Kassandra Nicholson Jewelry

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Kassandra Nicholson and I worked together to brand her namesake jewelry business, a line of unique and powerful handmade pieces—talismans that act as emotional armor for the wearer—that I am overjoyed to have seen take wings and build the following that it deserves. Kassandra is a true creative; whose energy inspires me to keep writing, even on those days (as with today’s blustery and steely grayness) when taking a long nap seems favorable to turning out another story. Her stunning works flow outwardly, seemingly without much effort. But, of course, as with any artistic entrepreneur, there is a great deal of effort behind the making of her gorgeous pieces. I was lucky to be able to pick her brain a bit on her creative process, so read on!

May these pearls of wisdom that she shares below—for this week’s installment of Wisdom Wednesday—kickstart your day and toss a log on the inner fire that may be dwindling in mid-Winter’s wake.


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1. What is your morning routine as it relates to your designing? 
I’m a night owl, so my mornings are laid back. I take a long walk with my dog around the neighborhood, stop for coffee, and soak up the surroundings. Williamsburg is full of personality, like a giant canvas for artistic expression. By mid-afternoon, I’ve made it to my workshop with good creative energy; it balances the solitary aspect of focusing on the bench.

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2. What is your advice on harnessing the intense energy of New York City and not letting it overwhelm your creative process?
I’ve always been drawn to things with a darker, grittier undertone, and my dry sense of humor keeps it fun. I find the city’s intensity endlessly entertaining: the graffiti, the sporadic shouting, the limitless stories. That said, I think most New Yorkers have a secret spot to gather their thoughts… mine would be my building’s rooftop, or the boulders where the East River meets Brooklyn.
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3. What would you advise a younger person (or even a younger version of yourself) on how to follow your dreams?
Artistic people seem to attract a great deal of advice, so it’s important to have your own strong vision to follow, for your own satisfaction. One of my best choices has been to surround myself with mentors whose work I admire. As a jeweler, New York is an ideal place to learn from others in the industry. The more you understand your medium, the more confidence you will have creating with it.
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4. Where do you look first for inspiration in life and in your craft?
I usually start with the places I’ve found inspiration before. Things I’m grateful for existing, like California’s beach towns, Africa’s wildlife, or New York’s history… I instinctively want to carve that feeling into a design, and have it become a part of my work.
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5. What are the 5 items you can’t live without?
My passport. If I’m not traveling, I am daydreaming about the next place or remembering the adventures I’ve collected.
An open seat at the counter of a café nearby… like Zinqué in Venice Beach, or Black Brick in Williamsburg.
A worn-soft beach sweater to keep me warm on a creative day.
An animal sidekick: my Boston Terrier, Lily.
Layers of too much jewelry: a mix of souvenirs, special gifts, and things I’ve made.
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Learn more about Kassandra and shop her designs at online at KassandraNicholson.com
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