"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Rachael, the creator of Mezze Designs.
Q: What is Mezze Designs? Can you briefly describe your business for us?
A: Mezze jewelry is handcrafted from gold, silver and mixed metals. I create pieces in limited quantities to preserve the exclusivity of each design. My studio is in an area of Brooklyn that is undergoing rapid change; it is an influential hub for indie rock and has a thriving local art community, which provides endless inspiration. The beauty of handcrafted jewelry lies in fact that each piece is inherently unique. My style is raw and organic and as such, some pieces have been left with a purposefully unfinished appearance. Whenever possible, I use recycled metals as well as ethically sourced stones.
In Arabic, mezze refers to an assortment of small appetizers. For me, it refers to something that stimulates a desire for more. Mezze \'me-'zei\ to relish, take pleasure in; enjoy
Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?
A: Mezze jewelry is designed to create tangible vestiges of memories, extrapolating them for the wearer to form and discover those of their own yet to come. I am an avid traveler and the places I’ve been and people who have touched my life have influenced many of my designs. Most pieces have a very personal meaning to me and I make an effort to share some of those stories in the product descriptions; they are physical reminders that evoke memories I will always cherish. I love all that is simple and elegant, but every now and then I get a little mischievous and will make something edgy or whimsical.
Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?
A: I started Mezze as a hobby and as a creative outlet from my corporate career in the pharmaceutical industry. Since moving to New York, I have had the time to shift that focus with the intent to make it a sustainable business. I am in the very early stages of the process, so my current goal is to increase my market presence both online and in boutique stores. Part of my strategy has been to get involved with the Etsy NY team and use this network to build and maintain relationships with other artisans who have turned their art into successful businesses.
Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?
A: Don’t be afraid to take risks. I am always experimenting with ideas, taking classes and asking for input on designs. Not everyone will like everything that you make and that is ok. Some things will work, others won’t and that is all a part of the learning process. Your style and ability will change along the way, which means you are evolving. There is a niche for everything out there, so keep working until you find the one that fits you and your product.
Special thanks to Rachael for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/mezzestudios. And, details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Please enter for your chance to win one of her beautiful silver stud rattlesnake vertebrae earrings!