Creative Women Who Design Successful Business Niches in Charleston
By Baron Christopher Hanson
From jewelry to painting, from mapmaking and metalwork, here are four leading Lowcountry ladies explaining how and why they, and perhaps so many other entrepreneurs, are building their creative companies here in the Holy City.
Our discussions and insights included each of their backgrounds, what it’s like to design or produce something often by-hand, and what challenges they might face as businesswomen and mothers.
What I immediately discovered is that each of these ladies has a deep passion for what they do, including a relevant education backing up their vocations and values. Unlike other cities, Charleston seems to offer them the work-life balance they need.
Kaminer Haislip Designer + Silversmith
Address: Redux Contemporary Art Center, Saint Philip Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Hometown: Aiken, SC
Education: Winthrop University, BFA Jewelry and Metals, MFA Silversmithing
Kaminer is a contemporary silversmith who designs and handcrafts work in a downtown Charleston, SC studio. Her work includes functional objects, jewelry, and custom commission pieces in silver and gold.
Nine years ago, Kaminer graduated from her MFA program. Since, she has worked steadily to build her small jewelry and silversmithing business, albeit with some challenges.
“The most challenging aspect of my work has been creating and building a business out of it. Both of my art degrees taught me everything about being a creative and individual thinker, but the business side of it I had to figure out all on my own along the way. Many hard lessons have been learned about pricing, expenses, invoices, accounting, and marketing.”
How did you get your business off the ground?
“I set up my studio at Redux Contemporary Art Center, which has happened over time due to the enormous expense of equipment. Slowly I have purchased and acquired various, necessary tools and machines to create my work.
What mentors have impacted your business?
“I am fortunate to have found such an incredible mentor in my professor Alf Ward, and I have had unwavering support from my family and husband Matt.
How have you grown your business beyond Charleston?
“By pursuing different locations and types of exhibitions, my work has been exposed to a much wider audience outside of Charleston, and outside the Southeast.”
Her silver and gold works have been displayed in museums, galleries, art centers, competitions, and trade shows in 14 different states, and internationally in three countries. On April 29, 2014 she received the Samuel Gaillard Stoney Craftsmanship Award from Historic Charleston Foundation.
Kaminer sincerely loves what she does, despite the obstacles. She is also very passionate about advocating for hand-made craftsmanship, because the passion for handcrafted objects is also becoming rare.
“For me, it has always been about designing and making objects that will far outlast me. It is incredibly rewarding to draw something from your imagination on a piece of paper and then realize it three dimensionally utilizing similar techniques that have been used for centuries.”
Baron Christopher Hanson is the principal of RedBaron Advisors, a growth strategy, communication design, and PR firm, based in Charleston, South Carolina, serving clients from Washington DC to Palm Beach, Florida. Baron can be reached via (843) 641-0331, or via RedBaronUSA.com.
The entire article can be viewed at http://www.charlestonmercury.com/index.php/en/art-and-culture/271-creative-women-who-design-successful-niches-in-charleston.