Fresh Faces :: Hannah Robbins

Somewhere in the last 30 days, June happened. But it happened quick, y’all – I feel like I was anxiously awaiting the start of the summer, and just like that one-third of it disappeared before I even had time to realize that it was happening. I blame the general busyness of being an adult, and also some big changes happening in my personal life, but that’s a post for another day.

While the start of a new month may leave me sad for a quickly disappearing summer, it also means that it’s time for a new Fresh Faces. Today, we’re focusing our attention on Hannah Robbins, July’s Fresh Face and an all around awesome gal. I met Hannah several years ago when she joined my sorority in college. Despite being three years younger than me, Hannah has always served as something of a style-inspiration for me (this girl has stinkin’ cute style, y’all), and that inspiration quickly expanded to jewelry when Hannah opened her handmade jewelry shop, Hannah Claire Designs. And you know what’s also cool – Hannah calls our June Fresh Face one of her best friends (you’ll notice a lot of Hannah’s jewelry in Cara’s pictures).

I chatted with Hannah about her Etsy shop, her inspiration for designing jewelry, and what it’s like to have such a creative hobby:

Hannah Claire Designs, July Fresh Faces

Hannah setting up shop at Austin’s 787 event.

When and why did you get started making jewelry? What about Hannah Claire Designs?
I grew up with a mother who would look at everything and say, “Well, I could make that.” So naturally, every piece of jewelry she liked, she attempted to make. It wasn’t long before she was teaching me how to bead and wire wrap. My desire to make my own jewelry developed while I was working a jewelry store throughout high school and college. Hannah Claire Designs was born a little over a year ago when I decided to open an Etsy shop and officially start selling my designs!

Tell us a little bit about the business.
My business is small, and runs on creativity. I am all about inspiration – constantly taking photographs of everything that inspires me. My jewelry is my take on things, so everything has a unique spin on it. I do a lot of business through Etsy, but the majority of my business comes from trunk shows and events.

What is your favorite part about making jewelry?
There is something about making jewelry that allows me to easily get lost in what I am doing. Making jewelry allows me to relax while putting my creativity to work. On top of that, jewelry will never go out of style, which will challenge me to always come up with fresh, original and unique ideas.

Was this what you thought you would be doing when you were 10 years old? 
When I was a little girl I knew I wanted to do something creative but I just wasn’t sure what. I come from a very entrepreneurial and creative family, so I knew I wanted to start my own business selling my creations (whatever those creations may be).

Do you see this being your future? If not, what do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
I currently work full time for a real estate firm, but you can bet that I am making jewelry in all of my spare time. If my future allows, I would love to continue making jewelry whether it be full time or on the side. 

What’s your favorite part about being a part of the Etsy community?
Etsy has allowed me to expand my business more than I could have ever imagined! Because of Etsy, I have sold to customers in over 15 different states and sold to customers that I have never met. I now have a whole new customer database that I wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise. 

What about jewelry brands – who is a must buy for you (besides Hannah Claire Designs, of course)?
Having worked at a jewelry store for 6+ years, my jewelry designer rolodex is only growing. Some of my favorite jewelry brands include- Zoe Chicco, Rebecca Lankford, Jamie Joseph and Jennifer Fisher.

What advice do you have to give to anyone looking to get into jewelry making, or looking to start their own business?
Do what YOU love to do, do not make it about others. The only way to truly be successful is to be happy with what you are doing. On a more technical level – make sure you do your fair share of research when it comes to buying materials, creating designs and starting a business.

Hannah Claire Designs, July Fresh Faces

Hannah working on her jewelry, photo credit: Miriam Rousseau

Hannah Claire Designs, July Fresh Faces

A few of Hannah’s pieces

Let me guess – you want more of Hannah and her infectious personality…and her jewelry, of course.  Follow Hannah Claire Designs on Facebook or Instagram to see all her amazing jewelry and receive constant style inspiration. Or go pick a piece out for your own collection at Hannah’s Etsy shop.

Let’s roast a goat

I’d like to say that I’m an adventurous eater.

