When Kristin Oppold first began making jewelry “fun and free,” as she put it, she never knew her hobby would grow into a business. First her friends began asking for pieces, and for several years since then, Oppold has sold her jewelry under her line, YaY Jewelry.
Oppold, a ten year resident of Savage, describes her jewelry as earthy urban chic with a modern bohemian flair. Although she does have pieces made up of many colors, she tends to make more monochromatic jewelry because it matches with more outfits, she explained.
“I love it,” Oppold said. “It’s ever-changing. There’s new stone colors, new shapes… it never bores me.”
There is a long list of things she wants to learn about jewelry design. It is only time that slows her down, she said. A wife and a mother of two teenagers, Oppold tries to balance her home, business, and jewelry design activities.
She attends six shows a year to pick up beads, including artisan beads, which are beads that artists create. Oppold also connects with other artists around the world through online communities.
One highly selective community which Oppold participates in gave her the opportunity to send actress Denise Richards a gift of her jewelry. The hope is that Richards will be seen wearing her jewelry, Oppold explained.
Oppold finds her inspiration in colors, textures and shapes. Often, she said, she starts with a pendant or stone and looks for colors that complement it. She also follows the fashion color trends so that her jewelry can go well with the current styles. Even above all those considerations, however, is her joy of creating jewelry.
“I make what I love and usually people will love what I make,” Oppold said.
She gives the same advice to new jewelry designers. They should make what they love. Although she took five years to find her niche, Oppold is still open to reinventing herself when fashion calls for it—the dynamic nature of jewelry design is part of what she likes about it.
Oppold said that the Scott County Art Crawl gives her the chance to show her work in a more intimate setting.
“I like the fact that I can do it at home,” she said. “I make coffee… people take their time to look around and don’t get rushed out the door.”
In addition to jewelry, Oppold also makes upcycled bags and purses.
Oppold’s jewelry can be found on her Etsy page or on Facebook, on which she periodically has giveaways. Message her on Etsy or Facebook to receive an invitation to her twice a year home shows. She also has started her own blog.
Her work will be featured every month through February in the magazine Bead Trends. August was the first issue that featured her jewelry.
The Savage Arts Council started the Scott County Art Crawl in 2010 as a way for Scott County artists to showcase and sell their work. On Oct. 6, the art crawl will have more than 30 stops throughout northern Scott County.
Related: Crunch Time - Prepping for the Scott County Art Crawl