Courtney Weil is the founder and designer of one of our favorite online jewelry brands called "Crafts and Love." Today, she releases her latest 'Greece' collection, so we sat down to talk about the new jewelry, and also her humble beginnings.
First off, tell us about yourself and how you started getting into jewelry making!
Growing up with two brothers, I quickly learned I did not want to play Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers nearly as much as they did. Instead, I taught myself how to make jewelry at a young age. Fast forward to college, I was fundraising for a mission trip to travel to Nicaragua and stayed up late one night setting up an Etsy shop in an attempt to buy a plane ticket. Much to my surprise, it worked, and my first sale was to a complete stranger! That feeling of excitement, nerves, and relief is totally unmatched. I fully funded that plane ticket with jewelry sales, and also developed a love for selling and promoting my own creations. During graduate school, I had slightly more free time than undergraduate work, so I spent that time channeling my creative notions into more of a cohesive brand, and it has grown wonders since then.
What's the aesthetic of the brand?
I adore simplistic beauty and combine gemstones and vintage findings into minimalist jewelry for the fashionable woman on the go. I envision my jewelry as those pieces you reach for day in and day out when you're running out the door for a busy day. I want my jewelry to be wearable and minimalist, but have that unexpected element of style that make my customers feel unique. I don't consider my jewelry 'art', but rather utility and wear-ability are more important to me; I want my jewelry to be unique but neutral enough that it will match dozens of outfits in your closet. I also tend to gravitate towards long, pendant necklaces with vintage and romantic-inspired components.
What is your dream for Crafts & Love?
Overall, I hope to be able to spread love with my craft (hence, my name!). Not only do I want my customers to feel beautiful when they slip on a Crafts and Love necklace, but I also want to use their investment into my business to spread love elsewhere. I recently had the honor of welcoming Yerosen, a precious 8-year old living in Ethiopia, into our Crafts and Love family. Every month, profits from Crafts and Love are sent to Yerosen to pay for her education and basic needs. I am so humbled to financially support precious Yerosen, but also to lift her and her family up in prayer. I hope to not only be a stable part of her life, but to be able to do the same for more beautiful souls in the future.
The new line launches today. Can you tell us a bit about it? What are the new pieces like?
So today I just launched 40 new pieces in our Greece Collection! You'll find lots of turquoise pendants, loads of fringe details, vintage chains, and gorgeous, lightweight pieces that are perfect for summer adventuring!
Atlanta is growing to be a whole new society - It's almost a new hub for the vintage-esque bloggers and DIY-doers. Tell us about living and working there!
Absolutely! Living in Atlanta and being a part of the small business community is really exciting right now! Just within the past 5 years, Atlanta has grown immensely in it's creative scene, from the growth in festivals and markets, to gorgeous murals and street art, to the revitalization of forgotten landmarks. I am constantly meeting new creatives and this community has been the most encouraging and uplifting communities I've ever been a part of. We all want to succeed and the proverb "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" rings true in my mind all the time, when I find myself getting advice from my peers. It has been truly unique to have peers who also have jewelry businesses (i.e. competitors), who choose to mentor, help, and grow together, instead of the pretending to be competitive and weird. Living in Atlanta has been the perfect place to launch Crafts and Love, and I am extremely humbled day after day at the number of customers here who choose Crafts and Love.
Photographs // Rustic White