It’s hard to turn down the request when local jewelry designer, Chanel Fernandez calls to schedule a photoshoot involving custom Trident pieces, with a Graphted-influenced twist. Chanel designs nature-inspired jewelry worn everyday by outdoor enthusiasts to elegant brides, and everyone in between. Her brand curated with passion, inspired by artistic expression, and exhibited by you! you’ll see, there’s something for everyone, and I could not wait to see what she had come up with for our future shoot . In the Meantime Here is a sneak peek of what’s in store in and the interview with Chanel!
Although I have been an artist for as long as I have been able to hold a pencil, I started taking design seriously about 3 years ago, in 2013.
What's your favorite part?
Having the power to bring my visions and fantasies to life. Also, there is something so cathartic about losing yourself in the design process. All of life’s troubles fall away when I am at my design table or crouched in the dirt somewhere, viewing the world through my camera lens.
How was home life for you growing up?
While I have a solid relationship with my father, my younger sister and I were raised by my mother and her parents. Because my sister suffers from chronic illness, life was not always stable or predictable, but I remember being generally happy and appreciative of what we had nonetheless. My sister’s suffering and close encounters with death always helped me keep perspective regarding what is really important in this life. We never had a lot of money, but my mother always strove to give us the best she could, and that was always enough for me.
Were you always supported in your endeavors?
I have always been supported by the people who matter most to me. But I am only on the cusp of being taken seriously as an artist and designer. Until recently, I have felt that my social sphere has viewed my passions as mere hobbies. But as I push forward toward my goals of molding my passions into a career, people are slowly yet steadily realizing my potential to actually succeed. The more seriously I begin to take myself, the more everyone else follows suit.
What’s a typical day for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day! Right now I balance a part-time retail position with running my multiple business ventures from home. A day “off” from work usually includes a mixture of social media networking and promotion, photographing product, and time in my studio producing handmade jewelry and accessories.
What is the biggest challenge you faced in your career?
Generally speaking, the biggest challenge has been making enough time to be successful in building my own business. There are so many factors involved when you are a one-woman team. My mother has joined my business as an assistant designer and creative director, so this has made a huge impact on time management issues. No matter what, I approach all of my obstacles with a “HOW do I overcome this?” rather than a “CAN I overcome this?”
What has been your biggest achievement?
So far, my two most influential accomplishments have been getting my jewelry into its first boutique and having my first essay published in the “Angels and Miracles” edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself successfully supporting myself on an income based solely off of my business ventures, whether it be photography, writing, jewelry design, or some beautiful marriage of the three! If I work VERY hard, I would love to be able to support other members of my family as well.
What's your favorite design of yours?
I love (almost) all of my art or designs in different ways. Each piece has a piece of me in it, and I must accept and appreciate them each in their own right.
Any other additional hobbies?
Writing poetry, drawing, reading, and dancing Salsa.
Photography- or designing ?
Not sure what this question means…. I love them both? But if I had to choose, photography truly has my heart. Design is just a way to enhance and capture “the shot” the way I see it in my mind’s eye.
What's your favorite quote?
“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” Vincent Van Gogh
Do you have any shows or events coming up?
My jewelry designs will be hitting the runway for the second time in TruLuv Media Fashion Showcase on December 3rd and jan 21st. As well as showcasing in MIAMI jan 29th.
What would you tell anyone doubting themselves?
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. It starts, or ends, with you. Be your own biggest fan, supporter, and others will follow. Energy is contagious. Stay positive and COMMIT to your goals. Wanting something is not enough: commitment and action will get you results!
Who inspires you?
Of course I’m inspired by big names in jewelry such as Betsey Johnson (for costume) and David Yurman (for fine jewelry). But in everyday life I am inspired by the ever growing community of women I am engaging with who are fearless in the pursuit of their dreams. If they can do it so can I. And if I can do it, there is nothing stopping YOU.