Warm, fashionable, and with a certain bohemian flair, that is jewelry designer Tara Nish. When I visit her in her beautifully unique store Astrid Lily here in Sayulita, she takes a break from handcrafting her one-of-a-kind pieces to talk about her personal experiences and what she has discovered along the way in the jewelry making business.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer?
There was never a big moment of realizing I wanted to be a Jewelry designer. I had started making jewelry after rediscovering my creative side through a workshop I took called “The Artist’s Way”. Then, some friends and family started buying my pieces and urged me to pursue a career in my art form. At the time, I realize now, I didn't feel my jewelry was good enough, and I feared that being an artist would not provide me with the finances needed to support my young daughter and myself, so I basically put it aside while I instead pursued a career in finance. After a very serious car accident, it left me in chronic pain, disabled, and suffering from depression. This is when someone suggested I take out my jewelry supplies. This was something I could do from bed! Thus, I started to make jewelry again, and I very slowly built Astrid Lily while I rebuilt myself at the same time.
What are you favorite materials to work with?
My absolute favorite materials are semi-precious and precious gemstones. These exquisite pieces that are created in nature still leave me awestruck and give me the most inspiration. The only other materials I use are sterling silver and 14 kt gold fill.
Where do you go for inspiration when working on new pieces?
I find inspiration in so many places. The ocean and travel are both huge inspirations for me. I love exploring far away places. While on a trip to Bali, I designed an entire line. Many of the pieces I carry today were dreamt up in magical Indonesia; they have that bohemian, mystical flare. I get the most specific design inspiration from the gemstones themselves. Shiny, glossy, smooth, vibrant, sparkling...gemstones- I can't get enough!
Do you yourself have a piece of jewelry that carries a lot of personal value to you or has a special story to it?
My favorite piece of jewelry is a baby bracelet that I made for my daughter, Astrid. A pink sapphire and emerald ring my boyfriend surprised me with after our first trip to Sayulita also carries a lot of personal value. Other than that, right now I am obsessed with really long duster earrings and choker style necklaces.
Any new plans or projects coming up that you wish to share with us?
This year our main focus will be continuing to create truly unique gemstone jewelry at a fair price for our lovely Sayulita clientele. We are also working to grow our website and wholesale business. We are just in the midst of a big overhaul to our website with a whole new collection which we are so excited about and will be launching again soon!
You can find Tara's work in her Sayulita Astrid Lily boutique on Calle Jose Mariscal (in front of YamBak). For more information, visit her Sayulita Life Web-page.
*Written by: Inge Poell