Call it a sense of pride or fulfillment, whatever it was, I can't stress enough how good it felt to handcraft something and have people want to buy it. I even dedicated my year-long "senior journey" project to starting a jewelry business. How foreshadowing, right?
I wish this was where it all started, but life's not that straightforward. As an immigrant born in Ukraine (USSR at the time), I felt the unspoken pressure of my parents' sacrifices for my shot at the American Dream.
Like many young adults in my situation, I sidelined a creative pursuit for a future deemed more stable. I graduated college with a degree in microbiology and worked as a lab research associate in molecular biology and sequencing.
... Do people typically have a quarter-life crisis? Because about 3 years into my job, I sure did. In a nutshell, I was unfulfilled and thought a hobby would perk me up.
Turns out it did way more than that. A beginner's metalsmithing workshop reignited my creative curiosity to start a handmade jewelry business.