“When I first started making jewellery it was on a beach in Australia… Looking back if it wasn’t for travelling I might not be in the situation that I am in today. “
It’s no longer a secret. Recently I got engaged in Rome to my future wife Jade. Besides the difficulties of figuring out when, were, and how one wants to propose to immortalize such a monumental moment one also has to contemplate what sort of ring to do so with.
We grow up seeing rings all our lives. Be them wedding rings or just to make some sort of statement. So picking a ring should be easy right? I didn’t find this to be the case at all. Luckily I had help with this though. After finding the website I believed held the future ring I got into contact with the owner, creator, and artist of the company Hart + Stone to see if she could help bring to life this ring. Emily McPhee provided wonderful expert advise and craft to help guide me through this process, and Jade and myself couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
However I wanted to dive a bit deeper into what brought this passion of hers to life, what fuels it and even what some of the inspiration behind the jewellery is. So Emily and I put together this interview to bring just those questions to life and to get a bit of a behind the scenes look at a craft that many of us know nothing about.
So without further adieu, here is the interview with Hart + Stones creator, Emily McPhee.
1. What was the original inspiration behind HART and STONE. Why start this company?
I originally started making jewellery around 9 years ago as a hobby. In the past couple of years I was making jewellery on a regular basis and started selling in stores. I received amazing feedback and started making money. I absolutely loved what I was doing so in October I decided to rebrand and start HART + STONE.
2. What has been some of the journey since starting your company?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of love HART + STONE has received at Craft Shows and online. As well as how fast it seems to be selling at all my stockists. We are now in 10 stores worldwide. My number one set back would have to be shipping out my product and it either not making it to it’s destination or it getting damaged in the mail. It does rarely happen, but those times it does makes me incredibly frustrated.
3. How has travel played an influence on your craft? (I loved the beach story you mentioned and making your jewellery)
When I first started making jewellery it was on a beach in Australia. I was working primarily with hemp and doing macramé, which I learned how to do when I was 12. I would make bracelets and anklets for the people I stayed with and friends I met along the way. A couple years later when I was in Ecuador in a surfing town I met a guy selling macramé jewellery on the side of the street. He taught me some stone wrapping tricks and inspired me to make jewellery while I travelled.
Then, couple years after that I decided I needed to expand my knowledge of jewellery making and find anther medium. I took a weekend silversmithing course. My teach told me I was a natural. However, it wasn’t until last summer that I started silver and gold-smithing on a regular basis and set up a bench. I’m so glad I did because it turned into something amazing.
Looking back if it wasn’t for travelling I might not be in the situation that I am in today. It was those little bits of creating and learning about the many different was to make jewellery that fuelled the passion later on. Even though the style was completely different, it still inspired me to be creative and work with my hands.
4. Where do you see the future of your company? Hopes/Dreams?
I hope to keep building HART + STONE and take it more internationally. I’d like to eventually branch out into accessories while always keeping the manufacturing local.
I originally went to school for Fashion Design and I’d love for HART + STONE to one day incorporate clothing into the mix.
5. How would you pitch Hart and Stone to a strange?
HART + STONE is jewellery inspired by the nature of the west coast. It has a minimalistic design with geometric cuts. All the pieces are made by my own two hands. I create everything, from concept to creation, giving each piece their own feel. No two items are the same which makes each item unique.
I think in a world of such mass production it’s nice for someone to get something hand made. It should be more about buying quality over quantity.
6. Any stories having to do with your company that are moving or that stand out in your mind?
My biggest milestone was getting my jewellery in stores. I was seriously blown away by the feedback I was getting and how well everything sold. A lot of my stockists said that HART + STONE was flying off the shelves. That made me realize that I must be on the right track. I also have my jewellery in a beautiful store in Amsterdam, the Gathershop. Taking HART + STONE international was such a huge moment for me. It made me feel like it wasn’t a hobby anymore, but rather a brand and my career. Last February I quit all my day jobs and focused on H + S full time.
7. How has this company influenced your personally or helped shape your life since its beginning?
I’m definitely more confident when it comes to talking about my company and how I go around making everything myself. I’m very inspired by the jewellery that I create. If something isn’t working I make it into something else and the outcome can sometimes be better than what I previously intend to make.
I love being my own boss. I’ve always been very self motivated and independent, so getting to set my own hours has been great. Mind you, I do work everyday 9-5, but at least I have the chance to take weekends off. I’ve worked for years in the service industry. So, getting to take time off in the summer has never been easy or logical as that is the busiest time on a tourist island. So this Spring has been great. I actually get to go camping with my boyfriend and do those fun outdoor activities that HART + STONE is all about.
8. How can people find you or contact you if they are interested in your work?
You can find me at www.hartandstone.com. I also sell online at Etsy, www.etsy.com/hartandstone. You can also check out my stockists to see if there is a store near you selling H + S, http://www.hartandstone.com/stockists/. Or e-mail me,firstname.lastname@example.org.