Monday, November 4, 2013

Victorian jewelry designer Talks about her passion for Nostalgia

Dream Bigger, an interview with Jewelry Design Janet Cozens
by @SchulmanArt, Miriam Schulman

Discover beautiful pieces like these in her etsy shop
Today we talk with Wyoming native Janet Cozens and her passion for creating Victorian Jewelry. Her love for nature and outdoors influences her jewelry designs and she likes to incorporate rocks, wires and other natural materials.

SchulmanArt: Tell us how you got started creating jewelry?

Janet Cozens: I decided to pursue my dreams of becoming a Victorian Jewelry Artist after I lost, what I had thought then, was my career. I was out of work from 2009 until 2010, and I used that year to really hone in on my pursuit of my truest passion. I have been pursuing it ever since.  I knew that I could not stop designing jewelry after I started, and I strive every day to make this a career that can sustain me and my family.

I am a self taught jewelry designer. I found Dale 'Cougar' Armstrong while pursuing the art of wire wrapping, purchasing all of her DVD's and learning the techniques to the best of my ability. I have since taken the fundamentals that Dale taught in her DVD's and I have moved into creating my own style and designs.

SchulmanArt: So tell us about your own designs
Janet:  I have 2 favorite wires, copper and sterling silver. I also love to create with natural gemstones, cabochons, and CZ (cubic zirconium). My pieces are mostly one-of-a-kind. I sell on the premise that my pieces are family heirlooms to be passed from one generation to the next. This has been a great selling point for me. I also feel that family legacies are so important, and I feel that my Victorian pieces fit quite well as future pieces of the past to help build on those legacies. I work with a feeling of nostalgia as I create pieces for the Christmas/Holiday season. This helps me form pieces that speak to the heart of my customers.

Cozens was the March 2012 Wire Artist of the Month at
SchulmanArt: How do you stay focused and work on the business side of selling jewelry? 
JC: Staying focused is fairly easy for me, as jewelry design is my truest passion. Some times, I will wake up in the middle of the night with a jewelry design in my head that will not leave my mind until I produce it with my hands. These designs tend to become some of my favorite work.

I work full-time outside of my home, so for the most part, I sit and dream about my next creative jewelry piece. I am the only one at my office, so this allows for some time to be spent on perfecting my Etsy shop and posting to social media sites and Pinterest.

I have been taking quite a few online courses right now, so I spend a lot of time inside the forums and modules. I believe that it is my responsibility to become the best that I can so that I can offer my business to my customers to the best of my ability.

Cozens styles her pieces with Victorian artistry
SchulmanArt: What is your studio space like?
JC: My space, for now, is my dining room table. I have been in this location for the last 3-1/2 years. We hardly ever used this space, so it works for now. I dream of someday having my own studio where I can have all the little cubby holes and space that I need to create freely and without other things interfering. The view from my window is out the back through the sliding glass doors in the kitchen. This provides for some great views out the back. Occasionally, there is a pheasant or a deer to gaze upon as I dream of far away places that inspire my creations.

Connect with @JanetCozzens on Facebook!
SchulmanArt: Does creativity run in the family?
JC: I come from a long line of tinkerers and craftsmen. Whenever there was a challenge to get something done with what was available and that seemed impossible, there was always an improvisation to make it work. Wheels would be taken off or added to, saws would come out to cut something off, or hammers and nails would come out to add the needed piece. I am this exact same way. If it doesn't work, fix it! I instill this into my children, ages 10 and 12, as well.  I also have a daughter and son-in-law near-by with 3 little boys of their own. They love to create with their hands.

SchulmanArt: You are a great inspiration for lots who dream of starting their own jewelry business, what advice would you give them?
JC:  I would tell every beginning artist to never give up on your dreams! Always remember that there is a network of people out here, waiting to help you and support you in your dreams. It only takes the motivation on your part to find your 'tribe'. Reach out to others that you feel you can learn from and be mentored by and do it unabashedly! Experiment with your own passions a little bit before moving into the main stream of the belief that you need to work at a 'real job' to make it in this world. I only wish that I would have taken more time to smell the roses and dream bigger...

 Blogger Miriam Schulman is artist,
and art-entrepreneur of SchulmanArt
and founder of The Inspiration Place
Discover a passion for collecting all things nostagic with these blue Victorian find spotted on etsy today!!