Rock & Roll: In the studio with Heather Kita

Monday, March 19, 2018






Explain a little bit about your background and what inspired you start your business.
So, my jewelry journey initially started in my great aunts' jewelry box and childhood trips to Florida combing beaches for sharks teeth and shells. Fast forward then to high school, where I had signed up for an applied design class, then three years of jewelry making classes at South High learning under Carole Debuse and Caroline Schmitz. After about 15 years of working in executive assistant positions at couple of major Omaha corporations, I realized how miserable I was. In 1998, I contacted Dwaine at the Goldsmith Silversmith in the Old Market and asked for an apprenticeship. He was not accepting apprentices at the time but needed some part-time sales help which I happily accepted. Eventually, I went full time working for this local custom jewelry store, designing for customers, and on the side designing and starting to create my own jewelry out of my home. I was buying random tools from the hardware store and the occasional estate sale, one thing led to another, and I started accumulating my own customers that were asking for me to design their pieces! About 18 years later I decided it was time to try this jewelry business on my own.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Well….I’ve had other people describe my design aesthetic as witchy, viking-like, edgy, pointy, different, unique. I like to think it’s just a reflection of me, I’ve had people tell me, “I look like my jewelry” and I’ll take that as a compliment. Pretty raw at times but simple and not overthought. I stick to what I love and what I want to wear. Using natural stones in their rough and sometimes refined state, letting the metal basically fall around that

Do you recall the moment when you realized you created a "real" business?
I guess I still don’t know if I’ve created a “real" business! Every day I’m still kind of in shock that I can go to my studio and create things that make people happy, including myself.

What have been a couple of your biggest struggles and how did you overcome them?
Time management is my enemy…I'm taking any and all suggestions! I make lists but have a hard time prioritizing them but currently working on it.

What's your favorite social media platform and why?
Favorite social media platform has to be Instagram. I’ve met so many talented artists there and it's international. I was invited to do a trade show in New York City because they found my work there. It’s almost like having co-workers at times, meeting and sharing similar struggles and successes with other jewelers.

Your studio is located in Bench, what has it been like working out of this creative hub?
Bench has been such a blast to be a part of the past three years. Something is always going on there and you get to see everyone’s processes and creative paths. Having regular open houses every few months, now I get to share my favorite space with so many more people!

I talk a lot with people about taking leaps. What's one piece of advice you'd give to anyone starting their own business?
My one piece of advice is having patience. It’s not always that you have the talent to make a “thing” but to make it yours and be able to express yourself through your art. I truly love what I do and it’s taken me almost 20 years to get where I am today. I have a faithful long list of customers/friends that I’ve helped with engagement rings, mothers rings, remembrance jewelry, etc., and have gotten to follow along and be a small part in their personal lives. I’m always excited to meet new clients that turn into friends. It means everything to me.

For more info: http://www.heatherkita.com/

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