today i going inside the studio of upper metal class! i first learned about upper metal class when i was browsing the brika site. i am completely in love with all of t's creations, they are simple yet so uniquely designed. i love the triangle necklace and sunset earrings among many other items in her collection. i was so excited when jen and kena of brika helped connect us together. i got a chance to spend some time with t hearing about her creative journey and watching her make an exclusive item for brika. keep reading below to see and hear more.
tell us a little bit about upper metal class, and what you were doing before you got started.
before upper metal class i worked in the clothing and footwear industry for a good amount of years till eventually the high stress and intense pressure got to me. i ended up taking time away from it all to re-evaluate my priorities in my life and while i was trying to figure that all out i took on various jobs from working in a department store selling high end handbags, to assisting wardrobe stylists on feature films to working in an office that produces commercials. i was in a hard search for what that special thing was that i was most passionate about and it wasn’t till i stopped looking is when my hobby of making jewelry turned into something much more then what i had ever imagined it to be. it’s just something that i fell madly in love with to the point where i am excited about everyday of my life.
can you describe your creative process
for the more creative designs i normally don’t sketch too much down onto paper. if anything i’ll mostly write down ideas, themes or descriptions of what i like to base my designs on and then get to work on playing around with my tools. most of the times it’s a lot of trial & error and various levels of frustration, but eventually the end result is a happy one.
what inspires you?
my designs are inspired by architecture, math, science, nature and objects seen in everyday life. but i’m mostly inspired by people that i come into contact with whether it’s in my personal life or even those i read about or follow. just seeing the creative talents in others and what they can do is so inspiring to me.
what is your favorite piece in your current collection?
my favorite piece always tends to change like music. like a song it brings upon a certain time in my life and a feeling that i end up reminiscing about. i made the im-perfect faceted necklace at a time in my life where i was feeling like all my decisions were becoming more like mistakes. that nothing seemed to be going my way, but i realized that if it weren’t for those failures from the risks that i was taking i wouldn’t be where i am today. all flaws and imperfections make us all who we are and that makes us all as perfect as perfect can be.
what is the most important thing you’ve learned since starting your business?
learning to take risks and knowing that any sort of failure is more like a win and a step forward to making things happen. i think if you’re not making any mistakes then you’re not learning enough. all the struggles just make us smarter, stronger and better in life.
what has been your favorite moment so far?
my favorite moment is waking up in the morning and knowing that i’m doing something that i love.
where do you see upper metal class in 5 years?
i just want to keep progressing and continue to be able to connect with others through my jewelry.
thanks to t for having us in her studio. be sure to check out upper metal class on her website and on brika! and go purchase these cute back to back earrings now!
PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG