artist balance entrepreneur podcast

Ep50: Creating Jewelry with Heart, Soul, and Sisterhood with Kris Nations

Kris Nations is a jewelry designer and small business owner who creates designs (and a business) that are filled with heart, soul, and sisterhood. She and her sister Kim own and run Kris Nations together, and support each other as they create beautiful pieces that have deep meaning, thoughtful symbolism, and a unique retro-modern look. Kris Nations started creating jewelry almost 12 years ago as a side hobby, and after being let go (twice) during the dotcom bust (something we found out we have in common!), she eventually went full time with her jewelry business.

An Interview with jewelry designer and small biz owner, Kris Nations. She shares about her inspiration and what she loves about working with her sister, Kim. Click to listen, Pin for later.

I really loved talking to Kris about how she started, and loved that she shared that fear still comes up for her, and motivates her to keep going and keep creating. I think so many times, we look at successful people and imagine that they have somehow found a way to fight fear, or get rid of fear in their lives. In my work with clients, one of the hardest things for many people to get their head around is that everyone feels fear; and it’s only with courage and curiosity (asking yourself what you’re truly afraid of), that fear becomes an ally.

There’s so much goodness in this discussion: If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’ll love what she has to say about starting her own business. And if you’re a creative entrepreneur, she shares a bit about how to find inspiration, even though the market has become more saturated recently with Etsy. And, if you’re looking for more work life balance, you’ll love to hear how she and her sister Kim support each other, and how their partnership in business allows them to both thrive (and rock being mothers as well).

Do what you love doing. Then it won't feel as much like work. @krisnations Click To Tweet

In this episode, Kris and I talk about:
2:00 Kris talks about her childhood, growing up in El Paso, Texas and riding dirt bikes with her sister in the dessert
4:15 Kris shares about starting her jewelry company 12 years ago
5:00 how Kris and Kim have balanced the business together, and their approach of covering for each other when both have had children over the years
6:40 how Kris breaks out the time to spend time with her family while also running a company (become more efficient, and by getting help in her business)
9:20 Kris shares about her organic business growth, and how she has delegated tasks to team members
10:00 Kris talks about the first pieces she made and how her business started in the early 2000s, and how being laid off led her to start working on making more jewelry
11:10 how she has taken classes to extend her skill set over the years
12:00 I share that I was also let go twice during the dotcom bust and we talk about some of the surreal nature of the tech scene / dotcom scene in San Francisco during the early 2000s.
14:30 we talk about the wire wrapped and laser cut styles
15:15 Kris shares about her more current styles of casting and designing in 3D
16:00 How growing up in the Southwest and seeing her mom and grandmother wear turquoise and lapis have inspired her to weave those stones into her work now, along with mixing in antique Native American jewelry and Victorian jewelry
18:30 Kris shares defining moments of being a small business owner and designer (having her line featured on Good Morning America, and growing a team she’s proud of in Half Moon Bay, California.)
21:00 We talk about being working moms, and some of the challenges it brings
22:00 What is really special about working with her sister, Kim
25:00 What Kris has learned and applied to her business, having worked in ad agencies and in dotcoms
26:00 What a healthy level of fear can do for you, and how it can motivate you in your business
25:00 How it’s harder now to start a jewelry business online, because of more competition
28:00 How to tap into your own uniquity, and get past the fear that “everyone is already doing what I want to do so there’s no reason to start”
30:00 Kris shares about her new line for Fall and Winter (and how they are similar to the work she did 12 years ago)
33:00 Kris shares her thoughts on what to do if you have a big dream you want to bring to life


Kris Nations website (to find her whole line of jewelry):
Find online retailers on Kris’ site by clicking here
The book, Overwhelmed: How to Work, Play, and Love, When Nobody Has the Time by Brigit Schulte (on Amazon)

Creating Jewelry with Heart, Soul, and Sisterhood with Kris Nations

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  • Roxanne
    August 12, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Amazing when our side gigs suddenly become our main gigs and our main passions. I love this post! So inspiring!

  • Terri
    August 12, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Love how she says that when you do what you love it won’t seem like work! This is so true! Find your passion and you will find your joy!

  • Wendy
    August 13, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Everyone should find something they enjoy and make it their work! Life it too short to be miserable!

  • Blythe Alpern
    August 13, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I love reading and listening to stories about women creating a space for themselves and their business in this crazy digital market. Kris sounds likes a true inspiration and her designs are truly unique.

    • Paula
      August 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      It’s inspiring to know how much has changed and how many things are more possible because of technology!

  • Kimberly
    August 13, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    I truly believe fining happiness in something you enjoy is so important in life. I want to listen to some of the other podcasts too!

  • jill conyers
    August 14, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Sounds like a great podcast. I’m doing what I love but in the process of making changes and new beginnings it feels like a lot of work. Because it is! Fortunately I love it.

  • Ana De- Jesus
    August 14, 2016 at 5:01 am

    I love how she says we should tap into our uniqueness because that is exactly my mantra. I love to be myself and we should all do too.

  • karen
    August 14, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Love the vibe of this jewelry! I especially enjoyed hearing that she was inspired by the turquoise and Native American aesthetic and how that is Incorporated into her work.

  • Krystal
    August 14, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I have always wanted to work on a jewelry business and even went so far as buying the materials. I never made a single piece of jewelry, but I would love to get creative like that. Nice interview!

  • Toughcookiemommy
    August 14, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I completely agree, when you enjoy what you do, it definitely doesn’t feel like work. These podcasts are truly inspirational for some people.

  • Amber Nelson
    August 14, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I think the important thing is doing something that you love. If you dont love what you do, what’s the point?

  • Whitney S.
    August 14, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    I think that’s incredibly important… find something that you love. I’m always interested in learning how people get started with their passion/job/business!

    • Paula
      August 14, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      It’s really one of my favorite topics; I love talking to and working with people to find their passion and purpose 🙂

  • Rachel
    August 15, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Their jewelry is beautiful and it is so wonderful that they get to do something they are passionate about. This reminds me of jewelry my aunt wears and loves. I’ll have to tell her about it.

  • Reesa Lewandowski
    August 15, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    It’s great when you can make a living doing what you love. Love the look of all this jewelry.

  • Leslie Hernandez
    August 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Wow this is so inspiring and it motivates all of how to follow our passion and what we love to do!! Amazing!!

  • Kiwi
    August 15, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    This should make for a great postcast and thanks for always doing mini breakdowns on what to expect each episode with your transcriptions. I love how she mixed Native American inspiration with Victorian to make her jewelry!

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