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Life & Work with Jaci Riley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaci Riley. 

Hi Jaci, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hello, I’m Jaci! I’m the owner, maker, designer, and doer of all things at Jaci Riley Jewelry. I started making jewelry in 2005 as a creative outlet while I was in college studying interior design. It began as something to do for fun, but family and friends loved my creations and I opened an Etsy shop in 2007. I kept making and learning as I went. I graduated from college, and worked part-time, but continued to make jewelry and I eventually I became an artist full-time. I studied metalsmithing at The Toledo Museum of Art; I created my own website and continue to learn as I go. So much has changed since the beginning, but I am so happy to be able to do what I love. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely hasn’t always been a smooth road. I’d say that one of the trickiest things to adapt to along the way has been learning the ins and outs of self-employment, and learning how to be flexible with pretty much everything. Being self-employed is one of the hardest (and also the best!) things I’ve ever done. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a metalsmith and I make jewelry. I would say that I am most known for creating handmade pieces that are great for everyday wear. I am proud of creating high-quality pieces, but I would say that overall, I am most proud of creating a small business out of something that I love to do. I take a lot of pride in my work and my customer service, and I think that is a thing that sets me apart from others. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I think that I’ve been lucky to be able to make a living doing what I love! 

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