On Monday I participated in a career fair with PA Virtual. I got on zoom and had 25 minutes to speak to any students who might be interested in being a “Jewelry Business Owner” some day. I really like talking to kids about what I do. I think it’s important to show them that they can learn how to make beautiful things with their own hands. I think it's really important to tell kids that they don’t have to go to college to make a living or to lead a fulfilling life.
I was exposed to jewelry making in art school but I ultimately learned everything I know about it when I left school to work. I told them that art school is an option but I also gave the students examples of entry level jobs they could look for without any school experience. I gave them online and in person learning resources to introduce them to and then further develop their skills. I explained to them that if they wanted to move forward in their careers, they would have to actively seek new skills and responsibilities from their bosses in the workplace. I also gave them my email to contact me with ANY QUESTIONS. I’d probably die of happiness if someone actually did.
Some of their takeaways were: “I learned that when you own a small business you have a lot of creative freedom to form your ideal place to work.” and “I learned that community colleges offer jewelry making courses that can help you get further in your career earlier; otherwise, it is possible to work your way up in a jewelry store.” Even if I didn’t specifically mention community college, I felt like they got my message. What I wanted them to understand is that they can be creative in the way they make a career and a life for themselves. It felt like the message was received.
On my instagram I said the blog today would be about my distrust in academic institutions and capitalism and what I’m doing about that in my own life. I have a lot to say about these topics and I had a lot written down but for now I decided to talk about the conversation I had with these high schoolers. Encouraging kids to make a way for themselves that they may not have previously seen is important and we should do that more often. You will get my essay on capitalism if you read between the lines of the work I put out and all the other things I am saying. Any maybe, one day, I'll write you an essay.
The photo I featured is a picture of me, Kate Dannenberg and Enamellyse (Ellyse Bendillo). They are a small slice of my jewelry and professional community and they are also my coworkers at Tshatshke!