Vendor Highlights: Whisperwill

You all have probably heard me talk about the Etsy shop Whisperwill before. It's run by my friend Kelly and I own (and wear incessantly) a set of her rose gold stacking bands. Today she's here sharing a little about her business' story and where her creative inspiration comes from! Thanks so much for sharing, Kelly! xoxo, Stacia

Vendor Highlights: Whisperwill - Paper Swallow Events

Tell us a little about yourself and Whisperwill

Hi there! I'm Kelly. I was raised in a little town (actually it's starting to be not-so-little) called Ooltewah near Chattanooga, Tennessee. These days I live in Los Angeles (the Valley, to be exact, no hating allowed!) with my foxy filmmaker Colton and our adorable, fluffy, orange cat Peaches. I started Whisperwill in 2012, the year after we moved to California. It's really exciting to have a young business! I love what I do. When I'm not at the jewelry bench, you can find me cooking up a storm in the kitchen (I tend towards non-fussy soul food, and I have a REAL sweet tooth), digging in the garden, laying around on the couch watching bad television, or drinking too much coffee and thinking up a new hobby. If we're being honest here, I kind-of collect hobbies. The other day I decided that I should start quilting! I can sometimes be a little bit all over the place, but my life is a beautiful, creative mess and I love it that way.

Vendor Highlights: Whisperwill - Paper Swallow Events

What inspired your company's name?

Not a great story, actually. I was in that weird half-lucid state between waking and sleeping and mumbled, "Whippoorwill. Whipoorwillow. Whisperwill!" I liked it and I stuck with it! Now looking back, I think it's actually a really great name that captures the mix of softness and strength that I like in jewelry. Clean, architectural lines but still sophisticated and feminine. That is the type of woman I strive to be too... a soft gentle spirit, but with quiet strength. But coming up with the name was really just luck. :)

Vendor Highlights: Whisperwill - Paper Swallow Events

What inspired you to start making and selling jewelry, especially using the unique techniques that you do?

That goes back to my hobby collecting. The first jewelry I ever made was just for myself. Back in highschool, I had some spare change in my pocket and thought, "I bet I could make some killer earrings with these!" I took my pennies out in the yard and hammered the bejeezus out of them on a big rock. They actually turned out really nice! I sold a few pieces here and there, but I was never serious about it. Fast forward to 2012 - I was new to a big city and had recently graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies and Greek. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. After a short stint trying out working in the art department on films, I knew for sure it wasn't for me. One day I found a Native American beadweaving tutorial online. It reminded me of this great bracelet my grandmother had bought me back when I was a kid. I got some beads and picked up the technique in a few hours. I was hooked! I don't really remember when I decided to head down to the courthouse and get a business license - it was probably pretty impulsive, like most of my decisions. My gut was totally right this time, though, and Whisperwill was born! After a year or two of beadweaving, I made the plunge and purchased a torch, flexshaft, and everything else I needed to begin metalsmithing. I read alot of articles and tutorials and watched tons of videos on Youtube. (You can learn ANYTHING on Youtube these days.) After a period of trial and error, plus a few singes and alot of sweat, my first metalsmithed collections were born. I'm certainly still learning, but I'm very proud of the progress I've made.

Vendor Highlights: Whisperwill - Paper Swallow Events

Where do you go to find inspiration? 

My inspiration mainly comes from minimal, modern architecture and the beautiful, open spaces of the American Southwest. I really love sparse, polished design.

What is your favorite part of running your business?

Definitely my time on the bench! There's also a really special thrill when you wake up to an order in your inbox!

Vendor Highlights: Whisperwill - Paper Swallow Events

Do you accept custom requests?

Yes! I love custom work.

What motivates you to return to Whisperwill even after a tough day?

Well, I can't say that I've really had a bad day. The worst that can happen is that I melt the piece I'm working on, and I can always try again! Sometimes I feel a little tired if I've been at the bench too long, but I recharge with treats and down time after my work is done :)

Vendor Highlights: Whisperwill - Paper Swallow Events

Do you have any rituals that help you get into a creative zone before starting your work?

Not particularly, although I like to have some background noise. Usually I'll do a little bit of fantasy karaoke as I work. I don't have the greatest voice, but I pretend I do and perform alot of complicated vocal runs, diva hands, and attitude heads. You know what I'm talking about. I also love story-based podcasts like This American Life or The Moth.

Vendor Highlights: Whisperwill - Paper Swallow Events

What is something on your business bucket list?

I'd love to make someone a custom engagement ring! I'd also love to learn casting one day. Other than that, my main goal is to find some really great vendors who have a clear brand and a clientele who will be attracted to my work.

How can people find and connect with you?

You can find me at my Etsy shopInstagram (@kellyedavie), or Facebook! You can also email me at kelly.e.davie@gmail.com :)