Outside our headquarters office, Alternative's Assistant Accounting Manager likes to show off her artsy side by designing vintage jewelry. Since 2008, Emilee Heath has been creating rustic pieces for her jewelry line, My Mom's Basement, which she sells on the creative marketplace, Etsy. We caught up with Emilee to find out what inspires her, how she started creating jewelry and exactly what goes into making the "Modern Hands. Vintage Materials" line. Check out our Q&A!
How did you become interested in jewelry design?
I’ve always had an interest in fashion design, the arts and really all things creative. During graduate school and studying for the CPA exam, I was in need of a creative outlet. I realized that I had amassed a huge collection of vintage buttons, jewelry findings and other oddities that would make the perfect jewelry components.
What inspires your creativity when you’re designing jewelry?
Because many of my pieces are assembled from vintage items, I am often inspired by the materials themselves. I love found objects, vintage paper ephemera and have recently looked towards more natural elements like crystal. I strive to give a nod to the past, while still creating a fresh and modern piece of jewelry.
How does your jewelry style and aesthetic align with the Alternative brand?
Certainly both brands seem to have a real affinity for the luxury that comes from a well-aged item. I like the notion that worn-in doesn’t necessarily mean worn out, whether you’re working with a vintage-soft tee or a collection of antique keys. Sometimes an item has to have experienced just the right amount of destruction, before it becomes the perfect piece.
Who are some of your favorite jewelry designers?
Pamela Love is at the tip-top of my list right now, her Spring 2012 collection was beautiful - just the right amount of geometry and color. I’ve also been a big fan of Erica Weiner for years and am excited to see that she is coming out with a fine jewelry line.
Where do you sell your jewelry?
I love to show my work at various craft fairs or trunks shows; my favorites being Atlanta’s Indie Craft Experience and at the High Museum of Art. I also keep up a little Etsy shop at www.mymomsbasement.etsy.com.
x Eleni Snider
Photos by Justin Weaver