Did you hear? E. Smith is literally going fishin’ this weekend. We’re in the camping mood, and we know you are too! So come get your gear! #esmithmercantile #camping #esmretreat #seattle #pnwpride #fishing #bushsmarts (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Hey friends! We’re getting outta dodge this weekend. Bar is open regular hours (with patio feature) Tuesday thru Friday, closed Saturday August 2nd! #esmretreat #summervacay #greatpnw (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Back in stock! Fresh cold-smoked chocolate chips and savory rye whiskey caramel sauce from our local friends at @getyourhotcakes in Ballard! #chocolatechips #smoked #caramelsauce #dessert #baking #seattle #esmithmerc #pioneersquare #hotcakes (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Treat yourself! #figandyarrow #footbutter #seascrub #bodyoil #bathtime #spaday #esmithmerc #seattle #pioneersquare (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Our very own @essentialapothecary featured in @annamagweb!! Big thanks to @the_mahoro for sharing #EAA with our friends in #japan. #bright #natural #toothpaste #organicskincare (at E. Smith Mercantile)
That’s what’s up. #newarrivals @sydneyhaleco @acanthusjewelry #coldbrew (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Inaugural patio seating! Won’t you come and join us? #patio #dining #esmithmerc #esmbackbar #seattle #pioneersquare (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Sneak peek at our upcoming #lunch menu on special tonight! House #cured #wildsalmon on focaccia with cucumber and fresh ricotta!! (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Your mouth wants to come to e smith for this snack. #casonispritz #babyromaine #barsnack #craftcocktail #summer #eatit (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Good morning! It’s never too early for some quality chocolate bars from NYC’s very own Mast Brothers! Grab yours today before they’re gone! #mastbrothers #chocolate #sweets #newyork #esmithmerc #seattle #pioneersquare (at E. Smith Mercantile)
In honor of a brand new collection of Acanthus jewelry entering our store this week, we wanted to share with you a little bit about our friend Nichole McIver, the visionary behind this beautiful jewelry brand.
The magic behind Acanthus Jewelry all happens in Portland, Oregon, where Nichole lives with her family. Her passion for jewelry design grew out of her love for art history, and the sentimental artifacts owned by women such as prayer books, portraits, and jewelry. This new love of personal objects is what sparked Nichole’s career in jewelry design, realizing she could make a living by creating those items for others while still raising a family.
We talked with Nichole and asked her a little about her jewelry line, her inspiration, and her creative process. Interested in what she has to say? We knew you would be. Check it out out conversation below:
Each collection of Acanthus Jewelry has a very unique and distinct appearance from the rest. How do you determine the theme or inspiration for each collection?
"Each collection definitely has a different inspiration and sometimes I feel like a bit of a style schizophrenic actually! I am always inspired by something from the past, whether it is Egyptian symbology like with the Hathor Collection, or Medieval poesy rings like with the Inscriptive collection. I look at every new collection as an opportunity to explore something new and create some of the many, many ideas I have stored up in my sketchbooks. Even though they are different, I hope there is some continuity in the collections so that they all share a similar feel of being from the past, and from the same artist’s hand."
Can you explain a little about your creative process when it comes to deciding on a collection and then actually producing each piece?
"My creative process involves lots and lots of sketching. I’m constantly jotting ideas down and playing with shapes and forms to come up with new pieces. Once I have several ideas and have riddled out how to construct them, I go to it. Usually the work out as I planned, but occasionally there are some pieces that didn’t go the way I expected and I need to tweak something about the design or the process. Most pieces start as different forms of scrap metal at my workbench I and love transforming them into something completely different. I’m starting to get some work molded and cast in different metal options, but no matter how they begin, they all pass through my hands since I’m the only employee of Acanthus!"
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry to make (i.e., necklaces vs. rings)?
"I recently have had some great inspiration for rings and I love making them. I love coming up with interesting ways to stack and combine them, and fit them together in different combinations. Plus, I love when I can incorporate gemstones and rings definitely allow for that."
You’ve mentioned that you’re very interested in the personal objects and artwork of women. Do you have a piece of jewelry or other personal item that you cherish most, and is there a story behind it?
"Yes, I love learning about women throughout history and how they cherished their possessions that were so very personal. I have a signet ring that belonged to my great-great grandfather that my grandmother gave me recently that I love. I also have some vintage lockets I’ve collected over the years because I’ve been obsessed with lockets since I was young. It doesn’t get much more personal that a locket that has a hidden picture of someone you cherish inside that is just for you."
We are very inspired by your ability to see your own talents and turn them into a career that you’re proud of. Do you have a message for aspiring artists and designers about how to turn your passions into creations?
"Thank you! It has been a long, difficult time trying to get Acanthus going and keep at it! There have been many (many, many!) times I’ve thought about giving up because the business part of it can be so very daunting. I just want to keep creating and focus on that, but of course, that’s only half the battle. My advice to aspiring designers is to concentrate on your priorities as a creative business owner. For me, I keep having to tell myself that as long as Acanthus is successful enough to allow me to keep creating beautiful jewelry, which is most important to me, the rest doesn’t matter. I can’t compare my rate or type of success to other makers because it’s pointless. My success will not look like theirs and though it’s hard to remember all the time, it’s what I keep in mind. It has been a very difficult and emotional process, but when it gets hard I just focus on the work and creating pieces I love and that always helps."
Where do you see Acanthus Jewelry in the future? What can we expect to see?
"Well, I JUST began a period where Acanthus will be my full-time job focus, and not my "midnight job" while I work one or more traditional day jobs, so I’m super excited! It was getting hard to keep up with a day job, my 4 year old and everything that goes with normal life, so I can’t wait for this next phase. I’ve got new work coming out soon that has been a looooong time coming, but I think it will be really great! At least, I love it! Hopefully this will lead to sharing my work with more people who add it to their daily wardrobes as special pieces that they know were made by me with love."
Isn’t she awesome?!
These images come straight from Acanthus Jewelry’s lookbook for their Hathor collection. Some of these pieces are available in our store this week. Come see and feel each piece for yourself! You won’t be disappointed.
-E. Smith Mercantile
Hey friends! Come learn how to make the most awesomest bacon ever with us, and take one home, and drink cocktails, and be awesome. Limited space available, get on it! @laurenthebutcher #pancetta #DIY #cellarclasses (at E. Smith Mercantile)
You’re summer cocktail’s ready for you! Calvados, creme de rose, grenadine & fresh lime #craftcocktail #rose #backbar (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Crushing on our new @towneship tees made in Seattle! Coming to the web store soon. #thoreau #traditional #seattlefashion #usmade (at E. Smith Mercantile)
Table is ready for you! #guestchef #esmdinners #summerparty #jjproville (at E. Smith Mercantile)