Immediately drawn to Jen's stories of travel-inspired jewelry creating, we knew we needed to know more! Jen is another good soul with strong, Minnesota roots that have allowed her to spread her branches while always loving Minnesota as her home! Read on for more tidbits on Jen plus a look at how our lovely Kisa Boutique's summer collection pairs with her gorgeous handmade Litany jewelry! #inspired #trustyourwanderlust
On your website, you say, "...after years of collecting jewelry on my world travels..." this so speaks to our #trustyourwanderlust mindset. Tell us. How did Litany begin?
I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel throughout the world, and I've always collected adornments and artifacts as a way to remember my trips. In 2011, after one of my favorite travel companions, style icons, and a woman who definitely trusted her wanderlust—my grandmother—passed away, I began designing as a way to honor her memory by creating heirloom pieces for my relatives out of medals and charms from her estate. I loved the process so much that I brought out all of my findings from years of traveling, started creating pieces out of those and—voila—Litany was born!
When did you realize you were a Maker? Have you always enjoyed working with your hands?
Not until 2011, actually! I have an academic background in the arts and have published on international arts and aesthetics, but I never considered myself to be much of a Maker. It's a thrill for me to learn about new design and craft techniques and apply them in my collections. At the same time, I find great peace and purpose in working with my hands. My career in design has given me new insights into my work as a researcher/writer and vice versa.
One of the things we particularly admire about you is that you are a momma and a local business owner. Any words of wisdom for us about how you've learned to balance it all?
After much trial and error, I've learned that my definition of balance shifts daily—and that's OK. In both my personal and professional live, I strive to never lose sight of the fact that it's all about people and relationships. My design work energizes me and that energy infuses my parenting. My child inspires me to be a better person and push myself aesthetically. And so the cycle continues. I'm grateful for all of it, especially for the support of my wonderful "village."
Can you tell us about your special love for Minneapolis, Minnesota?
From a thriving arts scene to top-notch restaurants, there are so many things to love about the Twin Cities! As a small business owner, I feel so lucky to be in a community who values creativity, quality, and supporting small businesses. It has been a pleasure working with wonderful independent boutiques like Kisa.
What is your favorite Litany piece for the season and favorite fashion item to pair it with?
My goal is to make pieces that people reach for everyday, and that are equally at home with broken-in jeans as they are with a beloved dress. This season's pieces that have been daily wearers for me are my black leather tassel with an earthy green garnet, and my Coptic cross (from Ethiopia) suspended on a pyrite chain.
What phrase do you commonly tell yourself?
I came across this passage while reading Jamie Lee Curtis's book, "Is There Really A Human Race?" to my daughter: "And make friends and love well, bring art to this place. And make the world better for the whole human race." Simple, yet spot-on in terms of my approach to life and work. To this end, Litany donates a percentage of its profits to organizations that promote education, health, and help our fellow global citizens thrive.
Join Jen of Litany Jewelry at Kisa Boutique this Thursday, July 24th from 5:00-8:00PM for a sip & shop trunk show event!