Andria, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today? Growing up, my mom was a single parent. Often times, she had to work a lot just to provide for my sister and I. Most of my childhood was spent around my grandparents while my mom would be at work. After school and before school, I would spend time with my Abuelita. That is where my jewelry making skills began. I remember being in Junior high and after school, I would walk to my Abuelita’s house every day. I would work on homework then help her make jewelry. I loved it. Since then, I’ve collected beads and materials from all over and in the meantime practicing my craft.
Now, I am 26 and love creating jewelry and accessories now more than ever. My family has always encouraged me to be my true self and accepted me for who I am. If not for them, I would not be creating and designing jewelry and accessories.
Over the years, I have picked up numerous techniques and have worked with different materials such as hemp, beading, leather, metals, ceramics ect. For a long time, my love for making jewelry was just a hobby. I would surprise family members or friends with something I made them.
It took me a long time to get to where I am now. Acquiring skills and knowledge over the years didn’t happen in one night. The more I practice, the more confident I become in making my hobby into my career one day.
I had tried launching some jewelry pieces I designed for an online website I was creating in the summer of 2018. After six months have passed, I have yet to make a single sale. But I wasn’t quick to give up. I went back to the drawing board and did more research. I was still in the beginning stages of branding as well as creating inventory. It wasn’t until February 2019 Andria’s Tienda opened for the first time at the Mujeres Mercado. I had a few items half of which sold out within the first hour. I couldn’t believe it. Since then, I haven’t stopped. Now, I vendor twice a month. I make custom keychains and jewelry inspired by my culture and upbringing. I put so much love into everything I create. It brings me true happiness when people are excited to buy from me.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you? It took me six months to make my first sale. If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. My advice is simple when there’s a will there’s a way. Support those that support you. It’s better to have friends then the competition. Anyone could be anything they want nowadays thanks to social media. Be true to yourself and find what works for you.
Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of. I must admit, I’m still learning a lot about different techniques. I can’t say I specialize in one thing. If someone were to ask me if I can do something I will do my best make it happen. I can’t consider myself a master of anything because I know there’s always something new to learn.
I am proud of all my jewelry and accessories because I can honestly say that they are original pieces by me. I personally don’t like copying from other jewelry designers. I consider that to be the same as stealing someone else’s artwork. I may get inspiration but that’s not the same as copying. I am a little late in the game so everything has been done before. It’s challenging enough to find something that people are willing to buy, especially when it comes to jewelry because there is a lot of competition. That is why research is so important to gather before you create your brand.
The simple fact that I, Andria Muñoz have created something sets me apart from everyone/everything else. I dedicate a lot of love and thought behind all of my creations.
What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career? Everything is temporary. Your job, school, significant others, friends ect. All of that can change within a year. Continue to focus on you and the big picture. The world can wait for you. Be true to yourself, love yourself and never let go of your dreams.
We had the good fortune of connecting with Andria Muñoz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andria, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally? Absolute freedom. The freedom to create and the freedom to control how I spend my time is very important to me in this life.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more? I chose I profession that is constantly evolving. I enjoy challenging myself by reinventing new or older jewelry designs. Thinking outside the box is like an adrenaline rush for me. Designing has always come easily to me. I spend a lot of my free time researching and educating myself on ways that could enhance my skill level. I began using clay to make charms. After I got more comfortable I began using Epoxy Resin. Now I plan to start using metals, such as silversmithing. I got to where I am today by constantly pushing myself too better my skill sets. I think life is much easier when you have an open mind about learning. It took a lot of long hours and money to get to where I am today. In the end it was all worth it. This is my passion and it truly makes me happy. I want the world to know that I design jewelry that took a lot of thought and time out of me. The most important thing is that it’s made with love.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? I would not be where I am if it were not for the Mujeres Mercado and the non profit, E.L.L.A. I remember my very first pop up like it was yesterday. I remember feeling happy to be around a strong community of women. Since my first pop up a year ago I have met so many people. As time passes, I began to develop personal relationships with most of my clients. I want to give a shout out to everyone that took a chance on me and invested in me. Every person who has purchased something from me has helped me grow my business.