Meet the Marketplace No. 006
We started the Prism Boutique Marketplace Collection to keep our community connected and to introduce our customers to local artists from across the country.
We’re so excited to introduce you to the next round of independent makers featured in our Marketplace. From totally unique ceramics to a new collab with our favorite designers, the thought and care that goes into each piece crafted by these artists is truly incredible.
Get to know the talented women behind each featured brand of our new Marketplace Collection and show your support any way you can.
Kimmy of Whiskey and Clay
Spurred by a breakup, Kimmy was feeling heartbroken and low in early 2013. To cheer her up, her roommate dragged her to a ceramics class. “I was absolutely terrible at throwing, but making something physical with my hands that required every bit of my focus felt SO right when my world was upside down,” says Kimmy. Despite the rocky start, she stuck with it and went to open studio hours on her lunch breaks to work on pots, and eventually made something that not just her mom would like. Kimmy says, “then when my job moved me to Austin, I met my other half, Aaron - a software engineer/pyro technician wizard who helped me set up a home studio and gas kiln on our porch. We both felt drawn to ceramics for the functional nature of the art and total unpredictability of the outcome, plus who doesn't love a precarious fire experiment?”
She and Aaron have not only mastered their craft, but found a unique way to work that differs from other ceramicists. Of course, it all starts with a chunk of clay, which involves mixing stoneware and porcelain for the marbled effect. Next it gets thrown on the wheel and shaped, left for a couple hours of drying time, then trimmed and stamped. “Where things get unique is the next part,” Kimmy says. “Most potters do an initial firing of the piece at this point, called a bisque, but we have our system dialed in to skip that. Mostly to save time, but it also helps with energy use.”
Once dried, they glaze the pot with either white or black glaze and toss it in the kiln to be fired. Aaron spends the next 20-30 hours babysitting the kiln, monitoring temperature gains so it doesn't increase too fast or too slow and moving the damper to control oxygen levels in the kiln. “If the oxygen content is too high, my pots turn out white and pale - if too low, they turn dark brown and rusty. We want somewhere in the middle.” This entire process is something they’ve figured out on their own through many many failed experiments. “It started with a teeny, tiny gas kiln on our porch in east Austin, and now we just hired a crane company to place our new 24 cubic foot fire beast at the house.”
Finding inspiration in the sky and earth in Big Bend, TX, they feel drawn to the wind swept and sparse energy; it influences how she marbles clay and how Aaron fires pottery in the kiln. “On the earth, toasted browns mixed with light cream shades; in the sky, striking bright sunsets and clouds contrast with tall sharp mountain peaks; and in the air, the smell of creosote after a desert rain.” Kimmy continues, “There's a feeling to being in the big bend and it's hard to put into words - locals say it's where solitude goes to be alone, we try to embody the slow and very spaced out way of living in every piece we make.”
Marida of Marida Jewelry
Marida Adan of Marida Jewelry has been surrounded by jewelry for most of her life. Her parents, aunt, and uncle were in the fine jewelry business and she was often involved, even going to trade shows, but she never really thought anything of it. Then, when she was in high school, her father was diagnosed with cancer and could no longer help with any of the jewelry production or repairs. “My mom really handled the business aspect so she had to find another way to make precious jewelry without relying on my dad's skill,” says Marida.
That’s when her mom discovered pearls. Up until then, she had only worked with precious stones and diamonds, so pearls were a new material and something she wasn’t really sure her customers would like. “Luckily, they LOVED it. According to what her customers shared with me, my mom was the first to introduce high quality pearls to the Long Beach Cambodian community.”
Because of the positive response, her business was thriving and she needed help. Marida says, “this was when I was first introduced to the act of jewelry making and not just the jewelry business. I beaded my first akoya pearl necklace when I was 15 or 16 years old. I didn't think it would be so meditative for me and I always enjoyed that it was one of my ‘after school activities'. It wasn’t until later in life that my mom told me that pearls saved us.”
Instead of pursuing a career in pharmacy after graduating from UCLA, Marida decided to go all in with jewelry. She says, “I was determined, but I had quite a few vocal people who doubted me starting a jewelry business, especially one that is unrelated to my family's. So I am most proud of being able to believe in myself so much that those doubtful voices didn't phase me.” Now 10 years later, she’s still here running a successful business and running it how she sees fit. “I also have to say that I am damn proud I was able to buy my first home with money I completely made from my jewelry business in a city I love.”
Each collection is inspired by moments or experiences in Marida’s life. “It could be something so silly. For instance, during the start of the pandemic, I went through a phase where I was just hunting for furniture and adoring lots of vintage decor and chairs, which then inspired me to create pieces like the Kinetic Earrings and Spirit Hoops,” she says. This past year, she was craving to be in nature, which led her to create the Landform Collection. “Inspiration can truly be anywhere. I often try to find little details of why I love what I love at that moment and translate that into my jewelry.”
