The Things We Keep

American Made Since 2012

Kay Wang

Brooklyn, New York
A jewelry shop focused on handmade jewelry heirlooms, always designed to complement the wearer but never to detract.

Tell us about your business.

I started making jewelry as a means of a sanity-keeping hobby while holding another job in a much less fulfilling career path back in 2010, but it didn't become something I seriously considered pursuing full time until various factors conspired together after a move to NYC in 2011. Realizing after a cross country move with a lot of stuff and at the same time entering my 30s, I started realizing that so many people around me were shifting focus from quantity, excess, material goods and the like to paring down to only basics, the quality pieces that meant something significant to them, the things they'd keep with them always. Thus 'The Things We Keep' was born.

What makes your business stand out?

I didn't go to art school and wasn't working in an arts related field when I'd left my line of work, so everything I've learned has been from the ground up and largely self taught. That particular route in getting here has been a constant uphill battle and not without stigma, but it has given me a very distinct perspective and approach to my business and craft, and has been a primary driving force behind my strong belief that the execution (fabrication) of an idea is just as important as the idea itself, the design. And since what I do borders a fine line between art, craft and traditional skilled laborer, and myself coming from an outsider's perspective on art and design, my entire process is shaped by entirely nontraditional methods which offer a refreshing and intuitively different final product.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Go with your gut. I've been fortunate enough to have amazing influences all around me that have offered advice on all differing and varying subjects, but the one tenet they always go back to is 'go with your gut'. There's a reason why your gut feels the way it does, and others need no convincing if they see you're fully committed on any given idea rather than one you're still trying to convince yourself of.

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