Meet the Designer: Marisa Howard of Seaworthy

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There’s something about the fluid jewelry from Seaworthy that hints at a bigger story behind a minimalist piece. We went behind the scenes with self-taught jewelry designer Marisa Howard to find out more.

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TELL US HOW YOU BECAME A JEWELRY DESIGNER. I studied Journalism and Communications at University of Oregon, with a focus on magazine writing. I thought I was going to write long feature stories and learn about people’s lives, but once I was out in the “real world”, I learned that I didn’t like pressing people for their stories and I didn’t like the publishing industry in general. So I moved into Marketing and PR and worked my way into the lighting industry somehow. My “career” before starting Seaworthy was in the commercial lighting industry. I worked with clients like Nordstrom and Costco and worked on casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, as well as other large projects all over the US. I traveled constantly. I can see now that all my random jobs prepared me to run this small creative business.

In the lighting industry, I worked as an operations manager for a couple years. So I hired and fired, I managed a budget, I did sales and customer service. I also managed a warehouse and implemented shipping schedules and inventory management. I also learned the creative side of lighting design and layout. In that career though, I could see the end of what I wanted to learn and accomplish. I had burned out and I knew I needed a change. In January of 2010, I just quit. I had a couple part time things lined up: a retail job and a freelance editing job for a Canadian publication, but I really had no idea what I was going to do. I was making a little jewelry as a creative outlet and a way to build community. Eighteen months after I quit my “career”, I was making jewelry full time. That was four years ago in August.

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