We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Kelly Bennett. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Kelly below.
Kelly, appreciate you joining us today. It’s always helpful to hear about times when someone’s had to take a risk – how did they think through the decision, why did they take the risk, and what ended up happening. We’d love to hear about a risk you’ve taken.
I’m a worrier, I’m anxious, and I’m a serious overthinker. I’ve lived a pretty full life but let me tell you that everything I have ever done (like backpacking around Europe for a summer) came with MONTHS of planning. Making sure I covered every little detail. This is just how my brain works. It’s served me well, but it also inhibits me sometimes too. I can never be quite as carefree with my decisions as I would like.
So, when I say that the biggest risk I ever took required a crazy amount of planning, I do not lie. Six years ago, I quit my 18-year job in commercial real estate, gathered as much money as I could, and moved from Chicago to San Diego in order to pursue my dream of obtaining my Graduate Gemology degree from the Gemological Institute of America. I am talking took money from retirement, cashed in my life insurance plan, the works. I am happy to say that all the planning (and some help from friends and family) paid off! I ended getting a job here in San Diego and didn’t return to Chicago.
I think I was just at a point in my life where I was ready. I felt lost, and bored and on the wrong track for so many years. When I started to plan this journey, the pieces just came together so I went with it. I’ve never looked back. Now I have my Gradate Gemology Degree, a great job, and my jewelry business, so I am very fortunate that it all worked out.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello! My name is Kelly and I am the Owner, Designer, and Creator of Facets and Fire Jewelry. I make jewelry and sell it to anyone who happens to fancy it. I’ve always been creative, and thought I was going to be an actor, but that didn’t end up working out, My jewelry hobby prevailed and now it’s the thing that brings me the most joy. I love working with my hands and creating something out of metal and fire. I’ve also always been crazy for gems and minerals, so perfect storm there. I think I first discovered my love of gems when I was a kid and my family was vacationing on a houseboat. My dad cracked open a geode in front of me for the first time and my little mind was blown. My mom says that I almost sunk the boat with the amount of geodes I kept hauling onto it. Nothing has changed.
From there I started making beaded friendship pins, love bead necklaces and sequin bracelets. Now I am still basically making the same thing, it’s just fancier.
My jewelry is one-of-a-kind and is made entirely by me. It’s a very eclectic collection, but I think there is something for everyone. I also try to keep it affordable because it should be. It’s personal, it’s rustic and (IMO) it’s pretty.
Can you share your view on NFTs? (Note: this is for education/entertainment purposes only, readers should not construe this as advice)
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THESE TO ME!?
What can society do to ensure an environment that’s helpful to artists and creatives?
I once knew someone who was in the jewelry business and they overheard me talking to a stranger at a bead store. I was explaining how I made a certain item because he asked. She pulled me away and said, “Don’t give away your secrets, he could steal that idea from you and become your competition!” I was in awe. So what? If he starts doing this same thing, and is better than me at it, then Godspeed to that guy. I’ve never understood that way of thinking. That being said, I now volunteer to teach all sorts of classes at my local Gem and Mineral Club. I am really big on sharing knowledge and helping others learn a skill. The best way society can support artists is to teach, help, guide and support. To be cheesy, pay it forward. I’m really big into lifting others up and am an open book. I look forward to the competition :-)
- Website: www.facetsandfirejewelry.com
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