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

Hi Samantha, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I had never thought of myself as artistic or creative, but I knew when I was pregnant with my daughter I needed to find an outlet or something to use with my hands to keep me from falling into postpartum depression. When I started creating things with clay, something in me lit up and I haven’t looked back since. I started creating things that I loved, and others started to notice and show a liking towards it. Knowing that my pieces of jewelry and art had a chance to make others feel good inside AND outside was a no brainer for me to pursue my creative career.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My clay designs do not pertain to one theme, but rather changes with the seasons. I would say my art is a mix of neutral colors and boho vibes, but every now and then I love to use pops of color and create some retro looks. I am so proud of myself for figuring out this medium on my own through trial and error. Before the pandemic hit, there were hardly any resources available to learn how to make polymer clay jewelry. Through many failed attempts I was able to learn how to make quality earrings. I take pride in setting myself apart from others in the sense that I put a lot of time, effort, and detail into every single piece of clay. Whether it be deciding what style earrings to make, sanding, drilling, assembling, and product set up – I always make sure to take my time and perfect every step. You can easily tell with clay jewelry if it hasn’t been handled with care and precision, and I believe my pieces stand out because of how much care I put into them. Another thing that sets me apart from others is my relationship with my customers. I don’t view my customers as just customers, but friends. I get excited thinking of the endless new relationships I can make through this business, and how I am building a community of empowered women and men. When it comes to getting to where I am today professionally, I had to step out of my mindset of failure and also step out of my comfort zone to take some big risks. I had to believe in myself, my art, and that I was capable of becoming successful. I’ve learned that my art isn’t going to be for everyone and that is perfectly normal. I’ve learned that sometimes helping other makers can either create beautiful friendships and learning moments, or it can backfire and burn me out when taken advantage of. I’ve learned that setting boundaries with makers and customers is crucial to staying professional and protecting my business. I want the world to know that I am a small town mother and creator who set her goals high and climbed that ladder to reach them. I want people who wear my products to feel as good as I did when making them. A pair of statement earrings can change your whole outfit and confidence level, and sometimes that’s all you need to take on the day.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a lover for art, the outdoors, beer, and good food! I would first to my friend to the High Museum to see the current exhibitions going on there, specifically the installation of the museum’s collection that features artworks made exclusively by women. Afterwards we would go to Ponce City Market to browse the shops and grab a bite to eat at H&F burger, one of my favorite places to eat at Ponce. We wouldn’t leave without getting a popsicle from king of pops and heading to the rooftop to play some classic carnival games. Biking riding on the belt line would be our next activity before we head to Piedmont Park where we would play frisbee or relax and read a nice book on a blanket on the lawn. Little Five Points is another place I’d take my best friend because we love music and they have the best record store downtown, and of course we’d visit the Vortex for some delicious food.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a few people that deserve shoutouts when it comes to my success with Blush & Josie. The first person I owe thanks to is my encouraging husband, Beau, who put faith in my small business from the start. I could never thank him enough for hyping up my pieces and giving me endless ideas when I deal with creative block. My family and friends have also shown immense support and love towards my business and continue to push me towards greater things. My mother-in-law, Sherri, watches my daughter every Wednesday which really helps me get a full day to create and not worry about anything else but creating – this has been huge a blessing.

Website: blushandjosie.com

Instagram: @blushandjosie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blushandjosiehandmade

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