Every Thursday during the pandemic, we’ll be checking in on members of the jewelry trade in an attempt glean shareable tips and tricks for a better and more productive quarantine (and for many, reopening).
Today we hear from independent fine jewelry designer Andrea Fohrman, who’s famous for her vividly colorful, celestial-inspired designs.
JCK: How has quarantine been for you? Where are you, and who are you quarantined with?
Andrea Fohrman: I’m based in Los Angeles, and for that I’m grateful—because we really have been able to be outside since March.
Quarantine has been a mix of emotions. I’m so grateful for the time I’m getting to spend with my family at home, but there are so many unpredictable things happening from one day to the next, I have really had to learn more of a “go with the flow” attitude in order to stay sane. I’m quarantined with my husband, Sid, our two amazing kids, and our dogs, Luther and the newly adopted rescue puppy, Leo!
Please describe your work life in quarantine.
I find that my morning hike is crucial in the way my day plays out mentally, which, of course, completely affects everyone in my house. Getting outside for an hour by myself…really helps ground me and dig into what I must get done in the day.
I create a daily focus time to complete tasks that must be done that day and schedule calls and Zoom meetings during that time. There’s the creative part of this business that sometimes gets pushed aside because of the day-to-day running of my business, so through all of this my creative ideas are flowing more than ever and for that, I’m grateful. I try to have a routine of some sort that can easily be adaptable or switched up depending on the day.
I’m running my business from my office room at home, while luckily being able to bring that work with me to my patio and enjoy some sunshine.
On top of running my company, I’m fully involved in the running of my household. I also love cooking for my family, and so about five days a week, I’m creating different meals for each [person] because everyone is so particular…. I should have never allowed myself to become the short-order cook, but that is now my title.
How has the pandemic changed your business plans for 2020 and beyond?
We are constantly creating ways to navigate through this new normal. My team and I have had a lot more creative energy flowing since this began, and because of that we’ve been able to shift our plans and really get to know our customer.
Getting to know my customer, again, seems to have brought back the reason why I got into this business. I love making pretty, colorful pieces of jewelry that they, in turn, feel connected to. This feels authentic and real, and I feel better about the process this way.
Going forward, I will continue to design and create what feels good to me, not what I feel I have to in order to sell. That to me [has been] the silver lining.
How has your heart and mind been reacting to the recent protests spurred by the death of George Floyd?
I feel shame and anger, but mostly sadness that so many innocent lives had to be taken for us to finally stand up at this moment. Although I was taught to treat everyone with respect and I’ve lived by that my entire life, I know that my life has been easier because of the color of my skin. And for that, I’m complicit in the unequal treatment of others.
Moving forward, I’m going to learn more, do more, teach my children and others more, and help in any way that I can make this change actually happen.
How do you hope the protests and larger movements will impact the jewelry industry?
Promoting and supporting Black businesses in the fashion industry is a good start. This movement can only have a positive impact on the jewelry industry by adding more creative and talented designers.
How have you been relaxing or mentally escaping during quarantine?
Besides my morning hike, I absolutely have to do my TM (Transcendental Mediation) twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. This helps me stay centered and relieves an enormous amount of stress for me.
Do you have any good book/TV/movie/podcast recommendations?
Book: My Dark Vanessa
Show: Schitt’s Creek, Defending Jacob, Unorthodox, Ozark season 3
Podcast: I’ve been listening to Code Switch on NPR about the current shifts in race, ethnicity, and culture playing out in our communities.
Top: Fohrman in her backyard in L.A. with her family’s new puppy, Leo (all photos courtesy of Andrea Fohrman)
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