We recently featured jewelry handmade by Andrea Swinson of Lovely Little Acorns. Andrea was kind enough to provide photos of herself, her family, and workspace, and answer our interview questions. Here we have a glimpse of the artisan behind the beautiful pieces she creates.
To view items made by Lovely Little Acorns, visit these links!
Facebook business page
Facebook chatter group / fan page
In this post, Andrea answers questions about her family, business origins, and thoughts on motherhood.
CC: Do you consider all the items you sell to function as “mama metal” (sturdy designs intended for use by moms with young children)?
The items I sell that are “mama metal” sturdy are under the “Mama Metal” sections of my Etsy shop. I have them divided into Centrepieces, Chains, Beaded Necklaces and Bracelets. From time to time I offer other limited collections that aren’t considered mama metal; for instance, right now I am offering a “Boho Chic” collection. The item descriptions explain how they are different from my regular mama metal pieces.
CC: Tell us about your family. Significant other? Children’s names and ages?
A: My husband Craig and I have been together for 13 years, married for 8 years. We have two boys who will be two and four in October. Also sharing our residence (and often, our bed!) is our 5-year-old lab “puppy”, Doctor Paw. Life is good, and busy!
CC: Where are you currently located?
A: I am in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
CC: Tell us about your work space. Do you create items in your home? A separate studio?
A: I have been working mostly in my kitchen or living room, for convenience. However, my husband just built a large work table and space in our basement!
CC: What is your best time of day to get work done?
A: I work part-time as a program coordinator at a university, and am home with my two boys outside of that. I often do Etsy/social media work on the go. The jewelry is primarily made in the evening, after my sons are asleep. Sometimes I fit in product photography or packaging shipments while my younger son naps. Both my kids are familiar with the local post office!
CC: Anything special about your business name?
A: My business name was inspired by two things. First, my maiden name was Coren; combined with my first initial, it created “A-Coren”. Second, I have always loved the saying, “mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” As a parent, it is a gift to watch my little acorns grow into mighty oaks!
CC: How long have you been in business as an artisan? Making mama metal?
A: I have been making mama metal since summer 2015. I have always loved jewellery, and have made pieces in the past as a hobby.
CC: What drew you to enter this field of work?
A: I wanted to get a piece of jewellery that represented my family, but what I found on Etsy at the time (the non-mama metal pieces) was not my style. I came across a picture of a babywearer wearing a mama metal necklace on Facebook, learned that the necklaces are strong and meaningful, and the rest was history! I felt drawn to it immediately. I now appreciate the creative outlet as time to feel like “me” again.
CC: How would you describe your subject matter or the content of your work?
A: I tend to make pieces that I love and would wear myself. That means simple shapes, some jingles, and beautiful beads. I love to make pieces symbolic of motherhood.
CC: What mediums do you work with?
A: I work with argentium silver wire, sterling silver findings and chain, amber and semiprecious stones.
CC: Do you have a motto?
A: I am not sure if it’s a motto, but lately I’ve been trying to focus on: “Be smart, be kind, be brave.”
CC: What inspires you in your creative work?
A: I find inspiration in my experiences as a mother (pregnancy, breastfeeding, babywearing), international travels (pre-children), and favorite poems/stories!
CC: What kind of experience do you want a viewer or user of your art to walk away with?
A: I love creating wearable art that helps facilitate a bond between caregiver and child. I love that I’ve made pieces for grandmothers, aunts, and childcare providers, in addition to mothers. I hope my pieces help people feel beautiful.
CC: Fill in the blank: Motherhood is…
CC: What is something your children have taught you?
A: That sometimes I will work with their books and mess still piled on the table, because mama only has so much energy once the kids are asleep! To slow down, be silly, and delight in the small details of life.
CC: What is one piece of advice on motherhood that has helped you?
A: RELAX. Relax because – no one is perfect. Because – this information age is both a blessing and a curse. Because – no one is judging me as hard as I judge myself. And because – we don’t get these days back, so we need to enjoy these messy, beautiful, hard, infuriating, awe-inspiring moments with our children.
Thank you Andrea for sharing your art and your heart with us!