Hello, and thanks so much for visiting Rustica Jewelry! I'm Linda Blume, the owner, artist, designer, and maker of Rustica!
I began making jewelry in 2009 while still a full time scientist. I have a BSc and MSc in biology and chemistry and worked in the pharmaceutical and research field for about 10 years. In 2008, I took a job with the marine fisheries service which landed me in New Jersey, and coming from Colorado that was a huge change! Not knowing many people, and being a crafty person, I knew I needed to pick up a new hobby or project to occupy my time. Since I love hands-on creating, I decided to make myself some earrings as I was always searching for perfect pair with no luck. How hard could it be, right? Well, after buying some beads, wire and a few tools, I got busy and was hooked! Over the next several years I took a few classes, read tons of books, watched a lot of YouTube and taught my self more advanced metalworking techniques.
As my collection of jewelry grew, I started attending small craft shows to sell my new creations. I remember my first show making a profit of $35! In 2010 I joined Etsy and have been on there since. As my business grew it became more of a struggle to balance a full-time job and a side business. Fortunately in 2015 I was able to "quit my day job" and run Rustica full time! Currently I am coming up on my first full year of running my business and couldn't be happier! It is hard work, a bit stressful and times and long days but totally worth it.
Along this journey I have learned so much about business, creating, selling, marketing, but more importantly I have learned self confidence, independence, and realizing what is truly important in my life. I have created a business which is continuing to grow year after year, and have created a way of life in which I can determine my happiness and freedom. It is truly wonderful for me to design my day and work according to what benefits my productivity rather than conforming to someone else's "work day".
I have also met so many wonderful people that have been so encouraging and helpful! I feel so fortunate to have build a relationship with so many amazing clients that have been so supportive over the years! I cannot say thank you enough to these people that have helped make my dream a reality!