Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Matia Lia Baroni, artist and jewelry maker based in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an artist and jewelry maker.
Tell us about yourself
I come from a family of artists. My mom is a marble sculptor, my brother as well. I grew up in a little town in Tuscany, Italy, Pietrasanta. It's an international art center as it's close to the famous marble quarries of Carrara, so I have been wandering in marble studios, bronze foundries, mosaic studios, ceramic ateliers all my life. I cannot imagine not living with art as it has been my oxygen ever since.
After university, I really felt the need to travel, learning about the world in a way that cannot be learned in a classroom. I felt my university life yet had to begin. So I traveled to India (one of the cheapest options to stay the longest on my little student budget). From India, I began traveling non-stop for the next eight years, supporting my life with my own fine art photography. I was then based partially in Paris and then New York, where I am now. During these travels, I had a lot of time. I always felt the need to create something tridimensional, sculptural, so I created rings. I use the lost wax casting technique, so I used to carry with my few carving tools and little blocks of wax, which I would carve where I was around the world. It couldn't be heavy as I was traveling as a backpacker all the time, so it had to be small, portable... rings! So during the travels, I would create the prototypes in was, and then once home, I would cast them in metal and finish them.
My daily motivation is simple; I need to create, as any artist out there, it's a physical and psychological need to manifest my inner reality &, through custom projects, my clients' reality.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Working in the most sustainable way possible. Especially working with precious metals and stones, I try as much as I can to know where all the materials I work with come from, the source of my stones, etc. I see so many designers labeling their products as sustainable, Fairtrade. Still, the reality is that it's extremely difficult to know the source of all materials in the jewelry business. Their label is just a commercial way of selling their products when they actually have no idea about the origins. I want to bring more honesty to this field. I want one day to be able to have control over every step of my production, knowing exactly where each metal and each stone comes from. Collaborating directly with the producers of the materials.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being commercial! I love working in my studio, creating, interacting with my clients, but I find it so difficult to be present on social media to promote my brand online.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Embrace what you like the most and find your unique way of offering it to the world.
- Never be afraid of change. Change is life.
- Learn something new every day, be amazed, be inspired by what surrounds you.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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