Welcome to our 'Meet the Maker' series; dedicated to the ~inspiring~ resident artists of Turquoise Over Diamonds -The Marketplace-
Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got started making jewellery?
I am Native American and my grandma always bought my sisters and cousins turquoise jewelry. I would always look at the pieces and say I want to make stuff like this one day. So, a couple of years ago, I started teaching myself (not very well) and now I’m addicted. I wouldn’t be where I am though without the support from my wife and several really great customers.
How would you describe the jewellery you create?
I would say my pieces are inspired by Native American culture but are still a bit extravagant. One thing customers say they know me for is the big rings that I make.
Does your wife feel like the luckiest woman on earth having a hubby that can whip her up magic anytime she wishes?
No, no jokes. Well no, not really... does she?
Hahaha! She gets to wear some of my pieces for like a week and then she has to give them back so I can sell them. My father-in-law bought my mother-in-law a squash blossom from me so my wife gets to wear it when she wants.
What or who are your greatest inspirations?
I would say my greatest inspiration is my Dad (sorry Mom). My Dad has always been super artistic and whatever it was that he was working on he would always take his time and make sure it was perfect. My Dad is always extremely smart and hardworking and I want others to think the same of me one day. I think that even though he is not a silversmith, he would be a really great one because of his work ethic and the way he carries himself.
I know you recently got back from a mission trip in Haiti. Can you tell me a bit more about the trip and what your involvement is?
Yes, I can talk about Haiti all day. I go with an organization called P4h Global (p4hglobal.org). Since my first trip to Haiti I have had an overwhelming desire to spend as much time there as possible. The last 2 times I’ve been were spend in Cap Haitian. P4h has a church and a training center that we use to run programs such as VBS, youth leadership classes and health classes.
If you ever get the chance I encourage all of you to get your butt to Haiti!
What does the design process look like for a Mud Lowery piece?
I like to do all my pieces without drawing them out first. I also try to finish each piece in one day (still working on that)- I hate going to bed with unfinished pieces. Last year during Christmas I finished a squash blossom in 1 day (never again).
I lay all of my components out, stay super organized, drink as much water as possible and go to town. Sometimes I have to take a step back to analyze the pieces but for the most part I work pretty quickly.
What advice would you give to artists wanting to pursue their dreams of turning their art into their business?
I would say that the most important thing to do is surround yourself with positive people. If you are surrounded by negativity, you will not want to work on your art. I would also say try your hardest to create your very own work. Don’t copy off of other artists even if that means it takes you even longer to create something.
Where do you envisage your life and your business in 10 years from now?
I envision myself having a real website (not an etsy haha) and taking less custom orders. I really enjoy creating whatever I like compared to filling an order. I envision having my kids (if they want to) working on pieces with me and teaching them this style of art. I wish I would have learned everything I know at an earlier age.
The best advice you’ve ever received?
I would say they best advice I have received would be to treat people the way you would want to be treated. That could mean a lot of things but one in particular would be is if someone is spending their hard earned money on one of my custom pieces I need to make sure I do the best job and as timely as possible.
If you could tell your younger self just 1 thing, what would it be?
I would tell myself that it’s really true; nothing worth having comes easy.
Quote to live by:
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.
― D.L. Moody
10 Quick Questions:
1. Describe yourself in 10 words or less:
Excited, motivated, inspired and loved.
2. Best part of making a living from your art:
I get to make people happy by creating art that makes me happy.
3. Work/ Life balance: have your nailed it?
Not at all!
4. Best business moment?
I would say the best business moment was when I made my first squash blossom. I didn’t know if I could actually do it. My friend Anthony Lucia ordered it for his gf (Miss Rodeo America) and I did not want to let him down.
5. Best LIFE memory?
Getting married to my best friend, Lauren!
6. The perfect Sunday: Where are you?
In Wyoming at the Grand Teton (w/ my wife this time).
7. 3 things you love the most:
Jesus, Lauren, food. In that order.
8. Something not many people know about you:
If my real name is Shannon or Mud.
9. What did your child self want to be when he grew up?
A country singer with my cousin Rachael. I still have old cassettes that we made at my grandparents’ house of us singing songs we wrote.
10. And what do you think your child self would say to the adult version of YOU now?
I thought you would be a country singer by now!
Follow Shannon on Instagram!