5 Questions with Esmeralda Jewelry

5 Questions with Esmeralda Jewelry

Esmeralda Jewelry is a small business located in Mishawaka, Indiana. Featuring bold shapes & an adventurous color palette, artist Annie Bennett creates one-of-a-kind handmade earrings typically out of polymer clay.

She sells online, at local art shows, & inside local Michiana brick & mortars like InRugCo & Heritage Meeting House.  

We recently sat down with Annie to learn a bit more about her company and her art process. 

handmade earrings mishawaka indiana

Thanks so much for joining us today Annie. To start, could you describe how you got interested in jewelry making and when you started Esmeralda Jewelry?

Of course! A little over 4.5 years ago, I won a giveaway of polymer clay earrings. I had never heard of earrings being made of such a medium and loved the pair I was gifted.

I looked into it a little more and thought it would be fun to try and make some earrings of my own. I have always loved learning how to do new things and since I also love earrings, it felt like the perfect way to be creative. 

handmade earrings esmeralda jewelry

The majority of your earrings are made out of polymer clay, which we absolutely love. Could you speak to why clay is your preferred medium?

Polymer clay is such a fun medium to use. It is very forgiving and so lightweight. I love a statement earring. The beauty of this type of clay is that I can make and wear bigger earrings and not have to worry about them being heavy or weighing down my earlobes.

It's also so fun to mix colors and create designs or shapes or textures, etc. You can do so many things with polymer clay which makes possibilities endless. 

earrings mishawaka indiana esmeralda jewelry

When you set out to design new earrings, where do you draw your inspiration from?

I definitely understand why people love neutrals. Neutrals have a very clean look. However, I have always been someone who loves color and the way it can brighten any look.

A lot of my inspiration comes from places around the world that I have visited or lived. I like to use colors or designs that remind me of those places and make them into earrings. It's a way for me to share parts of my life with other people.

I often name pieces after places that are near and dear to me or my family. 

Annie Bennett esmeralda jewelry
Annie Bennett artist & owner of Esmeralda Jewelry  

Could you describe the significance of your business name?

I wanted to have a name that connected to my family heritage and held special meaning in other ways. My Mom is Ecuadorian and my Dad grew up in Ecuador as a Missionary Kid. Both of my parents grew up in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Esmeraldas is the spanish word for emerald.

Esmeralda Jewelry not only pays homage to the name of the hometown of my parents, but to the green jewel, an emerald. Green is one of my favorite colors because it reminds me of the mountains and also the life that we see in trees and plants in the summer which is my favorite time of year.

Each of these things just helped me solidify why the name made perfect sense. 

esmeralda jewelry name
The ocean view in Esmeraldas, Ecuador 

As we know, it can be difficult to run a small business. What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs in the jewelry world?

One of the most important things I have realized is to stay true to your style. I have created pieces that I love and pieces that I knew might sell well but were not necessarily my style.

I think it's ok to do both because it is important to create things that people will like. However, don't be afraid to create pieces that you love and can confidently share with others because they excite you! People will see the love and hard work that you put into what you create. 

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Thank you so much for sharing with us Annie. 

As a bonus 6th question where can we stay in touch with you and learn about your latest pieces? 

I typically try to do a few shows throughout the year! Artisan markets are where I have more earring styles that are not always online.  I'm in a busier season of life right now so I am not signed up for any just yet, but I am in Heritage Meeting House and in InRugCo.

You can also shop in my online store at https://esmeralda-jewelry-ab.square.site/. I have various styles on the site and a page where I take custom orders (https://esmeralda-jewelry-ab.square.site/custom-orders).

You can also find more about the business on instagram @esmeralda.ab and on Facebook at Esmeralda Jewelry by Annie Bennett.

5 questions with esmeralda jewelry

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