When Jessica Kramer’s friend invited her to come to Martha’s Vineyard to work for a summer over a decade ago, little did she know that this amazing Island would become her home.
After coming for a number of summers to work, she moved here full time three years ago. She fell in love with an Island boy, and Aquinnah became her home. It is here, she is inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds her, and it is here that she creates her beautiful, pure Hawkhouse jewelry.
Since she was eight years, Jessica has been selling jewelry she has made. Her mother was a potter and she travelled with her to sell her pottery at various markets, similar to the Chilmark Flea.
Jessica has always been drawn to gemstones, rocks and minerals. When these amazing stones are in their natural form, that’s when they really resonate with Jessica. Nature provides so much beauty and Jessica just makes it wearable.
Two years ago, Jessica began to sell her jewelry on Etsy. It was so well received. People were drawn to how different it was, how natural it looked.
A year ago, she named her growing business Hawkhouse. Why Hawkhouse? Since she was young, she felt a connection to hawks. When she sees one – -it is a sign, a good omen.
In addition, I think it sounds cool, and I like that Jessica has incorporated a hawk feather into some of her designs as her signature.
Hawkhouse has quickly become a successful business for Jessica. She herself is still surprised at how many orders she receives from Etsy. Hawkhouse has been featured by Etsy as a “Trending Item” a number of times. She gets about 20,000 views a day and from that comes a lot of orders.
Crazy right? And she’s in her studio (a bedroom in her house) in Aquinnah working on these orders. Each one is custom made. It’s basically an overnight success that has taken her by surprise.
Jessica is working crazy hours getting Hawkhouse to its buyers. The amazing feedback, the love from people who buy her jewelry motivates her tremendously. There’s a connection that people make, minerals resonate with people, and the response has been been overwhelmingly wonderful.
Jessica feels a connection with her customers, and it is a pretty amazing feeling.
In addition to Etsy, you can buy her pieces on Island at Driftwood in Oak Bluffs and Citrine in Vineyard Haven. You’ll also find Jessica herself selling Hawkhouse at the Tisbury Street Fair, July 8th, in front of Citrine, and at the MV Sound Festival.
The Hawkhouse Design
So, I thought Jessica was professionally trained, a metallurgist, but she’s self-trained. Through videos and reading, and trial and error, she has created a line of electroform jewelry that is truly amazing.
What’s electroform, well, here’s a brief explanation from Hawkhouse’s website: E.lec.tro.form : the process of a slow accumulation of metal particles on an object through electro-deposition. The process takes anywhere from 8-24 hours, forming a copper skin one molecule at a time.
You can visit the site for the full process definition. It’s amazing what chemicals and metal can create in the hands of someone like Jessica.
I got to see some of her pieces in their pre-polished form. Jessica was bringing them to Citrine’s store manager, Allie after we met.
Allie works with Jessica. She helps polish the pieces from this burnt black to beautiful copper. The whole process is amazing.
When you see Hawkhouse jewelry in person, there’s something wonderful about it. Perhaps it’s because of the stones used or that it looks unlike anything else I’ve seen.
I typically like jewelry that’s polished and relatively conservative, but a number of Jessica’s pieces make me go oh, ah, I must have you.
Currently, I have two Hawkhouse necklaces from the Pebble Collection. Each pebble is collected from the shores of Martha’s Vineyard. There is something very calming, almost reassuring having a piece of home around your neck. They are so simple, yet so impactful.
However, I think I may need to order two or three of Jessica’s raw Herkimer diamond rings. She was wearing one when we met and I loved it. Though the peridot and turquoise stackable rings are gorgeous too.
I might just start a collection, adding one at time. The rings are less than $50, so they are pretty affordable. Most of Hawkhouse’s pieces are under $100, though be on the lookout for some possible show stoppers that will carry a larger price tag.
Hawkhouse crystal dangling earrings are pretty cool too. They are a bit edgy for me I think, but my friends have them, and I love when they wear them.
I loved meeting Jessica. She was so fun to talk to. Meeting her makes me like her jewelry even more, and I am so happy to see another Island artist successful and following their dreams.
When you buy these pieces, you’re getting a little handmade love as an added bonus, and let’s not forget that no two are alike!
Now that your interest in piqued, and you want to see even more of Hawkhouse, mark your calendars for its first trunk show of the season — July 4th at Driftwood. Or if you’re like me, and don’t like to wait, you can head to Citrine or Driftwood today.
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