Today we have a lovely interview to share with jewelry designer Beth Cyr, based in Athens, Georgia! Enjoy:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I started my business about 12 years ago and have been a full time working artist for a little more than a decade. I grew up playing in the woods and by the pond in our front yard. We would sleep out in our backyard and stare at the night sky until we fell asleep. Much of my childhood art was inspired by these elements, as are many of my current designs. I believe our natural resources should be protected and preserved so all the little girls and boys in future generations can play in natural forests and clean water and be able to enjoy the stars at night.

My partner, Alex, just recently quit his job to start working with me. We’re consciously looking to grow the business in a sustainable way.  In both our personal lives, as well as our business, we strive to have as minimal environmental impact as possible. From using recycled packaging material to 100% recycled metals, to composting and growing a lot of our food – we do what we can to leave a light footprint on the planet. We also support larger organizations that are working to have a larger impact, such as replanting forests or cleaning up the Great Lakes.

Read the full interview after the cut!

How did you get into the business?

I went to school for jewelry/metalworking and shortly after I graduated I decided what I really wanted to do was have a studio and sell my work. I started making all kinds of random things with scrap metal I had left over from school. I was lucky enough to get on Etsy at the beginning. I had a customer who requested custom made wedding rings in one of my designs and it grew from there. I was able carve out a little niche in the handmade wedding rings category.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

Making things! I do enjoy all the business aspects, but just sitting down with some wax and coming up with a design is the most fun. I don’t like making the same thing over and over, so I make new things pretty frequently.

If you could pick one unique product or service offering, which would be your favorite, and why?

My current favorite is the astral (meteorite) collection. I am totally in love with the idea of having a little piece of the universe held in a piece of jewelry you can wear every day. Thinking about where that meteorite could have been totally blows my mind.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?

If you’re going to art school and have the chance, take some business classes as well. Even at a liberal arts college, the arts programs generally don’t do much to prepare their students with the means of running a business.

What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

I do a lot of yoga. Alex and I do yoga together and we’re part of a lovely community of dedicated practitioners. We also garden and like to go hiking as much as possible. I occasionally paint, but that tends to go in cycles – I’ll paint a lot for awhile and then I won’t paint at all for months.

Any great stories from working with a client?

My favorite story was a couple that got my ring design tattooed on their ring fingers. It was right after they received the rings, they went out and got the tattoos. It just feels like the biggest compliment – it wasn’t just about making the ring – they would have the design whether they were wearing the rings or not. Pretty amazing.

What makes you different from others in your field?

All of my rings are made to order from scratch. I think a lot of jewelers might think I’m crazy for putting that much work into my rings, but it is important to me that each ring is made for the individual. Even if it is a design I’ve made hundreds of times, I really enjoy making it to their size, width and thickness needs.

Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?

I would love to see brides get further away from thinking they need a big diamond. I can see a trend for “alternative” engagement and wedding rings growing, but not fast enough. A lot of women don’t want something traditional and don’t want a diamond, or at least not a big sparkly cut diamond.  There still seems to be so much in our culture that feeds that mentality. Women judge other women for how big (or small) their diamond is or if they don’t have a diamond at all. I think it is totally fine if that is what you want, and I’ve known so many people that weren’t aware of the alternatives.

What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their big day?

Start early and remember to breath. Haha! My favorite customers are ones that start asking questions 6 months before their wedding (or earlier). While I have a 6 week turn around time, I think it would be more relaxing for everyone to order 3 months out. Plenty of time to get it in hand and try it on, no need for rush shipping or rush orders. Planning all those details is stressful enough. If finances are an issue – ask about payment plans.

Photo Credit: Emily Haynes of Shutter Bunny Photography

Wonderful, thanks Beth! For more information about Beth Cyr, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Beth? Add them to the comments below!