Today’s Maker Moment interview is with Lani of The Urban Charm, the Maker behind some of our beautiful custom bracelets. Read on to find out more about her inspiration and process, and plans for the future.
Tell us about you!
I grew up in Big Bear Lake, which is a small mountain resort community in Southern California. Presently, I reside in Long Beach, CA in a quaint studio by the ocean. I am an artist that is very passionate about my work. I also have a 16 year old son who I adore and love to spend quality time with. When I’m not creating or making jewelry you can find me teaching, doing yoga, being outdoors, biking and meeting new people.
What is your background as a Maker? What got you started making or creating?
I have been creating things for as long as I can remember. I think, for me, it is about the process. Ever since I was a child I wanted to know how things were made. I would disassemble things and put them back together to discover their intricacies. Creating for me is like therapy. I began drawing and painting at a young age which led to my exploration in 3D arts and hand sculpting. From there I went on to finding old jewelry and pieces of things from nature and started a recycled jewelry line about 7 years ago. Since then I have continued to make jewelry in a multitude of mediums and now enjoy working with precious metals, leather and stones. The journey for creating and learning led me to a double major in Fine Arts and Business Marketing.
Tell us a fun or interesting story behind one of the bracelets you’ve made.
Every bracelet starts out with a story. When I begin designing I turn on some music and start to choose my inspiration board from things around me. I will pick out all the pieces or parts that I want to use and then I will begin playing around. One bracelet in particular, the “Friendship Bracelet” which was formally called the “Street Charm” bracelet started off as just a bracelet. During our photo shoot we began to play around with the jewelry and styling it in different ways, and like magic we went from having one accessory to one accessory with multiple ways of styling it. It was like it had taken on a life of its own; it became an anklet, a headband, and then we linked multiple bracelets together creating a long necklace. We even used the bracelet for a belt and a tassel for a graduation cap. This fun story has actually helped us to design all our bracelets with a similar concept. We have designed our bracelets to all be linked together by just attaching the male and female toggle parts together.
What is your favorite part about being a Maker?
My favorite part about being a maker is the hands-on aspect. I need to be creating and getting my hands dirty. To me knowing that my hands have made something for someone else brings more passion for making and creating new jewelry. Being a maker gives me the opportunity to make things for others, which ultimately brings me joy and happiness.
How do you see growing your product lines in the future?
Like other makers I hope to see my product lines grow and be displayed in multiple boutiques and retail stores across the globe. I want to be able to offer more job opportunities to single mothers and other “Creatives”.
Do you have any advice for any would-be Zazzle Makers?
I think the best advice I could give to would-be Zazzle makers is “get down and Dirty”, make it happen and make it a daily part of your life. If you feel passionate about making or designing then do it. You only live once and it is important to take opportunities to do what your heart desires. Negative comments often come with the territory of being an artist. Try to learn from them, rather than be adversely affected by them. If I would have listened to all the negative people, rather than pursuing my own dreams, then I would never have had the confidence to believe that I could be an innovative maker. If you want to be a maker don’t hold back, bring that creativity out with passion. Let your creativity be a blessing to others. Our world needs more makers, or as like to call them, “Creatives”.