We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeanne O’Connor and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jeanne, how does your business help the community?
Though we like our bezels burnished and rings polished, the jewelry industry isn’t always so shiny behind the scenes. The collection of precious metals and gemstones can often lead to negative social and environmental consequences. As a previous Park Ranger and lifelong outdoor enthusiast, I believe that material sourcing matters. Within my small business, I take responsibility by working with ethical vendors to purchase fair trade gems and recycled metals. Additionally, I’ve implemented techniques into my studio practice such as conserving resources and carefully reclaiming metal scraps. Using these materials and approaches, I create thoughtfully crafted pieces that my community can treasure for years to come.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I dreamed of starting my small art business for years, but it often felt unattainable. During 2020, I was laid off from my job due to Covid-19. Though this moment was scary, the weeks after allowed me to open my mind to what would come next. I finally had the time and energy to build a plan, website, and body of work. Starting a business amidst a global pandemic was packed with challenges. Many of my previous roles have been team-based, so it was an adjustment to be working alone from home. At certain moments this led to self doubt. To help overcome this, I’ve leaned into accepting that I will make mistakes- and that’s okay. I keep an open mind to learning new techniques and business practices.

While social media presents its own set of challenges, I am grateful for the resources and community it has provided. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with other artists around the world and learn about events happening in the Denver area. This summer I participated in my first art markets, where I loved meeting fellow vendors and sharing my work with the public. I absolutely love creating hammered textures in metal and recently started experimenting with patinas to add color variation to my work. I am excited to share new pieces both on my website and at markets during the upcoming holiday season!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s always wonderful when friends and family come to visit, because I get to show them how beautiful Colorado is! My itinerary typically includes time in the mountains, checking out our vibrant art scene, and stopping at a few local restaurants.

Chautauqua State Park is a front range must-see, especially when the wildflowers are in bloom. As a previous Breckenridge Ski Instructor, I love taking winter visitors out to hit the slopes in Summit County. For an arts day, I recommend checking out the public murals painted across the Rino neighborhood in Denver or supporting a local theater such as Factory Five Five. As a vegetarian, I am consistently amazed with all of the unique eatery options. My favorites include So Radish, Root Down, and Somebody People. To top it all off, everyone should snag a sweet treat at Rheinlander’s Bakery!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I feel lucky to have earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Metal at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Here, I had influential professors and class mates that pushed me to learn, explore, and create. The nearby Shawangunk Mountains offered inspiration and recreation that grew my appreciation for the environment. The skills and passions gained at New Paltz have followed me through four more states and are prevalent in my day to day life here in Colorado. I love to visit every chance I get!

Website: www.jeannestudios.com

Instagram: @jeannestudios

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanne-o-connor/

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.