For Marketplace 006, we were lucky enough that Marida designed a few Prism exclusive styles for us. Marida Jewelry has been a staple at Prism since the beginning when we started carrying her Itty Bitty Bracelets; styles we continue to sell to this day. “It's truly beautiful to see how much Prism has grown. I couldn't be more proud of where it is now and I am thrilled to be working with Prism on these exclusive pieces.”
Marida created two different styles of earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. “They all play with shapes and colors,” Marida says. She continues, “I love that the Building Block Earrings are mismatched pieces. You can wear them on each ear, both on the same lobe if you have multiple piercings, or maybe just one of them in one of your piercings!”
The neutral tone necklace and bracelet feature various beads, but the Mali beads are particularly special. Not only are they 400 years old (!), they add a touch of fun and movement within the pieces. “I also love that the Dalmatian jasper adds a little bit of pattern to the look. The second set was actually inspired by all the fruits I’ve been seeing in fashion. I love how playful it is. I focused on citrus colors to create the pieces and the combination of peridots, carnelians, and yellow jades couldn’t be more perfect.”
Emily & Lora of LOREM
Long time Prism collaborators, Lora and Emily have been making magic happen in the boutique for years. When our owner, Dayna, was managing an Anthropologie, she met Emily, who was a display artist. Years later, when Dayna left to open her own store, Emily helped build Prism’s first (and most memorable) display - a giant macramé piece made from driftwood Dayna found on the beach. As the remodel and expansion approached in 2015, Emily introduced us to her friend Lora, and the two of them helped build out the new store. Since then, the two have worked on all of Prism’s fixtures and displays together, while also crafting Prism exclusive collaborations, from plants stands and hangers to amazing handmade wall art. Buying one of their creations is like bringing a piece of Prism home with you.
Both Emily and Lora went to school for architecture, but quickly realized their passions lie elsewhere. Emily says, “throughout school I enjoyed all the various types of projects and mediums we worked with but I was never too inspired by the thought of having a career in the field.” After graduation, she got a job as a sales associate at Anthropologie, which quickly turned into a visual sales job, then eventually she was promoted to Display Coordinator. “The display coordinator position really prepares you to make just about anything and over the years I began doing more and more on the side until I decided to make the jump and go out on my own,” says Emily.
Lora had a similar path. “I started school in Architectural Engineering, but transferred when I realized I couldn’t see myself doing it as a career. I went into graphic design, but ended up with a BFA in Visual Studies. After working for several years as an apparel designer, I decided to go back to school for commercial photography,” say Lora. After graduating, Lora got a job in a photo studio until she and her husband moved to LA for his job. After the move, she was having a tough time finding a new job so she decided to apply at Anthropologie to become a sales associate. Lora says, “I began helping a bit on displays during the holiday, and loved working with so many different materials and I realized my array of skills in architecture and art was exactly what I needed.” A few months later, she was hired as the Assistant Display Coordinator and was soon promoted to Display Coordinator.
Emily and Lora kept in touch throughout the years and when Emily decided to go out on her own, she called Lora to help with a large commissioned mural. They soon realized how well they worked together and the collaborations continued from there. Since then, they’ve worked on store build-outs, custom fixtures, created their own products, and collaborated on others.
Our most recent collab with LOREM was for a collection of handcrafted wall hangings inspired by Terracasa, Dayna’s high-desert vacation rental. “For these wall hangings, we were inspired by all the fun checker prints and wavy patterns in Prism Boutique and the beautiful checker tile in the kitchen, as well as the vintage found around the house.” They found inspiration from vintage pieces, but pushed the design towards a more modern, clean aesthetic to fit with the rest of the decor in the house. “We wanted to keep a neutral color palette and use neutral materials to fit with the Terracasa vibe.”
Kristen of Muse Apothecary
Founder and botanical perfumer of Muse Apothecary, Kristen has worked in the botanical wellness space for over 15 years and is passionate about designing plant-based products that support self-care rituals. She started Muse five years ago with the necessity for self-care. It was all in the simplicity of taking a Muse Bath ritual to unwind and wanting to share beauty rituals that would nourish those who are looking for a deeper connection to their well-being,” says Kristen. Over time, the apothecary studio evolved into a botanical perfumery and has been creating self-care collections since.
It’s no surprise Kristen found herself doing what she does. Her curiosity of nature began at a young age growing up in the healing gardens of her Filipino grandparents who used plants for medicines, nourishment, and beauty rituals. Kristen says, “This curiosity led me to study botanical sciences at Portland State University where I deepened my studies in plant ecology, resource management and the sustainability of our ecosystem.” Gaining an understanding of the symbiotic cycles of nature led her to botanical perfumery, herbalism, and flower essence therapy.
Through Muse, Kristen carefully handcrafts each product to bring peace to people’s daily lives. “I absolutely love the process of product and scent design,” says Kristen. “For me, the process of product design is an attunement of intention and discovery of the senses. It feels like being a chef in a kitchen or a painter in the studio--where the creative process is guided by intuition, elemental alchemy and key ingredients to invoke an experience for the senses.”
We’re so excited to work with and support these makers who continually inspire us. If you’d like to get to know their work further, check out their websites and give them a follow on Instagram. And make sure you shop our Marketplace Collection.
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