Interview with Hallie Chavis 10/20/2020
Hallie Chavis, a San Diego native, is a mixed medium jewelry maker specializing in acrylic, resin, polymer clay, and beadwork. After almost a decade of living in San Francisco, Hallie moved back to San Diego and began Shop Cholla in 2019. Her goal was to offer vibrant, lightweight, and affordable earrings that people would be excited to wear. Her work heavily draws upon modern, abstract color palettes, and the Southern California deserts.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently spending a lot of time on my acrylic styles that I offer. Acrylic is so versatile, and I’m really enjoying learning what works and what doesn’t work when hanging from an earlobe! I’ve also been focusing on rebranding my packaging to create a more cohesive “on-brand” experience for my customers when they order from me. Since I’m primarily an e-commerce brand, I count on my earring cards, care cards, and shipping tape to create a meaningful experience with each order.
How has this pandemic affected or shifted your practice/changed your projects?
Since March, I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to shift into my jewelry full time. The pandemic has been an interesting opportunity to focus my sights solely on social media, and e-commerce, versus potential in-person opportunities. I’m grateful for each person that purchases a pair of my earrings, and for my repeat customers that help me to continue creating unique earware!
What has your journey been like as an artist or creative person?
My journey has been fairly all over the place. Since I was young, my Dad, a painter, has shown me the world of paint, photo, stained glass, clay, and much more. My Mom had connections in the precious gemstone and fine jewelry world, and with so many art forms surrounding me growing up, I knew I wanted to do art of some kind. In high school, I was positive I would be a photographer; I worked at Distinction Art Gallery in Escondido and had my work shown there twice, and at a gallery in Silverlake, CA. After moving to San Francisco, I felt extreme imposter syndrome being surrounding by so many wildly talented artists, and decided not to pursue photography. For years, I experimented with watercoloring, chainstitching, weaving, embroidery, painting, sewing, and nothing stuck. The first time I picked up polymer clay in 2019, something clicked for me. I had always loved jewelry, am a self-proclaimed “avid big earring wearer,” and finally felt a sense of self as an artist.
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming, or rising artists/creatives?
My number one tip is to jump into it. You’ll make mistakes, undoubtedly, but absolutely nothing compares to real life experience, and the trial and error of the creating process. It takes hard work and time to find your own groove, your own style, and your own process – but it is so worth it! The very best time to start is right now.