“You make a life out of what you have, not out of what you don’t have,” is the most precious advice I’ve been given this season. It seems that post-grad life is inevitably followed by a quarter-life crisis of sorts. In my own coming to terms with this, I’ve landed on two answers explaining why: because we stop pursuing our passion in order to make a living and because we feel stagnant after a vast period of growth. Here is my advice for this closing cycle of the year and I hope it sets your imagination ablaze: don’t let society or your daily pressures put your creativity in shackles, because following your creative passion is what will set you free from a life of repetition. If your heart’s desire is to create freely, then give into that magic.
That is what the inspirational Alora Arnold has done as she strives for a more thoughtful and unique culture by practicing her life passion, and inviting you to join her in the movement. Alora is the owner of Artifacts, a handcrafted jewelry and lifestyle brand that honors the story behind the materials they use and pieces they create. For Artifact respecting the natural world, while also celebrating it and cultivating its beauty, is essential. That is why a sliver of the earth lives within you when you wear one of their pieces. The intelligent, young artist knows the path she wants her life to take and is carving it zealously with bare hands. She shares, “As a creative individual, my design aesthetic flows into all aspects of my life and how I view the world. I wanted to harness this vision and use it to create a wider offering of goods for my customers.” Read below for an interview with the artist as she opens up about her journey, the culture Artifacts is cultivating, and the inspiration behind the brand.
Where did this journey begin for you?
My journey began with a desire for a creative career and a creative outlet. I studied fashion design at Ryerson University, in a garment-based curriculum. I realized garment design was not my passion, but I was able to cross over many skills and apply them to my chosen path of jewelry and lifestyle product design. The Artifacts culture is about moving away from fast fashion and taking time to enjoy the design process, appreciating the thoughts and story behind the pieces. I wanted to keep production in-house and source my materials within North America to stay true to the vision I had for the Artifacts brand. This vision manifested into hand-stitched bags and curated vintage items. Artifacts will also be launching a collection of handmade goods for the home.
What motivates your designs and choice of materials? What materials are most challenging to work with? Which are your favorites?
I am inspired by the natural world, and my home soil on the Canadian prairies. I craft my pieces from naturally occurring materials like semi-precious stones, raw crystals, leather, and deer antler. Natural materials are my favorite to work with and are also the most challenging because there is such a variance between each stone or antler. This in turn makes them beautiful and inspiring contributing to the uniqueness of each Artifacts piece.
Why do you draw inspiration from ghost towns in making/naming your products?
There is a feeling of responsibility when naming a piece and I found it difficult at first so I began naming the pieces after ghost towns in my home province of Saskatchewan as a way of honoring the land that inspires me to create.
What were the greatest challenges you faced opening Artifacts and what advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs?
The greatest challenge I faced when starting Artifacts was feeling overwhelmed with all of the aspects of running a design business. At the end of the day 10% of your time is used for designing and 90% is used for running the business. Luckily for people like me who love what they do, even the business side doesn’t feel like work. Some advice I would share with fellow entrepreneurs is don’t get too wrapped up in what everyone else is doing. It is easy these days with social media to have access to what inspires other people and what they are creating, and sometimes it’s beneficial to shut yourself off from that and take time to design in isolation to create something truly authentic. I am also lucky to have a fantastic mentor and she imparted a piece of wisdom that I still use to inspire me to keep driving forward. She said: “you cannot fail if you never give up.” Perseverance, determination and confidence, paired with creative vision fuels success in the design industry.
By Mireidys Garcia
Check out all the greatness available over at Artifacts by clicking here.