Article Originally Published by Mia Estrada on North Texas Daily
Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily
In jeweler Jasmine Muñoz’s room, long tree branches are used as curtain rods and art pieces fill the walls. A corner is dedicated to Muñoz’s art supplies including beads, hand drills and wire for earrings.
Muñoz, 23, sells handmade jewelry through their business on Instagram and at backyard get-togethers. Muñoz began their craft in February 2019 and sells earrings with pinwheels and fruits along with accessories that encompass all things early 2000s. Using the spirit of nostalgia as their inspiration, Muñoz describes the jewelry’s style as “inspired by Lizzie McGuire and the early 2000s.”
“[The jewelry’s inspired by] childhood memories,” Muñoz said. “It’s very kiddish but in the most stylish way.”
Muñoz said the idea of hand-making jewelry came to them in a time of need. Going through a hard time and facing depression, Muñoz said they needed a hobby to distract themselves with. While buying handmade holiday earrings at SCRAP Denton, a creative reuse store, Muñoz said they felt inspired to create their own jewelry.
Muñoz uploaded a personal Instagram post of their homemade earrings, where they received multiple positive comments from friends. The responses prompted Muñoz to create a separate account dedicated solely to homemade their homemade jewelry. Lizbeth Torres, Muñoz’s mother, encouraged Muñoz to continue creating. Torres gave her daughter old jewelry to practice with and helped her buy new material.
“I’ve always thought she was creative but she lives life busy,” Torres said. “Just with trying to figure out herself and trying to deal with her emotions, she hadn’t had the time to really be productive in something she loves.”
However, crafts are not something new to Muñoz’s family. Muñoz’s parents grew up in Colombia, where their uncle sells smoothies, leather bags and artwork. Muñoz’s grandmother would create handmade dolls and sew them together when Muñoz was younger.
“I’ve always been surrounded and inspired by a hands-on family,” Muñoz said.
Muñoz said it is not always easy handcrafting earrings. Depending on the material of the earring, which can vary from thick rubber to wood, earrings can be difficult to make when using a hand drill. Muñoz says the most difficult pairs of earrings to make are their pinwheel earrings, with which wood is hand-drilled into the center of the pinwheel for support. The process takes nearly an hour to craft one pair, whereas most of Muñoz’s earrings take about 10 minutes.
“It takes a long time to keep drilling and drilling,” Muñoz said. “My fingers will hurt and I’ll take breaks but that’s when the items aren’t easy to drill.”
Muñoz said while they are just beginning their craft, attaining an audience has not been too difficult. Many supporters are friends and family members who promote the business to their friends. Marketing junior Maribel Orozco is a customer and friend of Muñoz and was drawn to the handmade earrings.
“I was drawn to handmade earrings because you’re able to support an art form,” Orozco said. “Something about [jewelry pieces] being handmade and being able to talk to the maker just makes them so unique.”
Muñoz said they like spending one-on-one time with customers, who can request certain types of earrings.
“I feel like when you buy jewelry anywhere else, you’re not buying directly from the person who makes it,” Muñoz said. “You’re buying from a random supplier.”
Muñoz threw an event called ‘Little Backyard Market,’ where other small, local craftspeople were able to sell their art and jewelry and swap their clothes. Muñoz said they want jewelry to be affordable for people in order to keep crafts alive.
“It’s great to work on something that you’re passionate about and have someone else also be interested in it,” Muñoz said. “That made me feel like I really wanted to do this.”
Currently taking a semester off from their studies at UNT, Muñoz said they have had more time to create and be inspired by everyday life. In the fall of 2019, Muñoz will be returning for their last year at UNT as a childhood education senior. Muñoz hopes to earn a masters degree in library science and keep their jewelry business on the side while attending local events to showcase their crafts.
For now, Muñoz is planning more events to showcase their artwork.
“I want to keep my crafts local and small because I’ll feel like I’ll lose the whole purpose of why I started,” Muñoz said. “I wanted a purpose and if I can make someone smile as [my jewelry] has made me, I think that’s wonderful.”
Featured Image: Jasmine Muñoz peers in the mirror as they put in their earrings. They started handmaking jewlery with inspiration from nostalgic shows like Lizzie McGuire. Image by: Meredith Holser.
Source: North Texas Daily