Heather Jordan Jewelry has very humble roots. I started making jewelry as a way to cope with what was going on in my personal life. After years of persistent illness, I was granted a second chance to have a career; something so most others, in my situation, don't receive. I never purposefully set out to start a jewelry business; it just seemed to unfold naturally as time went on.
My first pieces were bracelets made with packets of stone chip beads from the local dollar store. I was able to sell them and use the proceeds to buy simple tools and materials from local craft stores. Again, pieces sold and I used those profits to buy even more supplies. The cycle continued. A friend offered display space in her store so I would have a place to sell full-time and I started doing local craft shows. Soon, I was outselling competitors and being approached by owners of local boutiques, who were interested in carrying my work on consignment. I started to establish a stable revenue stream and paid myself a modest salary. Next, I ventured out into online venues. By then, I had acquired a taste for being my own boss and wanted to see if I could build a real business.
I started working with wire just before I got my business license. This was a conscious and calcuated decision, on my part, for several reasons. First, no other local artists were wire-wrapping so it helped me stand out. Second, I would rather invest more time (making a piece of jewelry) than spend more to incorporate manufactured components that often lacked character. I found that if I made my own findings and elements with wire, I didn't spend as much on commercially-produced beads. Third, using wire gave me more design options. Using manufactured components limits creative freedom and I wanted my pieces to be different from anything else on the market. Wire-wrapping also gave me the ability to use materials that would otherwise be off-limits, such as un-drilled stones, fossils and meteorites.
Entrepreneurship is far more challenging than most people think, especially if you don't have a start-up fund to launch your business, and you're accustomed to traditional employment, with a regular salary. Not only did I have to develop my skills as an artist, but a businesswoman as well. In essence, I've spent the past few years engaged in an unofficial, yet rigorous program of independent study, simultaneously in those realms. I recently moved my business to Toronto so I could continue to grow and evolve. Starting a business isn't for everyone but it was definitely the right move for me.
Favourite Visual Artist
The Island, Gattaca, Sunshine, Minority Report, Star Trek, The Matrix, Star Wars (all of them), Serenity, Contact, iRobot, you get the idea...
Favourite TV Shows
Falling Skies, ReGenesis, World's Greenest Homes, Caprica, Dragon's Den, Dollhouse, Firefly, Alias, Babylon 5, V, Total Recall 2070, Taken, Farscape, Roswell, Fringe, Defying Gravity, Terra Nova, Shark Tank, Stargate (all), Kings, Battlestar Galactica,etc
Favourite Bands / Musical Artists
Enigma, Colony 5, Depeche Mode, Aphex Twin, Enya, etc.
Jewelry design (esp wirework), entrepreneurship, science-fiction, theoretical physics
Greg Bear, Isaac Asimov
Favourite Gaming Platform
NES (the old one from the 80s)
Tools of the Trade
semiprecious stone, fossils, meteorites, tektites, Swarovski crystal and lots & LOTS of WIRE!
I spent almost a decade as a scientific researcher in astrobiology (I know you're shocked to hear that).