originally from WHERE WOMEN CREATE
Chelsea Farmer is the owner and founder of HorseFeathers Gifts - an online jewelry and lifestyle company that gives modern women globally inspired and locally rooted designs to express themselves. Educated in gemology and energized by lots of color, Chelsea loves connecting with real women and their real stories through handmade jewelry.
I was born in Kentucky, but my family was moved to Rhode Island when I was two years old—and from there, all over the world. As a Navy child, I grew up all around the world. I spent most of my childhood traveling Europe while we lived in Spain and Italy. We moved back to the States when I was eight-years-old, including the South and Great Plains. We really did live all over!
According to my mom, I’ve been making pretty things since birth. My mom is incredibly artistic and always had projects for us to do. I remember painting, coloring, and making jewelry from the time I was three-years-old. We would spend hours making decor for our home. Mostly, we were always trying to bring color into the boring, white-walled military base housing we always lived in. I’m always looking to bring more color into our lives because of it!
I feel like being a creative person has opened my eyes up to more beauty in the world. I see art in everything around me. I am inspired by colors in old buildings, flowers, and sunsets. It is intertwined with how I grew up and my passion for traveling and connecting with the world. I find joy in the differences in cultures and styles, architecture, etc. I am always looking for patterns, and color combos, and textures.
My heart is drawn to the world and all it has to offer and see. Even though my roots were—and are—in my Kentucky home, my heart branches all around the globe. Creating is a way to pull those branches back in and draw all the inspiration and joy I have discovered and the memories I’ve made in so many places. It pulls it all back home—and lets me share my heart with the world.
My style is influenced by my travels. It is best summed up as globally eclectic, as it is influenced by colors and textures that I have seen all over the world. Not being from just one place, I find myself feeling quite at home almost anywhere—or maybe everywhere, some eclectic combination of everything.
Our studio is located in Owensboro Kentucky overlooking the beautiful Ohio River. We moved here in 2015, and after having lived all over, this just feels like our corner of the world. It is our favorite place to be and to come back to, even after international travel or scooting around the country in our renovated Airstreams. (We have had a few over the years.)
It is always nice to take a break. I like to just physically step away. If I am feeling stumped in the studio, I will grab my son and we will get outside. Being in nature always seems to refresh me and inspire me. The Ohio River practically runs through my backyard so there is always something to explore. We also have three rescue dogs who keep us moving out there and help us to just stop and enjoy nature.
I also try to get out and get involved in the community. Sometimes, we will just hop in the car and go volunteer at a church—either with jewelry or something random. Recently, my stepmom and I spent a day cutting fabric for a quilting circle at a local church. Just talking with others, hearing their stories—and playing with multi-colored fabrics—brought lots of fresh creativity! It is not long before a new idea pops into my mind.
As an introvert, I do thrive most when alone in my studio. As a mom, sometimes just a quiet moment is all I really need. It is always refreshing, and important, to get together with other creative people and get recharged.
I love encouraging and inspiring other women to fulfill their God-given talents. I’ve made so many wonderful friends over the years simply by reaching out to them on social media and complimenting their work. Being a creative person can be very lonely sometimes. I’m thankful for the artsy women I have met over the years and the encouraging community that we have build through these friendships.
If ever there was a time to turn your creativity into a career, this is it! When I started this journey back in 2009, people looked at me when I was crazy when I said I make jewelry for a living. Friends on social media would see me traveling around the United States mingling with celebrities and be totally shocked that at 21, this was my life. Etsy was still kind of new.
Social media was still new for a lot of people. These days, everyone knows someone who sells online—on a website or through social media. That stigma is not quite there anymore—so go for it, learn from others, and create your own path!
Social media has positively impacted my business over the years. I love connecting directly with our customers from all over the world and forming actual relationships, more than just a sale here and there. This allows me to get a better feel for my customers and what they are looking for in our pieces. Over the years we have developed such a great following and we regularly ask their input on new designs and projects. I enjoy allowing customers to become a part of this business.