#TPBTH Meet: ‘Mini’ Mariana Hay
Name, craft/industry/blog/passion, most known handle/website:
‘Mini’ Mariana Hay, jewelry designer, instagram: @minixmari
How did you get started?
I am the fourth generation to work in our family jewelry store Croghan’s Jewel Box on King Street. After graduating from Clemson, I interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a summer internship in the jewelry manufacturing department and I was horribly homesick the entire time. One day I called my Mom and told her I was ready to come home and asked if I could start working at Croghan’s. Mom told me I could but insisted that if I was going to come back I had to come up with my own jewelry line that was specific to Charleston. And so the Goldbugs were born!
Who or what influenced you the most as you were developing your craft?
When I was first starting the bugs I thought I would maybe sell a few and that’d be it. I was so wrong, our customers have loved them and as a result the goldbug line has continued to grow. They are so supportive and I love reading the comments when I Instagram a new piece. I feel like I can really judge how a piece will sell when people start ‘liking’ it on Instagram. I want to keep the bug lovers excited and interested so I am always trying to come up with new designs and ideas.
What inspires you?
I love my job because it allows me to work with my family everyday, have a creative outlet and get to be a part of so many happy occasions in our customers lives.
5. My Mom and my late grandmother inspire me. Mary Ramsay, “Mama” as we called her, had the most amazing collection of costume and fine jewelry. She was also such a force in our community and helped make our city a better place. She inspires us to try to make a difference when we see a need. I have seen my mom take after her and I hope I can too one day.
5 words that describe who you are:
Creative, crafty, always laughing, awkward, chatty
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a fashion designer.
I would say my current job is my dream job, I’m designing, making things, drawing and socializing all day long. It’s like being at a cocktail party everyday and somedays we’re actually serving cocktails!
3 things you aspire to be or do:
Genuine, kind, thoughtful
(Fill in the blank) I appreciate _______ in my life, because _______.
I appreciate my life in Charleston, because it’s such an inspiring place.
What was one of the hardest lessons or toughest obstacles you had to overcome?
Dealing with manufacturing and not having complete control over every aspect of my designs.
Advice for someone who is looking to begin a new hobby/job/life pursuit:
Go for it! You never know what possibilities lay before you. I never thought I would be selling golden cockroaches….but here I am. It never hurts to try, even if it’s a total flop, at least you did something. Always listen to your creative side!
Something your followers would be surprised to learn about you:
I once made a dress of chicken wire for a senior project and was a finalist for an Art Institute Award. I also majored in sculpture in college.
Mexican food and Hometeam BBQ wings
rosé, iced tea
most Rolling Stones and Van Morrison songs
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” -Henri Matisse