We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Blaire and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, how do you think about risk?
Life is messy and taking risks is part of it. Risk has launched me from a journey of struggle to healing, and from being another employee on the books to entrepreneur. Six years ago, after some uncontrollable events happened, I was faced with some big changes — the biggest being that I had become a single parent overnight. This was the most risk I had ever faced in life, but I knew deep in my heart that I was moving in the right direction. From this, I had the opportunity to rebuild life entirely, just as I dreamed of, within my role not only as a person, but as a mother, and in my career. Transitions like this can be extremely scary, yet the reward of the risk, comes not in the risk itself, but in what comes after.
Circumstances like this can happen to anyone. What’s truly important is to remember that even in the darkest of times, we have a choice in every moment to move in a different direction – Don’t like where you’re at? Pivot, change! For myself, challenges built my character extensively, providing me with all the lessons, strength, and empowerment needed to fuel growth in my personal life and career. I hope that by sharing this, other people can learn that challenges can be a blessing when you channel your energy in a positive direction.
In addition to the personal struggle, my previous jobs were all great foundations for learning. At each job, my goal was to learn every role that existed within the business, from menial tasks to ownership roles, so one day I would be able to open a business of my own. I also took classes in Business Administration and International Business in college — although there nothing more valuable than first hand experience and the life lessons.
Aside from traditional education, I’ve also always been a creative, and fulfilling my artistic drive through work, has forever been a dream of mine. I always wanted to explore more things in life that filled up my soul, so I decided to take a silversmithing class for fun. After just one class, I fell in love with the trade — it fulfilled everything I had been searching for. Without question, silversmithing was going to become my business. And on came the next risk. Right away I invested in all the tools and equipment necessary, and set up a studio space in my home. It was a huge investment, with no guarantee for return. When I started creating, the work just flowed so naturally. From there, I gradually grew from word of mouth ordering, to being fully branded as Silver Salt and Stone Jewelry.
Through these risks, I have learned there is no room for doubt, and in my mind, it’s simply just not allowed. Although some people may think owning a business is too hard, or being a single parent entrepreneur is impossible, it is not. Yes, some days the struggle of a woman who wears many hats is real – but within every struggle you have a choice of how you want to experience things. My life has been really hard, but taking the risk to pursue my dreams was the best decision I ever made.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
From day one of Silver Salt and Stone Jewelry, it’s been a direct reflection of heart. The business is an extension of my creative self and I’m thrilled to work a job that doesn’t fit the 9-5 mould. Was it easy? No way – and many days are still laced with challenges. Is it worth it? 100 million percent YES. The business serves as a blank slate for all my ideas to come to fruition, and provides a space to create in many mediums beyond jewelry. Within the brand you can find my love of hand crafted work on each piece of packaging that I stamp myself, my love for people in the welcoming social experience of the custom jewelry process and my love for design in the mindfully chosen aesthetic of photos and online content that I produce. When all these elements are built with intention, they come together behind the scenes to create not just the jewelry, but also the experience of Silver Salt and Stone as a whole. Something that I believe sets me apart from others is my plan to always maintain balance. While I intend to remain involved in every element of the business for all the years to come, I have also made a commitment to myself to never fall into the traditional 9-5 and to constantly create time for family, travel, adventure! Currently, I am the most excited about the release of my new website: www.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend visiting me here in Oceanside, it would be a blast. In the recent years, Oceanside has grown a lot, yet also kept its presence as the surf vibe town that I love!
For the first day of the trip, we would hop on bikes to cruise the beach. Stop one would be for a mid day coffee at The Cup on Wisconsin street or Steel Mill in downtown. From there, we’d go for a ride along “ the strand”, a walk on the pier and a harbor cruise. We would end the day at Dija Mara, because they have Balinese food that’s to die for.
Day two would be a simple beach day. Surfing is my favorite past time and the beach is part of my roots. In the summer, the weather and water are warm so the beach is where you go! On the way to the beach, we would grab a sandwich from Cream of the Crop, our neighborhood natural food store, my personal favorite worth sharing.
The following day we would drive about 30 minutes south to San Diego and bring our bikes to get around. First, in Little Italy, you have to grab an espresso con pana at Papalecco. From there we would hit the farmers market for lunch and shopping. Next stop is Sunset Cliffs beach via a scenic ride through Hillcrest, Mission Hills and Ocean Beach, making sure to stop at Presidio Real de San Diego on the way. It has a beautiful view and historic architecture. For dinner, I would recommend “The Joint Sushi” in Ocean Beach and an overnight stay at a coastal air bnb of your choice.
The fourth day would be spent exploring Balboa park after breakfast at Working Class. We would visit museums, grab lunch at Panama 66, explore the botanic gardens and dinner at Tajima in Hillcrest.
For day five we would head back to North County for breakfast at Beach Break Cafe because it’s been our go to breakfast spot my entire life. Afterwards we would spend the day bouncing around the local the thrift stores, antique malls and art shops, and end with dinner from La Perla Tapatia, the best Mexican food in town.
For the last few activities of the trip, we would visit the California Surf Museum, Hike Lake Calavera and Torrey Pines State Reserve. Good food is a must, so we definitely have to hit a few more restaurants that can’t be missed. First, the The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza, because it has the best wine list and pizza in town, and Buona Forchetta in Encinitas because it has a Montepulciano and an Italian vibe like no other!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this shout out to a few people who have touched my life with love, education, mentorship and support.
First, I would like to thank my fiancé Zach Johnston for supporting me through every step of our life together. He is my rock. He also helps all my ideas come to life because he takes all the beautiful photos for Silver Salt and Stone Jewelry. I wouldn’t be where I am today personally or in my business without him. (@zach_jphotos) Same goes to my creative, artist mother, Jeri Miller (@jeri_miller_) who inspired my dreams and provides me with so much love and support. And also, my father, Mark Miller, because of the sound wisdom and advice that he is forever willing to give.
I would also like to thank my friends and talented artists, Alicia and Brad over at Learn Lost Wax Casting and Hi Octane Design for teaching me the foundation of silversmithing and helping me brand my work. I would not have been inspired to make jewelry without their classes, their support and their inspiration in the jewelry world. (@learnlostwaxcasting @hioctanedesign @silverbotanica @hioctanejewelry).
Last, I dedicate this shout out to my son Lincoln, who always give me purpose to push forward no matter what life brings. Thank you for always being by my side sweet boy.