Off on a Whim jewelry

This past Mothers` Day came and went without a card, a thank-you gift or any words of appreciation... So, as I did last year, I decided to buy myself a piece of jewelry to commemorate my third Mothers` Day!

I bought this gorgeous gemstone bracelet handmade by Off on a Whim... and have been wearing it every day since!



Off on a Whim is the name of the jewelry line designed by Erinn LaMattery here in Japan. She has kindly agreed to answer a few questions and promote her line here on Fran-Japani!!

Keep reading to find out more about Erinn and her jewelry, as well as a discount for your next purchase!!

What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made?


At first I was going to say nothing before 2011, but I take that back! When I was 6 or 7, living in Italy I believe, my mom bought me a small bag of seed beads, gave me a needle and some thread, I strung a long necklace which I was quite proud of, for all of 30 minutes, when it promptly broke and I lost most of the beads.
2011 marks my first leather-wrap bracelet. Actually, I couldn’t find any leather, and I wasn’t sure about beads, so I just bought some cheap cord and found a button in my sewing box, and used some plastic or glass beads. I really wanted to test out the concept before I invested more than $5 in materials. 

Why did you decide to start a business from making jewelry?

Starting a business wasn’t the plan at all. I was at a pretty low point in my personal life, my main craft interests were in fabric and thread (quilting and cross-stitch). I only wanted to test out making this style of bracelet because it was so pretty and the concept grabbed at my imagination.
After I made my first cheapo one, it didn’t turn out half bad, I purchased some leather and some cheap stones from a sale-bin, found some nice little buttons, and made a couple as gifts for friends’ birthdays (my main besties are all born in August/September, and I needed gifts!). I put up pictures on FB to show off my new adventure, and started getting inquiries for selling it. I thought ‘sure, I’ll give it a try…’. I sat there thinking ‘Wow, I’m really off on a whim right now!’ And there you have the business name.
Probably around March of 2012 I had decided to make it into an official small business. I had set up a blog (here), an Etsy shop (here) and FB page (here), but wasn’t really focusing too much on it, just here and there. As requests started coming in steadily, I came to a point where I had to ‘go forward’ or end the adventure. I love working with color and patterns and stones and leather, all right up my alley, so I decided to proceed with it.

How does living in Japan affect the way you design/make jewelry?

The Japanese very much believe in the Power Stone philosophy and every 3rd person or more will be wearing a powerstone bracelet. Being surrounded by a country of people who are ‘into’ stones gives me a certain satisfaction in my own creations. Stones are easy to find and get ahold of here, and Japan is so full of color and the four seasons and strong cultural influences, it gives me a lot of inspiration to draw from when I want to create a new pattern or theme. My Sakura piece (here) was born during the Sakura Cherry Blossom Season, Sea Glass (here) was pulled from the image of the Shizuoka Seaside, Falling Leaves (here) was created during a wind storm in the fall when the weather was scattering leaves all over my yard.

What would you most like to make that you haven`t made so far?

I want to delve into metal clay, specifically silver, and learn how to make pieces from a solid metal with the stones set into it. I also want to explore using a torch, soldering, and at some point would like to get a stone carver so I can carve images into stones. I have a few stones I picked up at the beach for this purpose, now to find the machinery!

If money weren`t a factor, where would you like to see `Off On A Whim` in 5 years time?

On the beaches of Thailand, LOL! Or Bali, or Guam, or Hawaii, or… Off on a Whim loves the seaside and has always dreamed of owning a house sort of like the one in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

For those fran-japani readers who make jewelry or are starting their own business, can you give them one piece of advice?

Start. You don’t need a huge business plan, a customer base, a completely formed concept. You need to start with the idea, and as you move forward, many things fall in place. Seek out advice or people who can help you along the way, read blogs or articles of advice, even if you’re not sure why you’re reading it, it will lead you to other articles that will help you. But most of all, make the first step in the direction and then the next.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Or, my favorite: 
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Never take it too seriously, or stress about it. I am lucky, I never had to rely on this for supporting our family, so I never have to stress about sales or numbers, and that’s important to me. 


And finally, when you aren`t making jewelry, what are you doing?

Doing something with one of my kids (4 in total), or hanging with a girlfriend, taking a walk with my husband, talking with a relative, or cleaning the house…or maybe at my day job. There’s never a minute to be bored! 

Thanks Erinn!

♡ A special coupon for Fran-Japani Readers! Enter `FranJapani` at checkout for 12% off your OffonaWhim order.

Comments

  1. Fabulous interview!! I have bought 3 pieces already (one custom that I'm excited to see soon).

    I would love to see more posts like this, very cool and original

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Danielle! I would love to write more posts like this too, so fun!! Just need to find some willing participants haha :)

      Delete
  2. Fran, im the same - nothing for my first mothers day. Oh well. Life goes on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear :(
      You will have to make clear instructions next year! Think I will too!

      Delete
  3. Wow Fran, thank you! I really enjoyed writing this, and was very excited to do the interview for you. Sorry it took a bit longer than I planned, am so glad you got something you love for Mother's Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you too, and I hope that someone reads this and considers buying one of your gorgeous pieces! I would love to buy some more in the future too. I am sure they would be great gifts for friends :)

      Delete
  4. It is too hot to wear a watch these days so this jewellery is really gorgeous and wearable this season, Thanks for letting us know all about it.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Most popular baby names in Japan for 2016

Maternity clothing in Japan

Packing your maternity hospital bag in Japan