Amanda K Lockrow
Tell us about your business.My business is built on a strong foundation of creative passion, entrepreneurial spirit & hometown inspiration. A Maine girl at heart, ever since my childhood I’ve been drawn to the abundance of beauty in nature & it’s served as the spark of creativity for much of my work. I took my first metals class in college & was hooked! My classes in fibers, sculpture & painting fueled my passion for jewelry and design. At one point I was given an antique button collection & it was with an assignment to “give something new life” that I started exploring the divide between art & craft. You can see this theme is still a part of my current work. After college I moved to LA. Working as a salesgirl, buyer, production manager & merchandiser I learned how to run a business. I tested out my collection at weekend craft shows & now my designs are sold in boutiques across the country. I hope my passion for metalsmithing allows me to open a studio, teach, collaborate and give back to my community.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.I have a wonderful home studio right now in Los Angeles where I pierce, form, hammer, solder and finish all of my designs. I work with a local casting house in downtown LA as well as other local artisans to produce my designs. The next step for me is to set up a studio in downtown so I can host open studios, trunk shows, and teach classes. The new studio space would also allow me to hire and train an assistant to help with in house production.
What inspires you?Life and everything around me! Many of my designs are inspired initially by nature, usually from a hike, bike ride, beach day or snowboarding trip. The subtle textures I create with my hammers are inspired by things like the Old Port cobblestone streets in Portland, Maine, leaves, beach pebbles & sand. I also look back into history and tradition for inspiration. My Tailored Collection was inspired by looking at historical techniques used by women like sewing, weaving, and crocheting and giving those techniques a new life.
What makes your business stand out?My business stands out because of the experience I gained before launching Amanda K Lockrow. I earned my BFA and then worked as a salesperson, buyer, merchandiser, design assistant and production manager. Each of these positions taught me invaluable skills that I apply directly to my business. The majority of my business comes through the wholesale side of my business and my customers can buy jewelry from thousands of other handmade in America companies. They buy from me and continue to buy from me because of my customer service and attention to detail. They know they can always come to me for custom orders as well as repairs and that gives them a peace of mind that they really appreciate. Amanda K Lockrow designs also stands out because of the great craftsmanship, high quality materials and timeless design. My jewelry will hold up for years to come and can be worn with confidence on daily adventures. My designs truly are designed and made to complement your beautiful life.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Here are my top 3 pieces of advice if you starting out on this fantastic adventure. 1. Just start and stop overthinking all the details. I know lots of designers who get really overwhelmed when they are starting out. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Your website/catalog/packaging probably won't be perfect when you first start but the good news is you get to redesign as you learn! 2. Seek out help. There are loads of online classes, workshops, speakers, blogs, books, professional networks and more out there, so if you don't know how to do something do some research and network. 3. Have fun and play. This is so important for creative entrepreneurs. The business side of things can really take over your creative time. So I like to carve out play time, where I can work on whatever I want, I get to design and make without worrying about if it will ever make it into my line. I also make sure I do the things that recharge and inspire me, so make time for those. Good luck and have fun!
What does American Made mean to you?American made to me means great design, impeccable craftsmanship and special attention to all the little details. It means that I can build a business that gives back to my community and creates jobs locally instead of sending them overseas. It is important to me to not only make my own designs here in the United States but to also shop local and support other designers that keep their production here. I not only make my jewelry in Los Angeles but source my raw materials from US companies as much as possible. By keeping my production local I am able to provide faster turn around times for my customers as well as even accommodate custom requests. I am proud to say all of my designs are American made and that I can provide such a beautiful and high quality product to my customers.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
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