Behind the Scenes with The Gold Bug, Spring Market Returning Featured Artisan
The Gold Bug creator, Melissa Tomerlin, shares some insight and inspiration on being an entrepreneur and a Steampunk jewelry designer.
FF: How did you begin your handmade journey?
TGB: I've always been crafty and made things. Spending time in retail buying, merchandising, and management after receiving my degree I became discouraged by the amount of imported goods being sold by respected retailers. I thought it was possible to make a line of jewelry domestically with raw materials sourced, for the most part, domestically as well. I found sources for my raw materials and began making.
FF: What lead you to your current line of goods?
TGB: Someone sent me a link with a steampunk computer, after seeing all of the things people made with various gears and watch parts I knew that watch movements would be the perfect focal feature for my pieces.
FF: What materials do you work with & why?
TGB: I work with brass, vintage watch movements, and natural stones. I like the juxtaposition of the mechanical movements with the natural stones and metal flora, fauna, and various Art Deco and Nouveau motifs. I also like working with brass as it lends itself to being shaped and altered.
FF: Inspiration comes from where?
TGB: Books, current trends, TV Shows, the natural world and the world at large.
FF: What excites you for the future?
TGB: I'm excited that people are becoming more discerning about where the things they buy were made and by whom. The consumer is ultimately the one that can influence what stores offer for sale by choosing to buy domestically sourced goods.
FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?
TGB: Listen to customer feedback, it's the best unpaid advice you'll ever receive.
Visit and shop with The Gold Bug at Firefly Handmade Spring Market, May 21-22, 10-4, Twenty Ninth Street shopping district , 1710 29th St. (between Canyon & Walnut), Boulder, CO.