Meet the Maker: Freshie & Zero
We thought we’d give you a sneak peek into the lives of the real indie artists that create the jewelry you see at Embellish Asheville. Discover your favorite jewelry pieces, from the hammered Apple Necklace to the Mini Sparky Stitch Earrings, and give a warm welcome to one of our talented makers, Freshie & Zero.
Hey there! Let’s start with your name, where you’re located, and how long you’ve been creating your products!
Beth Lawrence, Nashville, TN. Sixteen years of Freshie & Zero in April!
So, how, when, and why did you start making your products?
I started making jewelry when I was about 10 or 11. I used friendly plastic, a very popular crafting material of the '80s, and made earrings that I sold door-to-door out of my Caboodle for $3-$5 a pair. I even sold my jewelry to a local boutique!
Upon graduating from Belmont University with an Arts degree, I thought the only way to make a living as an artist was to paint - something I had little passion for. So, I put my artistic aspirations aside and worked in different arts and crafts galleries for a few years. One day while displaying some handmade jewelry with wandering thoughts, I suddenly remembered that I had made jewelry when I was a child! I thought that perhaps I could make it again; maybe I could be a jewelry artist!
I first used beads and vintage components until, one day, I explored making shapes with wire and a hammer. After making my first circle and hammering it, I immediately knew I had found my medium.
How is Wire Jewelry Made?
Wire jewelry is created by manipulating, bending, and hitting wire into different shapes and designs. With just a hammer and a tool to twist the wire, the maker can include different beads and create exciting shapes, like the hammered bar of the Stem Lariat.
Love at first sight. From where do you draw your inspiration?
Sometimes I design pieces for a specific person or type of person. I think, “What would my sister love to wear?” or “What would someone who is always on the go want to wear?” It helps give me a starting point.
Occasionally, I am inspired by a vintage piece or a stylish person in passing. It’s fun to be inspired by someone with a stand-out street style - I try to design something that type of person would want to wear.
What’s something you love about being an indie maker and designer?
I love that my job is never the same day-to-day! I also love how much it has allowed me to travel and meet other indie makers at shows.
What’s your favorite product you make?
Picking a favorite piece feels like choosing a favorite child! So much love goes into each design, so I really wouldn’t know how to pick! I am really excited about our newest collections, though. I’ve been reaching for the Cosmos Earrings or the Window Hoops a lot recently!
3 Styles of Freshie & Zero Earrings:
- Dangle earrings
- Hoop earrings
- Stud earrings
What’s your process for making like?
It is not quiet! It involves tools, hammers, and music or podcasts.
Music to my ears! How would you describe your products and style in 3 words?
Feminine, modern, delicate (in style, not in wearability!)
What is Delicate Jewelry?
Dainty jewelry typically consists of elegant and simple designs featuring thin chains, small pendants, and subdued colors and metals. These delicate styles are perfect as everyday staples or the base chain when layering necklaces.
Tell us something everyone should know about your products.
Every piece is handmade by me & my amazing team. We work together in my studio in the ever-expanding East Nashville neighborhood. My team mostly listens to music & true crime podcasts, laughs, hammers, and wire wraps the day away.
Sounds like a lovely team! If you needed a last-minute gift for a loved one, what product of yours would you choose right away?
Our Love Necklace is a fan-fave & an all-time bestseller! We make it in a few different variations & it’s a great gift for the mothers in your life. Another favorite is the Storied Necklace.
3 People Who’d Love a Jewelry Gift:
What’s the best part of your job?
I opened a gift shop attached to my studio in 2019 & I have had so much fun with it! Buying products from other makers to supplement our jewelry & merchandising it all in our little corner of East Nashville has been so great. It’s a lot of work, but it’s been so rewarding!
Take us through a day in the life of creating!
Because I have employees, I plan out who can make which pieces and how much we can create on any given day. I wish I had a formula for planning my time, but I’m an enneagram seven which means I’m more of an IDEAS! person and less of a scheduled person.
I absolutely need caffeine for creating.
Do you ever feel creatively blocked? If so, what do you do to fix it?
All the time! When I’m blocked, it’s usually a sign I haven’t rested enough, which sadly is often. My favorite place to recharge is on my porch couch, drinking an Old Fashioned or a latte with my husband. If it’s too cold, I curl up by our fire with a hot tea.
Creativity will always strike again - you just have to give it space! And if nothing else works, I give myself a hard deadline to get motivated.
Best advice you’d give to someone wanting to create and make products of their own.
Just start creating! But also learn all you can about any platform or outlet you choose, whether it is Etsy, Shopify, or craft shows. The more you know about the business side, the better prepared you will be when your products are ready to make their debut.
What song would you use to describe you, your process, and your art?
If we had a music video, it would be set to Divine Hammer by the Breeders.
Share one of your favorite achievements in your creating career.
I was very excited when Anthropologie placed an order in 2011, but it was a lot of work, and I never followed up for a reorder because, at the time, it was just me making everything!
Do you have any goals or milestones you want to reach in your practice?
I think my next goal would be to exit gracefully when the time is right. I don’t know what that looks like or when that would be. Five years? Fifteen years? I have a few maker friends who have been doing it as long as I have and who recently stepped away from their businesses, and I admire the strength it takes to say, “I’m done.”
What do you love about having your products at Embellish Asheville?
Barb and her beautiful store have such great energy, and I feel very special to be a part of her hand-picked collection. She has great taste - how could it not be flattering!?
To me, being an indie maker means:
Tapping into my creativity to do everything from designing to team-building to taxes!
Support this empowered indie maker and shop around for your next favorite Freshie & Zero piece right here at our store!