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Meet Jessica Hesse of Saltybabe Bangles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Hesse.

Jessica, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I lived in Hawaii and started noticing all the tinnie bikini wearing beach babes had stacks of these shell bangles on their wrists and of course I wanted stacks of my own. After realizing they sold for $100 each!!! I took a few classes and learned how to make my own. I moved back to Cali a few years later and had friends ask me to make some for them, then friends of friends than a few stores…

Most of the bangles and jewelry I make came from someone asking me if I can make something they saw or thought of and it been a real seamless evolution.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I keep my business really small. Mostly because its all I can manage right now while also watching two little babes. Probably also because I’m scared. If I tried to go big and failed I think I’d be so sad. I get discouraged when I start looking on Etsy or certain shops online because it seems like what I do has been done but I try to listen to my customers and my fans that have had their bangles for years and still wear them every day and that makes me confident and happy.

There are months I put it completely on the backburner and then there are months where I feel on FIRE I think that’s probably normal and it works for now.

Saltybabe Bangles – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We make bangles. Silver, gold, rose gold, bangles that can be plain or have any number of natural elements on them. All bangles come on a cardstock that talks about the properties of that particular metal or element such as lava, feathers, shells, crystals, sandalwood, agate, pearls, druzy quartz and much more…

We also do simple metal stackable rings and nettled pearl rings. Our hoops mirror our bangles in that they can be made like any of our bangles just wired for an earring, they are fun and big and bold.

We make everything by hand. All soldering, dremmeling, pounding, polishing… you name it from start to finish it was made with love in our shed that resides in our backyard. My husband does the soldering and me and the kiddos do about everything else. It’s truly a family affair that has been shaped by our customer’s visions and requests along with our own visions and ascetics.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There was a day when my son Sterling was hammering with me in the shed and he looked at me with such pride and said, this is fun mom was making jewelry together! I about died right there I felt so proud of us and a sense of genuine badassery came over me like yeah mom makes this jewelry by hand and people wear it and love it.

Also putting the first baby bangle on my little girl was another moment that I just felt so proud her tiny wrist looked so cute with her own bangle that we made her… those moments mean the most to me.

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