written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Chrissy Gemmill currently lives in downtown Frederick with her husband, Matt, their son, Marcus, and their dog, Tippy. Developing her passion for creating jewelry while still in high school, she went on to study metalsmithing at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).
Everything sold by Chrissy Gemmill Jewelry is handcrafted by Chrissy. “I work in sterling silver and stainless steel. I use a lot of semi-precious stones. I hand-cut and solder. I have a whole little workshop in my basement. It keeps me very busy!”
What is it about handmade jewelry that makes it so special? Chrissy shares the benefits of wearing artisan jewelry pieces.
* The ‘Feel Good’ Factor – Chrissy shares a popular saying — “If you feel good, you do good!” She continues, “We all want to feel good about ourselves. And, it’s FUN to wear jewelry!” It also feels good to know that a piece isn’t mass produced somewhere but is more likely a ‘one-of-a-kind’ find!
* Made With Love – Handmade jewelry is created one piece at a time. “It’s made with a lot of thought and meaning behind it. A lot goes into each piece.” Chrissy has pieces available in several distinct collections inspired by nature, folklore, myths and more!
* Good Luck & Protection – “For instance,” Chrissy explains, “a piece of jewelry that incorporates a gemstone with healing power…or a crystal. Or a stone that will bring good luck…or protection.” And, yes, there are pieces with horseshoes and four-leaf clovers!
* Adornment – People want to “adorn themselves in something beautiful.” Adornment of the body is as timeless as the pieces in Chrissy’s Antiquarian Collection of ‘modern vintage’ jewelry. Chain mail earrings, anyone?
Chrissy was very passionate about jewelry making at a young age. She took a jewelry-making class when she was fifteen, after being signed up by her mother. “I loved it so much that I actually started my own business when I was in high school.”
She continues, “I loved making things that I could give to family and friends to wear. I found that really fulfilling. I also really enjoyed the idea of working for myself, creating my own hours and surrounding myself with things I love.”
Chrissy Gemmill Jewelry’s Autistic Awareness Collection Makes A Difference
Chrissy’s son, Marcus, was diagnosed with Autism when he was two years old. She uses social media to promote awareness of autism and to offer support to other parents of autistic children. She even has a jewelry collection dedicated to it!
Chrissy sponsored a give-away on Instagram. The prize was a handmade piece from her Autistic Awareness Collection.
After a random selection of the winner, the woman who won the ‘autistic awareness’ bracelet sent Chrissy a message after she received it.
“She told me she received it around the time her son was being re-evaluated. She was a bundle of nerves and it was a difficult time. But, she looked down at her bracelet and it gave her some comfort.”
“It made me feel really good that I had made a difference to her and what she was going through while also being able to talk about autism on social media and help people to understand a little more about it!”
Even Being An Independent Artisan Comes With Challenges
What has been the greatest challenge for this creative Frederick’s entrepreneur? “I like to focus on the most rewarding aspects of my business which, of course, is creating my jewelry, marketing and selling it, and seeing what people have to say when they receive their packages or share photos of themselves wearing it.”
Sounds good, so far! So, what’s the downside? “I tend to ignore the aspects like bookkeeping and paperwork. Time management and time balancing has been difficult. But, I recently hired a bookkeeper, so I’m very pleased that I can just focus on what I’m good at now and hand off those tasks that I’m not so great at.”
Chrissy’s Recommendation For Creative-Minded Book Lovers!
Eat That Frog is a ‘must have’ for all creative-minded people. “It’s a productivity book. It’s been very helpful to me in prioritizing my tasks for the day. It’s actually really changed my life and helped me to be more organized.”
“There’s so much to do every day and it helps you to figure out how to knock it out.”
Life Is Fragile. Love Is Not.
About six years ago, a customer provided Chrissy with a quote for a bracelet. “Life is fragile. Love is not.” Those words have stayed with her.
Remembering that bracelet, Chrissy advises everyone to “live each day with love…live each day to the fullest..and don’t take anything for granted because life is fragile.”
Reach out to Chrissy Gemmill today for eclectic, handcrafted jewelry that’s made with a lot of thought and perfect to be worn with a purpose in mind. Custom orders are welcomed!
In Frederick: shopthemuse.com
Outside of Fredrick: chrissygemmilljewels.etsy.com
Content Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast # 029