For jewelry designer Anna Edwards and her husband Christian, character in craftsmanship is most deeply expressed through creating handmade pieces. Inspired by a desire to build a company based on a trade, they began their jewelry company Dustmade.
We had the opportunity to ask these dreamers a little more about what makes it all come together, read on below to see what they had to share.
Darling Magazine: Tell us about the name “Dustmade.”
Anna: My husband, Christian, and I brainstormed names for months! Finally, with a big smile (one he gets when he thinks he has something really clever to say) Christian said, “I’ve got it: Dustmade.” At first, I looked at him like he was crazy. I think I responded with something like, “What does that even mean?” A few days later, “Dustmade” was still rolling around in my head and my heart was bursting with joy at the mention of it. And, let me assure you, since then, I have undoubtedly grown in my understanding of what it means to be “dustmade.”
Dustmade was inspired by Psalm 103:14, which says that we are made of dust. Dustmade is a simple reminder that we are so, so tiny in comparison to the big picture. It is so easy, on any given day, to fall into the lie that our crazy day, our crazy schedule, and our crazy troubles are the only ones. The more that I have learned about the meaning of “dustmade,” the more I am reminded that I am one of many with bad hair days, long Mondays, and a pile of emails in my inbox. There is such comfort in knowing that the world is bigger than us and that, while we are so cherished and treasured, we are not expected to be perfect or have it all together.
There is such comfort in knowing that the world is bigger than us and that, while we are so cherished and treasured, we are not expected to be perfect or have it all together.
DM: What pushed you to start Dustmade?
Anna: We wanted to start a business fueled by a simple trade that we could eventually pass on and expand into a community in another country. Our “plan,” even though we do not at all feel capable of making a “plan,” is to continue to live in the States while Christian gets his masters and then move soon after that!
While we do not yet have specific geographical direction concerning where we will move, we DO know that it is something that our hearts are really unified in. We would like for Dustmade to eventually provide fair trade jobs for families and communities oversees.
DM: Where do you draw design inspiration?
Anna: I find so much inspiration in nature. I fall hard and fast for a good floral pattern and once I find one, I hang on to it for a long time, using it over and over again. Nature, itself, is awe-inspiring and breathtaking — so I never want to miss out on admiring it while I am working. It is my way of bringing the beautiful wonders of outside into a smelly studio!
I am also incredibly inspired by people. I have a core group of ladies who are absolutely vital in my creative process. In surrounding myself with them, I am inevitably inspired and spurred on.
It is usually a small detail that sticks with me for days, or weeks, that I just can’t seem to shake that somehow morphs itself into a design. Whether it is the changing colors of the leaves, a quirky habit of a dear friend, or the way the light comes through the blinds, inspiration comes. Life, in its simplest details is so inspiring and amazing to me.
Life, in its simplest details is so inspiring and amazing to me.
DM: What creates meaning in a jewelry piece for you?
Anna: Handmade is special. Every handmade piece is inherently one-of-a-kind. Often, as I am making, my flaws seem magnified. My imperfections always work their way to the surface. I love that. It’s a constant and gracious reminder that I am only made of dust; I am dustmade. While there is no way that I will ever create a “perfect” piece, there is a guarantee that the beauty of the hand will be all over it.
It never ceases to amaze me that the “flaws” that I see in my own work, are often the most unique and lovely details in the eye of the wearer.
DM: What does craftsmanship mean to Dustmade?
Anna: Craftsmanship is such an important part of being a maker. One thing that I have learned, though, is that craftsmanship starts long before you begin a piece and lives long after the piece is complete. There are, in my mind, three components of craftsmanship.
1. Craftsmanship in design.
Every creative can easily slip into the trap of seeing other creatives work and saying, “I can do that!” Even though it seems quick and easy, the designs that a creative is sure to feel the most confident in are those that they have spent time seeking out, developing, and exploring. Originality and authenticity are sure ways to good craftsmanship.
2. Craftsmanship in process.
Even though, at the end of the day, you love what you do, the handmade process can sometimes seem grueling and nit-picky. I think that integrity in pursuing and committing to the small details of a piece is so important. Sometimes, I feel the urge to just “get it done” instead of “do it well.” That’s when I know I need to slow down, walk away, and sip a glass of hot tea before revisiting production. I want my customers to rest assured that the finished product is truly handmade with tender love and care, and deeply revered by me before it ever reaches their hands.
3. Craftsmanship in the product and delivery.
It is a gift to me when someone purchases a Dustmade product. I don’t know if my heart will ever stop jumping when I see a new order! I believe that craftsmanship extends even to the presentation and delivery of a product. My hope is that a customer may always feel loved, treasured, and deeply cherished when receiving a Dustmade product, or any handmade product. Something about that necklace or those earrings resonated with the customer and, in my heart, immediately forms a connection between the maker and the buyer. Even though they know full well what’s in the box when a package is sitting on their doorstep, my desire is that it feels like a present and there is some kind of excitement and surprise when they see what’s inside!
Check out Dustmade by visiting their shop.
Enjoy 10% your order for a limited time with the code: THATSDARLING!
Images provided by Dustmade