There’s nothing surprising about Austin creatives receiving praise and recognition for their work. In fact, in a city that supports and encourages the growth of music, art, and other creative endeavors, recognition is actually quite common. Even still, we like to give our fellow Austinites a shout out when it happens.
Two local jewelry designers, Amanda Eddy of Amanda Deer Jewelry, and Theresa Mink of Classic Designs, were named Etsy’s Top Sellers in January 2017. Amanda Eddy of Amanda Deer Designs came in at 100, and Theresa Mink of Classic Designs ranked 30 out of 100. Originally reported by handmadeology, Craftcount recently updated the list to reflect this month’s rankings. According to that list, Amanda Deer climbed three spots to 97.
We chatted with the designers to learn when their jewelry obsession began, how they launched their own business, and what it felt like to receive that designation.
Amanda Eddy, Amanda Deer Designs
Amanda Eddy always loved jewelry, but it wasn’t until she purchased a few vintage locks and keys in 2009 that she began playing around with the idea of making her own pieces. And after receiving a compliment or two from friends and bystanders, she decided to try her luck on Etsy—a relatively new selling platform at the time.
Eddy says her pieces sold immediately. She says with each sale she made, her heart fluttered, because “people got what [she] was trying to do with [her] designs.” Offering simple, dainty, everyday necklaces is the driving force behind her brand’s identity and ethos; Eddy also believes providing an affordable price point is key to her growth.
Eddy takes the phrase “less is more” to heart, and says simple designs can still make a statement—especially when worn every day. The Moon and Star Necklace and Engraved Bars are perfect examples of her ‘simplicity first’ motto and two of her brand’s most popular items.
Though Eddy’s personal style influences her designs, she says Austin’s fashion forward community never ceases to amaze and inspire. “I follow big brands, popular labels, and look on Instagram [for inspiration],” Eddy said, “but I also snap photos of people walking outside my studio [on East 5th].”
Eddy also attributes her success to the city of Austin itself, not just its fashionable residents. She says while Etsy helped her get started, Austin’s “support local” mindset helped her get where she is today.
To follow her journey, visit her website, Facebook, Instagram, or Etsy page. Parts and Labour, Sikara & Co., Blue Elephant Boutique, Women and Their Work, and other Austin stores also have Eddy’s designs in stores. Visit one today to support small businesses and Austin’s fashion scene.
Theresa Mink, Classic Designs
Theresa Mink made the jump from furniture-store owner to jewelry designer in 2005. But according to Mink, starting an international jewelry business wasn’t exactly part of the plan.
“It’s funny,” Mink said. “When I started [making jewelry], I told my husband that I’d be happy making jewelry in my own time […], but what a joke!” Mink says her business has surpassed all expectations.
Her successes didn’t happen over night, though. When Mink first began making jewelry, she said she was simply experiencing and exploring what it meant to design jewelry. And though she is creatively inclined — she has an art degree — she’s completely self-taught, and often times looked to books and other tutorials for instruction. But, over the course of a few months, Mink said she had “quite the collection” and “figured she needed to start selling [her pieces].”
Mink’s collection includes timeless, classic, everyday pieces; many of her pieces are also understated and have a handmade look. Still, she said, it’s a style that has evolved. “When I first began [designing], I didn’t have a direction,” Mink said. “So my first designs included gem stones and pieces inspired by my travels abroad.” But it was when she introduced simpler pieces to her line that her business took off. She decided to continue in that direction.
Mink says her international and national successes are due to her designs, but also her customer service. “Customers from all over the world can call and talk to me about ways to make their pieces unique.” And while her jewelry business was accidental, she feels blessed. “It’s exhilarating to know I [can] make something people [want].”
To see the rest of her designs, visit her Etsy page.
Featured image courtesy of Amanda Deer Jewelry Facebook page