.

Liz Bolen Bellinger has also been a huge part of my success. When I rebranded my business she helped me brainstorm ideas, and made my business and product cards. Without her my brand wouldn’t be as recognized as it is.

Without my “village” I wouldn’t be where I am. I am grateful for them every day.

Website: Turquoisetrex.etsy.com

Instagram: Turquoisetrex

Facebook: Turquoise T-Rex

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