We had the good fortune of connecting with Bianca Havens and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bianca, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?

When I first began my career as a jewelry artist 8 years ago after taking the leap and hoping I grew wings from working full time in the medical field. I can say that work life balance was a huge struggle for me.
We are so accustomed to earning a paycheck and living on a schedule.
I didn’t know how to not work because I felt overwhelmed to constantly be producing to bring money in to pay bills and reorder supplies.
I was trying to find my place in the jewelry world to be myself and imbue that into my body of work and dabbling in different jewelry mediums trying to find my niche.
On top of that I had 4 children and a husband and when I started, they were little, so it was a lot to juggle you know being a good mom,wife,friend and just running a household on top of creating time for my business it was quite stressful at times!
After a few years It got to a point behind over working myself and just not taking time for myself and to just live, exist and forgot to enjoy life that I started to hate making jewelry.
In all honesty it took literally several years to find my balance.
I had to learn to trust the universe to always provide and it always does.
I now have, in a sense, somewhat of a working schedule for the most part but if I am not feeling it, I don’t force myself.
I take time to just do nothing if I need it and I don’t go into panic mode.
I do often still feel guilty that I’m not doing “something” I just have to tell myself that’s just my high functioning anxiety talking and to just relax.
Resting and selfcare are vitally important especially as a creative person.
I am so much happier now that I found balance.
I call it my happy place!
I love what I do and I’m very passionate about making jewelry.
I take time to enjoy dinner with my family at the end of the day and normally take weekends off to enjoy family time, vacations and for selfcare as needed.
The most important piece of advice I would offer to new business owners is to always take time to enjoy daily life and don’t get consumed or you will lose the whole goal of having your own business in the first place which is to have more freedom, more time and to live a happier and more fulfilling life.

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.

I was born and raised in New Orleans, and I have always considered myself an “artist”
At a young age I started out drawing cartoons, comics, and caricatures with pencil and pen.
Down the road in my teens, I began painting and making weird dolls and doing macramé type plant hangers & macramé hemp jewelry and eventually I would incorporate that hemp macramé jewelry with beads in the 90’s during my rave scene days.
Fast forward to 1999 I became pregnant with my first son.
My family wasn’t offering any support and we were about to be new parents we were terrified.
We left the last day of 1999 on New Year’s Eve and headed to live in Arkansas in a little town called Eureka Springs.
This is where my at the time fiancés family had been living since leaving our home of Louisiana.
I kept doing art throughout my pregnancy but then I gave birth, and I had the worst artist block ever!
I didn’t do any art for a very long time but eventually we moved to a bigger town in Arkansas called Fayetteville in 2001.
I was working at a bar as a dancer and I began making body jewelry like ornate belly button jewelry, body chains and even nipple jewelry accents with Swarovski crystals and chains and selling it to girls I worked with to wear on stage.
I think that is what really started my interest in jewelry making even though it was a hobby at best.
Many years later and life passing and now being a new mother again in 2012.
I found the world of Instagram online.
This was a whole new world to me of artists on that platform selling their art and making a living it was amazing to me!
Growing up and wanting to be able to support myself through my art I was always told that it wasn’t possible, and I would have to get a real job etc.…
I had always loved jewelry all the woman in my family wore sterling silver/turquoise bracelets up to their elbows and had rings on every finger, so I grew up being enamored by it.
As a child my family gave my sister and I jewelry to wear but it was often gold, and I never liked gold I always wanted to wear the silver like my mother and aunts.
I began collecting silver jewelry myself when I got old enough to buy it and acquired quite the collection.
I was seeing all these jewelry artists on Instagram, and it really perked my interest.
I slowly started buying tools and various stones and gathered crystals I had dug while living in Arkansas.
I began doing Tiffany Technique which was a jewelry art form I had learned about online via Instagram that really inspired me.
I loved the raw organic look it had, it reminded me of jewelry worn on the fantasy characters of some of my favorite fantasy artists like Luis Royo, Boris Vallejo and Brom.
It just had a real medieval & dark fantasy vibe that I loved!
I started with a lot of trial and error at the time there were no instructional videos to learn like are available now online, so it was a hobby while working my medical job.
Eventually I started showing photos of the jewelry I had been making on Facebook.
People started asking to buy some of my pieces.
I had an Etsy account I started back in 2012 so I decided to utilize it and opened my own shop in 2014 which I called Paletree Arcana.
After selling my jewelry on that platform for about 6 months I was unhappy working my day job and I was making twice as much from Etsy with my art & jewelry then I was my day job.
I ended up giving my two week’s notice at my job and never looked back!
I wound up leaving Etsy in 2017 behind a lot of changes and outrageous fees and started my own website on Shopify which is where I still sell today.
Through all my years of creating art jewelry I started with Tiffany Technique eventually learned to do copper electroforming and then silver plating and sand casting to make my own components for my jewelry.
My main goal from the very beginning was to be able to eventually Silver Smith full time.
It was just an expensive art form to get into with all the supplies and tools needed etc..
In 2018 I payed 275 dollars and took a little 3-hour class to learn to make a sterling silver ring and after that I was hooked!
I dipped into my savings and ordered a ton of new tools and a oxygen/acetylene torch set up and my silversmithing journey began.
It was very hard trying to transition because of the price difference between the old forms of jewelry I was making and silver jewelry.
Silver is not cheap as the price goes up and down with the market.
It honestly took me a few years of working, creating and selling all the different Jewelry mediums I had been doing combined in my website.
I didn’t go full-blown into the silversmithing until the beginning of 2021, and I changed the name of my business to Bone Church Jewelry this past new year 2022.
I went with name Bonechurch because with my silver jewelry I work with lost wax casting.
I use a 20-ton electric hydraulic press to do pressings from old antique die replicas some of them being from old religious artifacts.
 I have a growing collection and sometimes have the dies made to suit my needs.
I make components for my silver work so essentially, they are the bones of my work.
I have invested a lot of time and a lot of money into my art form.
I do still make and sell Tiffany technique jewelry just in smaller batches.
I am proud of how far I have come and that I was able to make it in a over saturated market of jewelry creators & for everything I taught myself over the years.
So here I am today completely head over heels in love with it and so happy I took a chance on myself and my love of art and achieved my dreams.
My brand essentially is made up being able to find beauty in darkness.
I see a lot of jewelry artists flip flopping their styles to try and stay relevant.
I just refuse to make something that I don’t resonate with to make a dollar.
I create what I love and jewelry that I personally would like to wear.
Staying true to myself and my personal style and aesthetic is very important to me as a artist.
I am enamored by dark yet whimsical things brooding from the dark gothic even macabre to dark fantasy and fairytales after all you can’t have light without the darkness ~

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

My husband Jordan Havens without his believing in me and my art when I wanted to quit my job and make jewelry full time.
His love, support and pep talks when I was down and out and feeling like a failure I never would have gotten here.

Website: www.bonechurchjewelry.com

Instagram: https://Instagram.com/bonechurchjewels

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bonechurchjewel

Facebook: https://Facebook.com/bonechurchjewels

Other: tictoc.com/@bonechurchjewelry

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