My boyfriend may disagree with that, but I’d say that I am open to trying anything once. So when my friend (and local chef) Brian invited me to a goat roast that he was having, I knew I had to go, despite never having tried goat (or cabrito, as he called it) in my 25 years. Now, I’ll be honest – part of me was hesitant. I love me a good burger or venison chili, but other red meats are typically not high on my list (I didn’t grow up with a meat adventurous family unlike aforementioned boyfriend). But like I said, I will try anything once, and knowing that Brian has worked as a chef at some of Austin’s culinary hot spots – like this one – helped cement the fact that if I was going to try cabrito, it might as well have been with him because it was DEFINITELY going to be done right.

The BBQ started around 4, though it’s important to note that the goat had been roasting over an open-fire spit for hours previous to that. I should mention, I have another weird thing about meat – I understand where meat comes from, but I kind of prefer to see it when it no longer resembles the animal that it previously was. So, you can imagine how I reacted to a goat roasting over a spit (not great). To help myself temporarily forget about that small piece of information, I kept busy chatting it up with friends (both new and old), challenging people to games of cornhole, or stuffing my mouth with Sour Patch Kids, my new favorite bad habit.

Even without food, this would have been an awesome BBQ; but then we got to eat. Remember when I said that Brian is a chef? Well apparently he is also a grillmaster. I haven’t the slightest idea of what a roasted goat, or any goat for that matter, should taste like, but my expectations are now set fairly high. Looking back, I’m not sure I could even describe the flavor of the meat, but I do remember how delicious the char and smokiness tasted, and how perfectly it all paired with the taco fixings that Brian had at the ready.

But it wasn’t all about the goat. If you come from the South, you know that no BBQ is complete without some slow-smoked brisket – this one was no exception. And y’all, I’ve had my fair share of brisket from some of the top-rated smokehouses in Texas, and Brian’s version was up there with the best of ’em. The meat had enough fat around the edges to hold in the moisture and flavor, but was lean enough to appeal to freaks like me who cut off every bit of fat on their meat before eating it. And again, the smokiness – spot on. Oh, and it basically melted in your mouth, which is EXACTLY how I like it. To be honest, I ate my brisket plain; that’s right, no sauce. But y’all, us Texas folks will tell you that that’s the way brisket should be eaten, and anyone who tells you otherwise is just plan wrong.

It was a great day overall – good friends, good games, and good food, which is really all I can ask for. Now, I just need to convince Brian to invite me to every single home-style culinary creation festival he ever has in the future…

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My home must-have

Like most girls, I like to buy things.

But here’s the thing – you won’t find me coming home with shopping bags from Anthropologie, Forever 21, or Express as often as you’ll see me walk in the door with three West Elm, Barnes & Noble, and IKEA bags in tow. A new article of clothing is great every once and awhile, but I’m really a sucker for home decor.  One of my favorite pastimes is to dream about my future home…you know, the one that I can fill with new, beautiful accessories for each room.

Alas, that dream won’t be coming true for quite some time, so I’m stuck limiting my home shopping to things that will easily move around and will fit in with my future forever home decor. With those limitations in place, one thing that I’ve come to absolutely love buying is coffee table books. There is something so entertaining about a book full of interesting stories and pictures. Not to mention, they’re great decor for a coffee table, and can be a fantastic conversation starter.

My roommate and I currently have a small stack of coffee table books covering our makeshift coffee table (aka a side table that holds our trinkets and an occasional coffee mug). Every time I sit in the living room, I love looking through the three or four books on that table. But I often think how nice it would be to have a collection of books, giving us the ability to alternate our coffee table stack depending on the company for the night or the time of year.

Unfortunately, coffee table books come with a higher price tag than regular run-of-the-mill paperbacks, limiting my ability to purchase them on a regular basis. But you can bet that I have a running list of all the dream books I one day hope to adorn my beautiful (permanent) coffee table. Here are a few that currently stand at the very top of the list:

Coffee Table Books

 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

For me it’s coffee table books and other small accessories; what’s the one thing you can’t leave without when you see it at a store?