Today I am introducing you to the amazing Barbara of la .objeteria! I met Barbara through Instagram. It is quiet a funny story, actually. See, we happened to be standing next to each other while waiting in the Hello Kitty Cafe line, you can read about that here. We didn’t talk much other than commenting on the rain and we shared an umbrella at one point. It wasn’t until later when scrolling through Instagram that we actually connected. How crazy is that?! After looking through Barbara’s shop I knew I wanted to feature her. Her work is absolutely beautiful and I love that she pulls inspiration from the world around her. So, without further adieu, let’s meet Barbara!
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Mexico. I am trained as an Industrial Designer and after what felt like many many lives in the past I came upon jewelry and never ever looked back. I came to Seattle two happy years ago when I got married to my best friend and now spend my days slowly taking over my home space and turning it into my dream jewelry studio. If not drawing or fabricating something at my jewelry bench you can find me playing and singing songs with my beloved bff Miss Pomerina the Pomeranian. She approves and supervises every single piece of jewelry that comes out of la .objeteria jewelry’s headquarters. Right now I sell through my Etsy shop, my own website, Instagram and The Handmade Showroom in Downtown Seattle.
Q: How did you start making jewelry?
A: An Industrial Designer gets to play with lots of materials while at school and in one of my classes I came upon metals. Mexico is a country known for being the first place worldwide for silver production and I decided to accept the challenge for a couple of homework projects. To me jewelry is a petite version of Industrial Design, you get to design and fabricate jewelry the same way you would a chair or a car, it is something as complex and as beautiful as any other object. I thought it was going to end there, jewelry to me was something that was more of a hobby than an actual full time work. Every now and then I would get back to feeling like I wanted to make more about it than just a hobby but didn´t know how to. So I went back to school in 2010 and started a Jewelry and Accessories Design and Fabrication program in my hometown (on top of working full time at the same time) and I fell in love with this world. By June of 2011 I came to visit Seattle and was able to visit the Bellevue Arts Museum and the Latin American jewelry exhibit Think Twice. It just blew my mind and gave me the confidence to quit my daytime job and gave jewelry my full attention. That is how I started la .objeteria jewelry and now I get to love what I do and enjoy every minute of it. Five years into it my design voice and the girl boss in me are still changing and learning but I am all for the adventure of a lifetime.
Q: What has been most rewarding about owning your own business?
A: I just love how people react to my pieces, I feel honored to give them a piece of jewelry that helps them express themselves, celebrate special moments or let them cherish their loved ones. Transcending is something that we all look for and the fact that I help create treasures and heirlooms makes me so happy. I got the best job in the world, being an accomplice of love.
Q: I love that one of the themes in your jewelry is finding beauty in the everyday. What is your process for finding that beauty and transitioning it to a wearable piece of art?
A: I like to let my inner child have fun! Beauty is all around us and we often are in such a hurry or so blinded that we just don´t take the time to appreciate it. So I walk a lot with Pomerina and take pictures or make drawings-notes of pretty much all the little details that surround us. Nature is such a big inspiration and living in the Pacific Northwest we are so blessed. I like to be thankful and take my time to celebrate the flowers, bugs, cute little animals and colors all around me. Sometimes also I will be listening to a song, reading something or just thinking about sayings and how to materialize them in a way they hold their meaning and beauty and can be worn. We all have secret codes and give special meanings to the objects in our life so my mission is to capture all this in my pieces, I need to observe and reflect on what is the essence of these meanings and what makes us happy about them. My sketchbook is my most prized piece of equipment because even in the middle of the night or while traveling I will keep notes of all the ideas that come to me and when I get back at the bench I open it up and pick from there something that appeals to me and work it until it is a design or a family of designs that makes me proud.
Q: I see you have a few animal themed jewelry items. Do they hold a specific meaning to you?
A: Yes! Growing up I been lucky to have the most amazing dogs and I pay tribute to them in some of my pieces. You can find Chory the Dachshund, my workshop companion while living in Mexico or Miss Pomerina the Pomeranian, my four legged soul mate (she was born the day of my wedding! We were meant to be) and everyday adventures companion here in Seattle. Also, Mr. Tweet is pretty much my staple design, it came to be because back in Mexico I had this cute chubby bird always (and I mean always) singing on my window when I sat down at my jewelry bench and well how can you not be inspired by that! Just like that every little animal in my designs has a story and a special meaning that compels me to incorporate them into my pieces.
Q: You recently went to Disney! What was your favorite ride/area?
A: Oh my…this is almost as hard as speaking of my work! My husband and I are huge Disney fans, our home is pretty much a sanctuary for all things kawaii, animation, Hello Kitty, Ghibli and Disney and whenever we can we visit our pal Mickey Mouse. Anniversaries, Honeymoon, Birthdays … you name it we have celebrated them at the Happiest Place on Earth. This year we are looking forward to complete all the Disney Parks around the world when we visit China in September and get to enjoy the so called most amazing rides amongst all the parks. Returning from Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando I have to say my favorite area has to be the Beauty and the Beast area located in the New Fantasyland inside the Magic Kingdom. Growing up my favorite princess was Belle (geeky and pretty, what else could you ask for, right?) and of course that area is just amazing and so full of details, I love bumping into Gaston, the bimbettes and eating at the West Wing inside the Beast´s castle.
As for my favorite ride? Well call me sentimental but It´s a Small World is and forever will be the best, every single time I get down from it I want to draw, saw, file and solder something new. Also I will be singing the catchy tune for days : ) Mary Blair is one of my biggest inspirations for all things cute, sweet and cheerful. I´ll let you know when I come back from the Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland Resorts if I still feel the same way 😉
A HUGE thank you to Barbara for taking the time to chat with me!!! I hope you enjoyed this little peek behind the veil and getting to know her! Barbara’s stuff is beautiful and I definitely suggest you go scope out her work.
Of course be sure to follow La Objeteria on social media!!!