We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Ng and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heather, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
I did not sacrifice my dreams because I had a child. Growing up I saw my mother dedicate twelve years of her life to nothing but me and my brother. When she and my father got divorced she had to immediately find a job but had been out of the work force for twelve years, she ended up having to start all the way back at the bottom and rebuild her entire career. That stuck with me. I wanted to become a jewelry designer and a metalsmith and to one day have my own brick-and-mortar. I got pregnant with my son at 30, and that same year I started my apprenticeship. It was never an easy road having a small child and working full-time. However, I thought it showed my son two very important things. The first was that you didn’t have to give up your dreams for another person. It’s possible to have both. I wanted to show him that his mother was a strong and independent woman that could pursue her dreams AND be his mom. Lastly, I wanted him to understand the he isn’t the center of the universe. That might sound harsh, but making kids feel like everything revolves around them leads them to believe those same ideas when they are adults. My job is to raise a confident, independent, critical thinker and my way of doing that is to lead by example. He sees that having a dream requires hard-work, determination, tenacity, flexibility and will, but he also sees that it’s entirely possible to achieve that dream.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My father is from Panama. He moved to the United States for college and got his citizenship not too long after becoming a civil engineer. He believed in the American dream-that anyone, regardless of where or what class they came from could achieve success in this society. In his mind, that came from hard work and good education. When I was 11 he sent me and my brother to Panama City to live with family for the summer and work in my uncle’s book-binding factory in Colon (an hour each way!) He did this so we would learn the work ethic. Now, as you can imagine that is not what an eleven year old wants to be doing with their summer. At the time it was the worst thing in the world. I’m not sure if that particular event made me “learn” the work ethic, but working hard was definitely embedded in my subconscious from my father. That drive and commitment got me through the first six years I was learning to be a jeweler while juggling being a full-time mom. It was really hard. I gave up going out, I would work over getting exercise, I would have to turn down vacations to go to an art show. It put a lot of strain on my relationships, and it wore me down physically and mentally. I don’t have to work as hard as I did in the beginning, I’m now at a point in my career that I can be more relaxed, but that isn’t easy for me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be creative all the time, to churn out collections, to wear all the hats. That’s the hardest thing for me to do, to accept success, to be okay with slowing down. I still work on that everyday. I want to inspire confidence in people, and I think you get there by believing in yourself, by expressing yourself, and not giving a damn what anyone else thinks. My hope is that a little of my story of perseverance and tenacity infuses the jewelry that I make.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For anyone visiting me in Boulder, I always take them to Chautuaqua to hike up to the Flatirons. I think they are the most iconic Boulder sight. The best would be to catch some music at Chautauqua Hall, and a sunset drink at the Flagstaff House.

I’d show them the stores along Pearl St. from the East End to the West End and walk the bricks in between. Maybe dinner at Japango, Jax or Oak, and then a show at The Boulder Theater.

We’d definitely head down to Denver and check out the shops along South Broadway, then grab a drink at Death & Company at The Ramble Hotel, hit Uchi for dinner and then the jazz club Nocturne for late night music.

You can’t come to Colorado and not visit the mountains, so we’d go to my favorite mountain town Crested Butte for mountain biking and wildflower gazing, and then wind our way over Kebler pass to Aspen’s nightlife and shopping. Hopefully camping along the way and getting in as many hikes as possible.

After our bodies are tired from all the playing we’d hit Avalanche Ranch hot springs outside of Carbondale or Glenwood Springs for a soak.

I’ve converted many a friend from visitors to transplants!

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?
The women in my family! My mother and grandmother are wonderful role models for me. It takes an amazing amount of courage to start over again and be a single mom. My mom really showed me that women are strong, resilient, independent and can still be amazing mothers. My grandmother raised three kids on her own, managed a successful career with only an 11th grade education and somehow always dressed impeccably. She infused a sense of style and love of fashion early on in my life.

Website: www.bohemi.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bohemijewelry

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.