I am always relatively nervous when I meet with someone to interview them about their business or projects and meeting with Kelly Davie of Whisperwill Jewelry was no exception. Kelly was kind enough to open her work space to me and show me how her gorgeous jewelry comes to fruition from conception to the finished product. Her excitement and passion for each and every detail is the reason why I personally find that buying local and shopping from small businesses like hers is so important and often better then that of the big box variety. There is just something so beautiful and raw about witnessing someone create something from nothing. “One of the things I love about making jewelry the traditional way is continuing the techniques and attention to detail that older and wiser artisans have used,” Kelly says. Her chill nature is endearing and is no reflection of how she handles her business. I am so excited to share with you our next maker in the Maker’s Series, Kelly Davie of Whisperwill Jewelry.
Thank you so much for chatting with us, Kelly! Please tell us a little more about Whisperwill Jewelry.
Of course! Happy to be here 🙂 Whisperwill is a handmade jewelry business I started in 2012. I had a lot of changes in my life that year – I graduated college, got married, and moved across the country mid-summer. I putzed around for a few months, unsure of what I wanted in a career. I had been making jewelry for myself as a hobby for a few years and decided that since I didn’t have any other plans I might as well get a business license and try it out for real. I started out doing Native American beadweaving, but after a year or two I knew I wanted to get into metalsmithing and so I saved some money, bought my tools, and learned! It started out as an impulse (very typical of me) but it stuck and I absolutely love it.
Where do you think your passion for creativity stems from?
That’s a hard question. I think it’s just part of me! The creative aspects of my job have always come easily. I don’t really have a design process – the designs are just there, in my head. Things have always just popped out. I’m always writing kooky little jingles, imagining hypothetical interactions between me and other people, and making weird folk art. I love anything creative or imaginative!
“Why not buy bread from the woman down the street who has spent years getting it just right, using her own hands and her Grandmother’s apron? A lot of good can be done through the ways we choose to spend our money.”
Being a small business, why do you think it’s important to shop small?
To me, the most important reason for shopping small is preserving craft. One of the things I love about making jewelry the traditional way is continuing the techniques and attention to detail that older and wiser artisans have used. That applies to everything we buy. Why not buy bread from the woman down the street who has spent years getting it just right, using her own hands and her Grandmother’s apron? Why not support the men and women from a developing country who are using a micro-loan to produce hand-stitched leather goods? A lot of good can be done through the ways we choose to spend our money.
What are some of your favorite small businesses to shop?
One of my very favorites is the Village Gourmet in Tujunga Village. I am a very big food person, and I love stopping by to grab a pint of delicious small-batch ice cream, a bottle of champagne for a special occasion, or a few nice cheeses for a party. They are so helpful and knowledgeable! All of my meager cheese knowledge, and my fondness for St Angel triple cream brie, was learned at their shop! I also can’t get enough of the Gelato and Espresso Bar across the street. Their gelatos and sorbets are very yummy, but my personal favorite is the ginger latte – no coffee, just ginger, spices, and steamed milk. I think it’s their secret star!
What is your favorite thing about the Autumn season?
So hard to narrow it down! Crisp air and golden-red leaves (well, those are memories from Tennessee! Here in Southern California it’s more like 75 and palm trees), bonfires, comfy sweaters, and if I’m lucky, Pumpkin Ale! Also the expectation of Christmas. Even better than the day itself!
What can’t you leave the house without?
I’m a pretty no frills gal. I just make sure I have my keys and some lip balm!
What advice can you offer aspiring entrepreneurs and creatives?
Do it! If it’s crazy, if it’s scary, if you don’t know what you’re doing… just do it! You’ll figure it out. The journey is just as important as the end goal. And that’s where all the fun is!
Check out our behind the scenes tour of Kelly’s work space on Instagram. Also be sure to drop by Kelly’s shop for 30% off any order until October 15th with the code “WHISPERWILLLOVESFALL.”