We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Hawkinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
As the owner of T. Hawk Studio, I tell personal stories through wearable art. Each piece is handcrafted which means I face design and fabrication challenges daily. I am also responsible for every aspect of my business, so I wear many different hats. As an artist I love working with my hands, but the business “stuff” can be overwhelming. It might be easy to give up if my passion for telling unique stories wasn’t so strong. That’s why persistence is the most important factor behind my success. The ability to keep believing in myself and my vision after a difficult situation has helped me build my reputation and advance my skill level. I have learned that bumps in the road are a necessary part of the process and we can benefit from our failures if we learn from them and never give up.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
T. Hawk Studio is founded on the principles of unique design, quality craftsmanship and traditional bench techniques. From rolling out wire to the final polish, almost every component of my work is made by my two hands (with just a few exceptions). I work with local and regional lapidary artists to handpick my stones and focus on sourcing my materials sustainably.
Challenging the idea of what jewelry is supposed to be is a constant practice in my studio. To me, it’s more than simple adornment and the pieces we choose to wear express our connection to the world. They are talismans, totems, catchers of dreams, moments of a life. They are the freedom to challenge the status quo. My work is full of bold colors, oversized shapes and a ton of sparkle. They may not be mainstream, and that’s okay, because they are meant to be statements of individuality.
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.
First off, you have to have brunch! Swing by Eggingtons for a hand squeezed orange juice or mimosa. Occasions by Cory has the best chicken and waffles flatbread and Grant Street Grocery has over-the-top handmade doughnuts every Saturday morning. If burgers are more your jive, Mouthful and Little Shop of Burgers are the best in town.
After you’ve had your fill at the local brunch joints, head over to the Nicolaysen Art museum. Stop in and say hi to Andy, he’ll most likely give you a tour and let you know all the exciting things that are happening in the local art scene. If you are looking for a truly local experience, the Old Yellowstone District is the place to be. The Yellowstone Garage, Glow Neon Lights, The Lyric, Urban Bottle and T. Hawk Studio are within walking distance. So there’s no shortage of fun places to visit. Rent an electric scooter and get to know the locals.
On your way out of town, download one of our local podcasts for your trip home! Big Stories from a Small Town, Sunday Brunch with Bob and Ray and 3 Wheel Bicycle all offer something different but give an insight into the underground local scene.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Growing up with a single father, I watched my Dad struggle to make ends meet. As a welder, he worked long hours but in the off times he would take on odd projects. Being out in the driveway, getting to push the squishy button to start the welder, and seeing simple tubing transform into bird perches, window well covers and bicycle racks had a huge impact on me as a child. He may never admit it, but my father was an artist too. He took the time to allow me to be part of the process, welding helmet, small leather gloves and all. It was my own brand of dress-up and taught me that the ordinary can become extraordinary with a little hard work, creativity and grit.
It’s also important to surround yourself with people who cheer for you and respect the time and effort you put into your craft. I am incredibly grateful for the clients who trust me with their memories, for the fellow artists who build each other up and for the brands, like Isoterics Apparel, that trust me to make pieces that fit their vision. Without them, none of this would be possible.