Designer Spotlight: Katy Mims

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A brief story of what you do and why you do it:

I design everyday elegance. I love mixing the softness of freshwater pearls with the edge of oxidized metals. I am a self taught jewelry designer with a focus on wire wrapping and light metal fabrication. I design jewelry because my soul makes me. My hands are simply the instrument for something bigger. This is what I was born to do and to bring into the world.

How did you get into jewelry design?

As a small child and throughout my teenage years, I dabbled in everything from ceramics, batiking, silk dying, too watercolor, and sewing and photography, but it was jewelry design where I found a good niche, although my love for photography is a close second. My passion for jewelry design started in 1997 when my father, a professional glass blower and business owner, gave me a book on jewelry making. I started crafting little treasures for my friends and family, and slowly things started to sell. It was then that I knew I was onto something. I quit my day job in 2001 and haven’t looked back since!

What makes your collection unique?

I source out the best freshwater pearls and murano glass. All materials are handpicked by me. I am meticulous in details and craftsmanship. I design with my client in mind first. I imagine a professional woman, who wears many hats… she is a mom, she is a wife, she is sexy and confident in everything that she does, yet wants to do it in style. My wish for my client is to look at her jewelry box and see my piece and go “that’s perfect!”. I don’t want accessorizing to be stressful; I want it to be easy and effortless.

April birthstone diamond necklace

What are your inspirations?

My inspirations come from my own day to day life. I want my jewelry to be comfortable. I have two little boys so I make everything to be dainty YET very durable. My color palettes are inspired from Pantone. They pick the best colors that are hot for each season. I am also a big fan of using the color wheel. Mixing contrasting and complimentary colors always bring interest to designs.

How are you making a difference in your life?

As my artistic soul grows and matures, it is starting to want to explore more and expose other sides of my personality. I am starting to indulge in that and see what bubbles to the surface. I have learned that you have to let go of control and fear of what others will think or your artistic muse will be snuffed out. I have a new line in mind that will be completely night and day from my current collections and am SO excited let it flourish and thrive.

South Paw Studios Murano glass

What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?

I can juggle. The sound of crunching lettuce makes me nauseous (I know weird right!). I love to organize things; my studio is usually never a mess (except during the holiday rush season). I love interior design. I am left handed (hence the name South Paw Studios). I love heavy metal music. I love really good beer.

What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?

Biggest struggle is finding balance with work and family life. Since jewelry making isn’t like work to me, I could just design all day long. So I have put in place boundaries and set work hours to bring balance to family life. I have also put in place planned vacation time, which is new this year that I am trying. I am slowly loosening the chains that tie me to my business and it is liberating!

Biggest successes are that I am ALWAYS available for my boys whenever they need me. I walk them to school, I pick them up, I go on field trips and I am here when they are home sick. My business has enabled me to be the best mom I can be to them. It is something that I hope they look back on as adults and know that I was always there for them.

katy mims jewelry artist

Growing up in a home with both artistic and creative parents, it was a given that it was in my DNA to become an artist. I have been designing jewelry since 1997. I am also a mom to two little boys as well as a wife to my amazing husband of 14 years. We are a military family with my husband currently serving in the US air force.

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