You all know I’m a huge fan of statement jewelry these days, specifically earrings. I really do believe that just a pair of earrings can really pull an entire outfit together. My latest obsession has been these beautiful earrings from Rose & Clay. After coming across their Instagram page, I quickly fell in love with the various earring designs they had to offer and reached out for a collaboration. I love supporting and promoting small businesses and I especially love that Rose & Clay is completely handmade and zero-waste.
I got the chance to style the Ashlyn Dangle in Opal and a one-of-a-kind pair of the Valerie Dangle (this pair was made just for me and I’ve never felt so special). I have to say there’s something about the Opal. The color and clay accents really make for an elegant look that can be paired with almost anything. I decided to pair them with an olive silk cowl neck top and some black jeans. The Valerie Dangles are also so gorgeous and can be worn with almost anything as well. I really liked the subtle colors marbled into them and thought they gave the perfect amount of fun into the piece. I paired them with a plum tank that really made the earrings pop. Almost immediately, I noticed how light weight the earrings are. They did not feel heavy at all and I was able to wear them all day without them bothering me. My ears are pretty sensitive so this was great for me.
I talked to Kelsey, the founder of Rose & Clay and the creator of these gorgeous pieces and learned so much about the process and her inspiration.
What inspired you to start making earrings?
So, I just graduated from college a couple of months ago and I graduated with a degree in modern contemporary dance. Before COVID, I used to have the busiest schedule. I would have rehearsals and would also teach dance. My days would last from 9am-10pm and it was just super busy. Honestly, I like being busy and having things to do and as a dancer and choreographer, making things and being creative is something I have always had a niche for. I’ve also always had a major love for clothing and fashion. When COVID hit, I had about a month left of school and my schedule had almost completely cleared up since all of my rehearsals and such were cancelled. I came across these clay earrings and really wanted to figure out how to make my own so I bought some clay and some tools, played around a little, and finally figured it out. I thought hey I could sell these! I went for it and I'm really happy that I did. I started on Instagram and it’s been going so well so far and has grown so much from where I started! I now have a full on website and have been shipping across the country which is so cool.
What does the process look like?
All of the earrings are made out of polymer clay. Polymer clay is a super specific type of clay that is known for being super lightweight. The reason it is so light is because it is plastic based, unlike the type of clay you would see being used in ceramic pots or bowls. All of the clays come in little blocks in different colors. I like to mix colors a lot and since there's not a lot of color options when you're buying. You kind of have to play with it and create the specific colors you want. I use a lot of color mixing techniques and a lot of my pieces are marbled. The first step is conditioning and rolling out the clay. Once it's in a flat sheet, you can cut it into different shapes and then bake it in the oven. Before they're baked they're super pliable so you have to be careful that you don't get any fingerprints or bubbles or anything like that on there before baking. After they are baked they become hard but are still a little flexible which is nice because they don't break easily.
What do you do with your scraps?
Personally, I have zero scraps with what I do because I reuse everything. Say I was making some earrings, eventually once you cut all the earrings out from the sheet of clay, there are scraps left over. I usually mush the scraps into a ball and roll it out again to see if I can get a few more earring pieces out of it. If I can’t, I’m left with this super tiny ball of clay. I keep these tiny leftovers and I always use them. Sometimes I have earrings with tiny detail work such as flowers or other designs and I can use these leftovers for that. Oftentimes, I even use the scraps to create a new color. I love that I don’t have any unused scraps and that I’m not wasting anything.
What is your favorite part of making these earrings?
Being able to make something is my favorite part of it. I think it’s one of the most fulfilling things in the world. There’s something really awesome about having this idea for a design in your head and then actually bringing it to life. I love seeing people wear them and styling it.
Exploring the website a bit more, I learned that Rose & Clay also offers a free 1 year warranty on all pieces. If your earring gets damaged through wear and tear or if they break, they will fix or replace the earrings for free. I found this really awesome because it shows that Rose & Clay really cares about their customers. They also take custom orders as well which makes them really unique!
Another thing I noticed was the affordability of the pieces. All pieces lie between $10 to $21 and even go as low as $8 while on sale. I think these prices are completely fair given that they are handmade with so much care.
I’m so glad I got the opportunity to work with Rose & Clay and will definitely be purchasing some pieces from them in the future! Check them out here!