When I started this journey of finding unique, quality made on Maui products and companies, Etsy was one of the first places that I would visit. Each time I would type in ‘Made on Maui’ to search the site, this little guy would pop up:
(click on the jewelry pics to go to the Etsy listing)
I had a feeling someday I would be writing about him (or her). This sweet little bee is made by Kira Ferrer, who has a truly impressive selection of jewelry available in her Etsy shop. Kira uses a variety of gemstones, Hawaiian sea glass and shells as well as environmentally-friendly recycled sterling silver, and most of her pieces are available for customization and made to order.
Maui Made: How did you get started with jewelry making?
Kira Ferrer: I have always had a love for the arts, and have worked in variety of artistic mediums over the years. After working for many years as a painter and textile designer in the Bay Area, I fell in love and moved to Maui. Working with metal and creating jewelry was a natural progression for me. The environment here is exquisite and I find endless inspiration for my craft. I’m especially inspired by the great blue expanse of the ocean, the gentle rustle of palm trees and the saturated colors of the tropics.
(MM Note: Check out the pics below from Kira’s Instagram feed – worth a follow, just for the beautiful pics alone!)
MM: What kinds of materials do you work with, and how would you describe your style?
KF: At this time I work mostly in sterling silver with some 14 karat gold accents. I especially enjoy creating rings and use a variety of precious and semiprecious gemstones as well as Hawaiian sea glass and shells. I use recycled sterling and gold whenever possible in an effort to minimize the effects of mining on our planet. Recycled silver and gold are virtually identical to newly refined metals, and I feel good about being able to offer environmentally-friendly, handcrafted, heirloom quality jewelry.
MM: Are you doing this full time?
KF: Making handcrafted jewelry is my full time job. Everything is hand crafted by me in my Maui studio and then packaged and shipped world wide.
MM: What’s your most popular item?
KF: My stacking rings are quite popular at this time, especially my “Ocean Blue” set, inspired by the beautiful ocean surrounding Maui:
MM: Any Etsy tips for people just starting out? How long have you been selling on Etsy?
KF: I’ve been selling on Etsy for almost 5 years. To those just getting started at Etsy, I would say refine and hone your overall vision, and emphasize a clear design style that will be recognizable to your customers. Customer service is key in running a small business. Do your best to answer inquiries and orders promptly and always go the extra mile to communicate with customers and show that you care in your interactions. Also, when I first opened my shop on Etsy I spent a lot of time perusing the Etsy forums. The forums provide a wealth of information and I always found other Etsy sellers generous and helpful with information and advice.
MM: Are you in any shops in Hawaii?
MM: What do you like to do for fun?
When I’m not in my studio making jewelry I’m out hiking and taking long walks by the ocean (collecting shells for my one of a kind pieces) soaking up the beauty of this island. I also love reading, gardening, cooking wholesome, delicious meals for my loved ones, traveling, visiting museums, adventures with friends and spending time in nature.
I’m continuously expanding my craft with new techniques and designs. As of late, I am really excited about the new wax cast pieces that I’m working on. I’m continuously adding new pieces to the collection so stop by Etsy to see what i am up to in the studio.
MM: Where can people see more?
Mahalo to Kira for sharing her story with us!