Shop Etsy

A Creative Career Commences

Aug 16, 2011

by Vanessa Bertozzi

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

When soon-to-be alumni collected their caps and gowns at this year’s Rhode Island School of Design commencement, they also picked up a compact pouch that packed a punch. It’s called the Artrepreneur Kit. Amongst the goodies inside, grads found a letterpressed faux airline ticket with details on the Hello Etsy + RISD fellowship, which is awarded to the RISD recent grad or alum whose Etsy shop shows the most promise.

Kellie at graduation. Photo by Allyson Riggs.

Today we’re excited to announce the recipient of this fellowship.

We will be sending Kellie Riggs of KELLIERIGGSJEWELRY to the Hello Etsy Summit in Berlin!

 Hello Etsy + RISD Fellowship ticket included in the Artrepreneur Kit

Hello Etsy + RISD Fellowship ticket included in the Artrepreneur Kit.

Her classical architecture-inspired jewelry is fresh and unique, and the care she’s taken to present them professionally in her Etsy shop really shows.

RISD Exposé

RISD Exposé

We were also impressed by the statement she submitted as part of her application:

“I have tried to initiate pursuits I feel embody creative entrepreneurship wholly… In the fall of 2009, with the support of RISD’s OSL, I co-founded, designed and organized the RISD Exposé, a fine art and design sale. The mission was not only to give students the opportunity to show and sell their work, but also to build a bridge between the RISD community and Providence.

“Within my own work, I want to follow in the footsteps of artists/designers like Isamu Noguchi and Gijs Bakker, who straddle the line of fine art and design as commerce. I feel I can be both an artist and a jewelry designer/maker, creating environments where I can work in both ways simultaneously.”

Final Crit at RISD

Kellie prepares for her final crit at RISD. Photo by Melissa Finkelstein.

While in Berlin, Kellie wants to connect with other people working in fine art jewelry. She told me, “There’s a great contemporary art jewelery scene in Berlin. I want to explore fine art and jewelry in Europe.” Unlike those who may feel they need to fit in a tidy box  — either fine art jewelry in a gallery setting or commercial jewelry designing — Kellie is interested in “doing it all.” That’s what makes her a creative entrepreneur, blazing her own path. “People think they have to choose if they want to make or design. Today people are interested in trying to do both.” We hope that Kellie finds the combination of concrete business tips and intellectual inspiration that she needs at the Hello Etsy Summit. We will be hearing from her upon her return…

For more information on the Hello Etsy Summit, please check out the website. And if you’re not able to make it to Berlin, we are hosting 5 satellite events the weekend of September 17-18 in Portland, LA, San Francisco, DC, and Brooklyn. Streaming the talks in our Online Labs will be an option no matter where you are. DIY Summits are happening in Raleigh, Hudson, and Detroit. You can host in your town!

If you’re a RISD student or alum, please join the RISD Etsy Team. There are now over 600 members!

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