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Hannah Blount Talks Inspiration, Materials, and Men's Jewelry

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Hannah Blount has garnered the attention of many a jewelry enthusiast over her lifetime, especially so when she branched off from a job at Mint Julep and devoted herself fully to her namesake line early this year. Born and raised on Nantucket, a passion for working with her hands brought Hannah to UMass Dartmouth's Jewelry and Metals program, and she has been honing those skills in Boston ever since.

Before you collect her lovely silver eggs, facets, and the briolettes in her Sticks and Stones collection for Christmas, make sure to acquaint yourself with the talent behind this elegantly handmade jewelry.

Tell us about your first piece of jewelry.
I can't remember! All I can recall is that it was ugly. I was around six years old, and someone had given me a Klutz bead book as a birthday gift. The rest was history.

What was your initial inspiration? How has it changed over the years?
My work didn't take on any particular style until college, when I learned metal-smithing and created a thesis body of work. The work from my college days was organic and natural, which turned into my Waiting Collection. Since then, my work has incorporated touches of whimsy and sweetness with my Candy and Flora collections, along with going back to my home roots on Nantucket with my Ruthie B. Collection. My latest collection, Sticks and Stones, has a bit more edge. I feel that, as I create new work, I discover new facets of my personality... it's an interesting process!

Favorite material to work with?
Gold is delicious to work with. Seriously. Delicious. Looks nice, too.

Where do you hope to see HBJ in 5 years?
Well let's see, in five years I will be 31. I always had hoped to have a store by 30... ideally, it would be a little shop with a studio in the back, with a few employees/elves helping me make the jewelry. I'd like to have my current work in production, as well as a whole collection of custom or one-of-a-kind high end work. Additionally, I want to make hair pieces, wall adornment, and men's jewelry (already working on this one).

Thoughts on men wearing jewelry, especially since you make some?
Jewelry on men can be so amazing, if worn right. I like to see a guy with very minimal, clean jewelry—just one piece, be it a plain band (wedding or not), leather necklace with a simple charm, charming cuff links... just enough to show a bit of style with his suit, tee, or whatever he may be wearing. Also, nothing is sexier than a nice watch.

If you could place a piece of HBJ on anyone, who would it be and which piece?
I want to see my Extra Large Branch Earrings on the First Lady, durrrrr.

Any teaser info for upcoming collections?
I am in contact with a stone cutter... so excited... that's all I can say!

Best and worst holiday gifts you've ever received?
Best: Kitchenaid. I like to bake in my spare time. It's my craft-away-from-craft, if you will. Worst, hm.... I really can't think of one.

What obstacles have you overcome as a small business owner?
Organization, and just the wide variety of skills one needs to have in order to make it. Not only do I need to have a craft and time to do it, but I need to know how to market it, sell it, and do my taxes. It's a lot to handle.

Where can we shop HBJ besides your beautiful website?
Thank you! The site is new, designed by the amazing Martha Carl. You can also find my work at Hepburn on Nantucket, Simple Pleasures in Providence, and Topaz in Cambridge. Hopefully the list will be growing in the near future!

Please note: Place orders ASAP (tomorrow, Wednesday, at the latest) to receive items by Christmas. Only east coast deliveries will arrive before Santa does. We recommend contacting Hannah directly to confirm that your desired item is in stock, as much of her collection is made to order.
· Hannah Blount Jewelry [Official Site]