We had the good fortune of connecting with Hallie “Hal” Chavis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hallie “Hal”, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I definitely believe in taking calculated risks. I wouldn’t be where I am today without taking the risk of leaving my steady corporate job to move back to San Diego, and I wouldn’t be working full time on my brand had I not taken the huge jump to leave my clients and pursue jewelry as my full time gig. Getting older has definitely given me more of an ‘if not now, when?’ mentality. The perfect time to start was yesterday, and the next best time is right now. After looking for guidance from my super business savvy aunt, she helped me realize that there is no “perfect time” to take the leap, and that all of the checkboxes that I wanted to hit before I left my job were going to keep adding up. After that conversation with her, I realized that if I wanted to ever pursue Shop Cholla full time, I had to take the risk and bet on myself to be successful. Since being employed solely by Shop Cholla, I’ve started making jewelry for myself, and people like me, instead of making jewelry I think would sell, and it’s been working really well for me!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My jewelry is definitely big, bright, and colorful, and that was the intention behind starting Shop Cholla. Since the beginning, I’ve made it a priority to make really interesting jewelry that you can wear all of the time, and not have to save up for a pair that you really want. If I had to choose one thing that I am most proud of, it would be that my brand has become recognizable to the point where people will message me saying that they met someone else in their city wearing Shop Cholla’s and they had a bonding moment over it! That is hands down one of the coolest things that I will never get tired of hearing! Quite frankly, there have been many really difficult parts of my journey with Shop Cholla, and mama didn’t raise a quitter, so I absolutely am where I am because of tenacity, and just the sheer will to survive, and not fail! Something that I’m proud of myself for, as a business owner, is that I am looking to grow my business intentionally, and thoughtfully. About 6+ months ago, I finally invested in a laser cutter, last month I expanded into an apparel line, next month I will be introducing a wholesale arm of my business where my clientele can shop other small makers – for me, measured growth is the key to stable success, and I am always laser focused on how to create and maintain a sustainable brand for me to work on forever! The biggest thing I want someone to know about Shop Cholla, is that I am just a 27 year old woman making cool jewelry, and looking to get people excited about wearing my art – my brand is fun, relatable, and 100% me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Prior to the pandemic, San Diego was thriving with small businesses, and it is crushing to look at the growing list of places that are closing due to it. It’s really important to me to support local restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bookstores, vintage stores, nurseries, etc… as much as I can, and I would urge anyone coming to San Diego for a visit to do the same! Since I work in North Park, I tend to stay around North/South Park, and City/Normal/University Heights. The now closed iconic Bar Pink, and Lancer’s had been our go-to spots to hang out and play pool. I always enjoy breakfast at The Mission, a sandwich from Fat Boy’s on University, fried chicken bao from Underbelly, and a california burrito from Saguaros. I like to spend (too much) money at La Loupe Vintage, North Park Nursery, the tons of thrift stores, and of course, the swap meet. Oh and definitely the Wild Animal Park. There are some really incredible places in each neighborhood of San Diego, no matter where you go.
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?
In lieu of writing a full book on how the following people have helped me in my life, I’ll try to keep it succinct, the artistic recognition for me goes to my super artistic dad Mark and my rad boyfriend Shea. The business recognition has to go to my aunt Jenn, and my stepmom/business coach Grace, and the just straight up cheerleader, tell everyone about me, help in any way they can have to go to my mom Erin, my sister Hannah, and my very very best friend ever, Emilie. Every day I ask at least one of them for help, guidance, or input, and wouldn’t be where I am without the best team of people I could ever ask for!