Interview with Brooklynn Gonzales from Reese Hayden Studio - Creator of Beautiful Handmade Earrings and Major Mom-Boss
I recently spoke with Brooklynn, the owner and creator of Reese Hayden Studio, to get the scoop on how she got started making these gorgeous clay earrings of hers. Brooklynn is the boss behind the beautiful handmade earrings that I am currently obsessed with and I was dying to hear all about her up and coming business!
Thanks to the world of Instagram, I first came across Reese Hayden Studio while perusing the many fashion and style pages that I follow. As I have mentioned multiple times - I am a lover of accessories and earrings are by far my accessory of choice and Brooklynn's work caught my eye!
What I loved about her earrings from the start was that they were unique, fun yet beautiful, and most importantly - incredibly light! I love big earrings but I am very sensitive to the slighted tug of my ear from the weight of dangling earrings as I am sure many of you can relate. Since I am a big fan of style and keeping my style unique to who I am and what I like, I loved how her earrings were hand-made and one-of-a-kind.
After I purchased my first pair of earrings, Brooklynn and I teamed up to do a fun Instagram giveaway where one lucky winner won a beautiful pair of earrings! We had Adriana Klas capture some gorgeous photos of both every-day styled earrings as well as bridal earrings for my wedding-following on my Event Planning page!
Since I enjoyed working with Brooklynn so much and, of course, loved her work - I thought it would a fun idea to do a little interview with her and share her and her work with all of you! I wanted to know how she got started, what motivates her, and what this process has been like. Read along to learn all about this amazing lady!
When - and how - did your creative spark in jewelry making begin?
I was never particularly ‘artsy’; that role had already been filled in my family by my sister. She painted all through high school, pursued careers in fashion, and now works with textile arts. Art defined her so much that I didn’t think it was allowed to define me as well. When I had my second daughter we had just moved out of San Francisco back to the East Bay to have more space for raising two kids. I didn’t realize until I was on maternity leave late last year how much of the art in the city had seeped into me. I was suddenly removed from the city and was no longer immersed in other people’s art, and felt a need to make my own. I knew I wanted to make something with my hands, at first that was clogs. I went crazy researching how to make clogs – sourced leather, took a small workshop, bought clog bases, bought power tools, the whole 9-yards. Then I had a shift due to the overall cost of making clogs and stumbled upon polymer clay. It was inexpensive, accessible and versatile. Jewelry just clicked with me. I still don’t own the term “Artist” I feel more comfortable with “Maker.” I believe some titles are earned not self-given, so while my art develops I’m happy being a Maker. Ultimately, I attribute my creative spark to my two girls; I think they brought it out in me through my experiences in motherhood. Their middle names make up my company name as a nod to their influence.
What inspires your creativity?
First and foremost, nature. I think most people who make are inspired by nature. But, I also find so much inspiration in architecture, textiles and previous fashion movements. Currently I am infatuated with movement. My earrings are unique in that I can play with movement in both the color blending of the clay and the way I design the pieces to hang. I think this is unique to polymer clay, being able to create depth and movement in your pieces.
How have you grown your business from concept to where it is now?
Trial and error! I started with a broad range of styles and then narrowed down it down to only the pieces that really spoke to me. I had to sit down and craft a business statement to keep my creativity and vision in balance with the audience I want my jewelry to reach. I also try not to get frustrated when I have a stall in my creativity. My business is slow fashion, I am not here to pump out 30,000 pairs of the same thing in a cheap manner for some one to get and then forget. I put elbow grease into every piece of jewelry I make and every time I sell something I am shipping out a piece of me.
Will you be adding any other types of jewelry to your line?
I am currently playing with necklaces. Durability is really important to me so I wear everything before I make it available which delays me being able to get it to my shop. I am very interested in learning how to cast and solder. I would love to offer more necklaces and rings in the future when my craftsmanship can match my vision.
Do you sell at any local boutiques?
Yes! You can currently find some of my earrings at Florette Salon & Shop in Hayes Valley. I am hoping to expand to more shops this summer after now that I have finished the San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair.
Aside from your own jewelry line, what is one of your favorite earring lines?
I love Nora Kogan! I don’t own any of her earrings but I have 2 of her rings. I have the Mom Signet ring & the Loved ring, both were given to me by my husband for big events in my life. Her line is so playful. She does a great job of striking a balance between edgy & classic pieces.
When you're not making & selling jewelry, what do you like to do?
I have to admit that between raising two kids, working full-time as a Labor & Delivery RN and starting a small business – there is not much free time! However, this is the first year where we have been in a house, so my passion project has been the garden we planted this summer.
Where do you see your business in the next few years?
I definitely see us expanding. I eventually would love to have a little team of 3-4, but it is important to me that everything stays handmade. I think slow growth is the best way to maintain the quality of the jewelry we produce. I am also moving towards more craft fairs. Renegade Craft will be my first fair and I have my eye on some other big ones throughout the country I would like to attend to reach a broader audience.
I really enjoyed getting to know Brooklynn and hearing about her business for what is now and how it began and I hope you had a good time reading about her, also. I am a huge advocate of supporting women, moms, and goal-driven people and there is no question that I will continue to support Brooklynn and Reese Hayden Studio! Be sure to follow her on Instagram so you can keep up-to-date on what she's working on and where she's selling her line! You can purchase both through her website and her Instagram, also!
I am now at 5 pairs of earrings and don't see my shopping concluding any time soon. Be sure to head over to my accessory shop page to see my latest pair that I wear with just about everything!