We had the good fortune of connecting with Hilary Metz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hilary, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think about giving up. This ultimately ends with me also thinking, and then deciding, to keep going. I fail at something every day in the shop, but I also succeed at something every day. I have learned that failure has been my best teacher. Just about everything that has been worth doing in my life I failed at initially on some level or another. Being given a small taste of success drives me to keep going. My grandfather used to tell me that when I feel like giving up I need to take a break and sleep on it. Then the next morning I need to put one hand behind each butt cheek and pick myself back up and go back to work. Giving up is just not in a farmer’s nature, so I try to live by that code as much as possible. There is always something else to learn and something else to accomplish, whether it’s building on a success or venturing out into something new. Giving up is boring…but continuing on into the unknown is where life gets exciting.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I create lighting and furniture out of repurposed materials. Some customers even send me old pieces they would like added into the design or even be used to guide the whole design process. My designs are guided by my moods and whatever I have on my mind at the time, and I can go through a whole range of emotions in one day in the shop. What I love about when customers are looking to buy a piece is that they often can pick out at least one emotion that went into the design. In a way it’s like we have made this unspoken connection. If something I create can speak to them in much the same way it spoke to me when I designed it, then that is an incredible connection that you really can’t put a price on.

I think like most people I have stumbled into where I am in life today. But isn’t that how it is supposed to be? Life would be rather boring if it all worked out the way we imagined from the beginning. I am still fumbling and finding my way through, and hope I continue to until my last breath. Not knowing what’s around the corner but turning into that direction anyway is both exciting and scary. Growing from the challenges I face when I get there is what gives me the strength to keep going, and hopefully I don’t make the same mistakes I did before. I never want to feel or be stagnant in life…that to me would be my ultimate failure.

My brand. Well, the best response I can give to that is that my brand is “me”. My designs change as I evolve with my craft. I love learning new ways of doing things…even if they are new only to me. Any pieces of wisdom imparted upon me from the people I meet along the way in my life become a part of me, so I guess all of those pieces is what makes “me” my brand.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well this is a tricky question because I haven’t lived in Atlanta in over 20 years. I actually live 10 minutes outside of Athens. For anyone not familiar with Athens, you should make it a point to do so soon! Athens is an amazing city for local music and artists…and the people here feed that! Local bars, amazing restaurants, local organic farmers selling at farmer’s markets, local breweries…what can’t you find here?

Here are some of my favorite spots not to be missed on a visit here. Best bar: The Globe! This is one of the oldest bars in Athens and is perfectly located for people watching. Amazing beer list from around the world…and around the corner! Best Restaurant: The National! With an ever changing menu and so much of it being farm to table, there is no way you won’t find something amazing to eat here! The wine list is amazing and the staff is always helpful and never disappoint with their amazing service! Speaking of wine…absolutely stop by “The Lark” for a wine tasting of some of the most incredible wines from some amazing and hidden boutique wineries from around the globe! No one can visit Athens without catching a show at the Georgia Theatre…and sitting rooftop and watching the sun set over one of Georgia’s biggest little city’s! For a beer night Athens does not disappoint! Creature Comforts, Southern Brewing Co., Akademia, Athentic, Terrapin…hit them ALL! Shop the local artists by strolling through Indie South, Junk In The Trunk, Lexington Vintage…if all you have time for is 3! Want to stock up on some produce and local goodies…stop by Bishop Park’s Farmer’s Market! Want to kill 2 birds with 1 stone…grab a beer at Creature Comforts while you stroll their farmer’s market on Wednesdays! And these are all things to do while just in downtown!! Athens, I Love You!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Family! Whether they are giving me verbal encouragement, helping me in my shop or working the festivals…family is what keeps me going. There is no way I could do all of this without their love and support. My grandfather has always been my inspiration to work with my hands and it was my grandmother that gave me the courage to start a business…I just wish they both could have been alive to see it all happen.

Website: www.metzmadellc.com

Instagram: @metzmadellc

Facebook: Metz Made, LLC

Other: Vendor Booth at Junk In The Trunk located at 590 Olympic Dr. Athens, Ga

Image Credits
Hattie Sims Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.