Lyndsay Brown is a one-woman show behind Idle Hands Designs. The local Seattle jewelry designer grew her business from a sideline hobby to a full-time workshop, studying silver smithing, resin work and sculpture as she built both her knowledge and her business. Sporting her client-favored sutured heart necklace and a collection of rings and pendants, she sells her mix of vintage remixed jewelry and new designs to an ever-growing number of fans.
AP: At what point did you decide to take your silver smithing and jewelry design from a hobby into a business?
LB: It was a pretty slow process. I did a full time job and my jewelry for about three, three and a half years before I decided to go full time. It went pretty naturally that it began to demand more of my time; I worked as a rep for a retail store where people started asking me more questions about my jewelry then the skincare line I was representing. In the past five years, I think people have been really tuned into supporting people locally, supporting handmade and local artists, and that shift in consciousness has certainly helped.
AP: What does working in silver bring you, that working in resin does not?
LB: I really like silver because I can add and subtract; I can sculpt it, I can solder, I can grind it down. When I make a piece of silver it’s made to last forever. Silver is durable, it’s something that can be passed down. But resin’s fun because I can do a bunch of different colours.
AP: What was your inspiration for your sutured heart design?
LB: Actually, in school, we did a silver clay project, and that was the first time I learned how to sculpt. She asked us to come up with a three dimensional project, and that’s where it started. One of my friends asked me to make another one, people at work asked me to make more; people were really connected to it and excited about the design.
AP: What is the greatest challenge you have overcome, when it comes to balancing both the business and creative side of what you do?
LB: Because I don’t make a large quantity, keeping the price affordable to family and friends and people around me, not making things overpriced despite making such a limited quantity, not pricing it out of people being able to use it for gift giving. The business end can be challenging.
AP: How much does the creation process itself affect the outcome of your pieces, compared to your initial idea?
LB: I don’t really sketch a lot, so it comes from starting naturally with a disc or sheet of metal; sculpting and organically letting the piece go in an organic direction that the piece takes me. With working with a lot of vintage buttons I’ll go off an inspiration from the shape or era, and design from there.
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