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Check Out Kelly Seagraves Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Seagraves.

Hi Kelly, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Pastelware was born in early 2019.

It started off slow, just as a little passion project to get myself back in the swing of making things & experimenting with new mediums. I’d always wanted to work with epoxy resin, so in Pastelware’s early days, that was my medium of choice.

I was living in New Orleans at the time & didn’t have many connections, so I really threw myself into it & gave it my all.

Later in 2019, I took the plunge & bought my first laser cutter! In my tiny little apartment, the machine looked comically huge. With it, I started making & selling custom acrylic blanks for artists who produced silicone molds for resin artists. Weird niche… I know.

At that time, I was just making earrings here & there, on the side, for myself. Experimenting & developing new skill sets. When 2020 rolled around, my life, like so many other people’s, was turned upside. Jobless, stuck in a failing relationship and living in a city where I hardly knew anyone, during a global pandemic. So, I took another risk & moved home to Memphis.

It wasn’t until the fall of 2020 that I had my epiphany. My simple little earrings were some of my best sellers! & I loved designing & producing them!⁣ So in late 2020, my journey as a jewelry designer had FINALLY gotten off the ground in earnest!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Oh gosh, not at all! This journey has been full of twists & turns from day one! I don’t foresee that ever-changing. When I bought my first laser cutter, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do or how to turn it into a full-time gig.

As I mentioned when talking about the origin of my business, Pastelware went through several iterations before I ever realized I wanted to design jewelry! On top of the usual creative & financial challenges that come with running a small business, not a week goes by without a hard-learned lesson about striking a healthy work/life balance.

This is, hands down, the hardest job I have ever had!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I make funky, laser-cut statement jewelry & home decor. I’m best known for my big, bright, bold earrings, often inspired by ’90s, Y2K, & early internet pop culture nostalgia.

All of my work is designed, cut, assembled, & packaged by me, out of my home studio in Memphis, Tennessee. I do most of the majority of my business through my online shop, & have product drops & restocks several times a month.

I think what sets me apart is how fearless I am with my designs. I never shy away from a design idea, no matter its complexity. I want to make the world a more colorful place, so I let that reflect in my work.

I don’t just make jewelry. I make wearable works of art.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Memphis is such a huge part of my identity, both on a personal & business level. The colors I gravitate towards, the subject matters that inspire me, and the playfulness of my designs, are all educated by this city. Memphis is a part of my soul.

I love that Memphis feels like a GIGANTIC, sprawling collage of old & new, gritty & polished, cruel & comforting. There’s so much inspiration to be found in every little corner of this city if you take the time to shine a light on it.

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