Jewelry by Jake: Uncovering the Beauty Underneath
We’re meeting a local artist who starts with stones and ends with jewelry.
Jake Childs is practically self-taught, and now he’s sharing his knowledge with others.
“I grew up in this area and I’ve worked for some great people, had some great jobs, but it was really tough for me to find a job that I was really passionate about,” he says.
“I apprehended a lapidary machine when I was 18 years old and it was just kind of a fluke,” he says. “I started using it, sanding it, started getting shapes, and it was really just a hobby at that point.”
He started by just taking stones, sanding, shaping and polishing them to a shine, uncovering the beauty underneath.
The stones find him, and he finds a place for them.
At first he was just selling them to other jewelers. Then he decided to branch out himself.
“It is time consuming, and it’s not only less cost-effective sometimes, to you it yourself because of the equipment and things but just don’t get the most quality design,” he says. “I think, if you were to start to finish and you’re passionate about the design all the way through.”
Today he takes his creation from found stones to cabochons–to a finished piece of jewelry.
And this enterprising entrepreneur is pretty much self-taught.
“You start to learn what kind of tools are available to make this shapes and bend these wires and mend them and stamp them, it’s really just kind of a roller-coaster once you take off and you get into a new skill set and you learn new ways to do it and that’s when your designs really start to take off,” he says.
And along with his designs, so has his business. Today Jewelry by Jake is thriving.
“It was a hobby that slowly grew into more and more weekends and more and more time after work doing it, and I just got to a point where now I have to allocate myself full time to the trade and I love that it’s really what I want to do,” he says.
And part of what he loves is the fact that he’s taking a piece of Northern Michigan and sharing it with his customers.
“That’s my favorite part about it really, trying to drive this brand of Northern Michigan that we have here,” he says. “We live in the most beautiful place in the world, in my opinion, we have the most beautiful beaches, scenery. We also have some of the best artists, I believe.”
Jake is not only good at what he does, he loves to share his knowledge.
He’s planning to teach classes this summer, but it goes beyond that.
Just recently, Jake made it official by starting an apprenticeship program with Northwest Michigan Works!—a trend we may start seeing more often in Northern Michigan.
Learn more by watching the video above, or by heading to jewelryjake.com.