I met Kirsty a few years ago at our Long Beach boutique when she came in to show me her Broken Arrow Jewelry line. I was amazed by her work and her ability to give all her pieces a cool vintage look. We are both totally turquoise obsessed and kept in touch over the years so, when she heard I was opening a second location in Costa Mesa, she applied and I was really excited to have her join the team. She has been our Sales Manager since day one and has played a huge role in the growth of our new boutique.
When I told her I had a secret stash of fire opals, she was immediately interested in using them to craft a collection. She just started working with gold fill which had me really excited - fire opals and gold are a total dream come true! I love the combination of the colors, they make this collection so unique and special.
Scroll down to hear more about what went into this collaborative collection and about Kristy’s brand, story, inspiration, and more!
What initially got you interested in jewelry? How did you get started designing your own brand?
I’ve always loved Vintage Native American jewelry. My grandfather being full Native American gave me the interest in the craft. I practiced all summer of 2015 and that fall I created an instagram for Broken Arrow. Orders immediately started coming in and that’s how I began making turquoise jewelry pieces.
What was the process and inspiration behind your collaboration with Prism Boutique?
Well, I’m lucky enough to be working in the store for Dayna! She had a beautiful collection of fire opals that she wanted made into jewelry. She wanted simple gold-filled pieces that showed off the true beauty of each stone and were perfect pieces for everyday wear.
How do you like to source your stones? What are some of your favorites?
I source my stones through different “Rock hound” people - some I’ve met through instagram but mostly I’ve met at gem fairs. My favorite gem fair is in Quartzsite, AZ so I make sure to go to every year. I always meet so many amazing vendors while I’m there and i make an effort to keep in touch with them. I’m constantly ordering stones, probably once a week because I can’t help myself. You really can never have enough!
How do you walk the line between following trends and sticking to your personal style?
This was super easy in the beginning because my style originated from what got me started - Vintage Native American turquoise jewelry. I started incorporating different stones like moonstones, tiger-eye, opals, and a few others. This past year I did some gold filled pieces and I was super excited about it. The process of working with gold is a little different when it comes to the silversmithing aspect. It was cool to mix it up but now I’m back to my original styles - my current collection I’m working on is called the Roots Collection, which is launching next month. It will include lots of shadow box, cluster stone, stamped, and heavy gauge silver turquoise pieces.
Where do you find inspiration? What do you do to stay creatively inspired?
I find inspiration from looking through old stock of turquoise jewelry, at flea markets, and in Native American books. Constantly finding new inspo and brainstorming new ideas is what keeps me inspired.
What is your favorite thing about working as an artist?
I love having something to do when I have free time, especially something I enjoy! Starting with a stone and creating it into jewelry, seeing the final polished piece is the best feeling.
What has been your greatest struggle so far?
Wanting to create too many new pieces for collections, an event, or taking on custom orders and not balancing my time with my day job. I tend to think I can do more that I can in a certain amount of time, which leads to late nights. I’m getting better at balancing my workload and recognizing that my craft is something that requires time.
How do you balance your time between your day job and your jewelry line?
Having a good planner! But seriously, I write everything down. I’m a very organized person and plan each week out, whether it’s days off or working on jewelry or an errand I need to do or supplies to buy – I write it all down. Sometimes I have to work on jewelry before and after my shifts but I try not to, that’s when I know I have taken on too many custom orders. My goal is to enjoy every moment of anything I do and to get a good night's rest!