We had the good fortune of connecting with Lori Steenhoek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lori, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was always drawn to the idea of being my own boss and setting my own expectations. There’s the thrill of owning all your successful moments as yours, and that has always been a huge motivation for me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I design and make 3D-printed jewelry. Everything starts with an idea, then I create a 3D model of the piece. Since I work digitally in the beginning, I am able to conceptualize something before I create it in metal. With 3D-printing, the ideas are limitless, and it allows me to create one-of-a-kind and custom pieces for someone with their input and collaboration. People come to me with ideas, where they’ll say, “I have been looking for something like ____ forever, but I can’t find it anywhere” Then I can help design a piece exactly like what they are looking for. My background is in architecture and design. For 15+ years I worked creating 3D renderings and animations of spaces and buildings. I started to turn that knowledge over to creating jewelry, which was a big outlet for my own creative ideas and energy. Working for yourself is never easy. There are days when you have to wear hats you never expected to put on, whether that is doing taxes and payroll, or figuring out the shopping cart system for a website. One of the lessons I’ve learned is to know when to seek help, and know when to do it yourself. If you find yourself getting away from your craft, and the things that speak to you most, that is when it’s time to hire out for help. I want the world to know that I am all about creating meaningful pieces of custom jewelry that tell a story. There is no better feeling than gifting someone a thoughtful, intentioned piece of jewelry that holds love and meaning.
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?
Oooohh, I love the opportunity to show people around DC. I’ve lived here for 15 years and have so many favorites. We’d hop on a bikeshare and explore some of the local neighborhoods. I love to wander around and look at the rowhomes on Capitol Hill, explore the murals and live music on U street. Definitely a stop into Goodwood and search for some fun vintage finds. We’d have cocktails at Coconut Club in Union Market, do some shopping at Shelter and La Cosecha, then walk down for dinner at Maketto on H street NE. DC has so much to offer that’s not on the typical tourist map. Sure, if you’ve never been before, you should visit the museums and memorials and cherry blossoms, but the real side of DC is the art and the people and the off-the-beaten-path gems.
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?
My husband, Matt. He has always supported my efforts, told me to ‘go for it’ without ever hesitating or second-guessing my ideas, and has been the one with the steady job that gives me the security to take risks and follow my dreams.
Ana Isabel Photography Lauren Louise Collective