We had the good fortune of connecting with Kayla Goldsmid and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kayla, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
To be honest, there was not much thought that went into starting my business. I began taking metalsmithing courses as a creative outlet for myself, to make things that I personally wanted. My initial intention was not to make a business out of it, but rather to have an escape during covid, a place to go to get me out of the house, and to feel like I was moving forward. It was soon after I started creating pieces for myself that my friends started wanting the things I was making. Before I knew it I found myself wanting to make jewelry for others, it made the process of creating even more special – being able to hold the intention of that person in my mind as I worked on their pieces. From there, friends of friends started wanting these items and Kayge was born.
I would describe how I started my business as an unintentional falling into something that seems like it would have been inevitable. For that reason, I don’t think of myself as an entrepreneur, but rather as an artisan. I didn’t start my business wishing to turn a profit, I just wanted to see more and more people wearing jewelry that I made by hand. Something that I created that can be passed on for generations.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Recently I think we have seen a shift in consumerism from buying the less expensive option and being okay with not knowing how it is made – to wanting to buy from smaller creators who are transparent about their process. I like to think that I am a part of this movement toward small batch sustainable production. Using only recycled materials and having a made-to-order model allows me to stand out from other brands that might have similar products because my process is very low waste. Additionally, having all of my jewelry entirely made by hand means no two pieces are the same. Each piece is unique and one of a kind with little qualities that show the handmade nature. Kayge is all about embracing these qualities rather than seeing them as imperfections.
Kayge was born out of a personal desire for handmade, recycled sterling silver jewelry that was simple. Jewelry that could be worn every day in different ways and would last lifetimes. I love the idea that someday the people buying my jewelry now will be giving it to their children. I think in this day and age a lot of jewelry companies cannot compete with that quality as they are using plated metals that will tarnish within a short amount of time. Lastly, what sets Kayge apart is that it is genderless, each piece can be worn by anybody, there is no target audience.
I think the hardest part about building my business was first building my confidence in it. By nature I am not a pushy person, I will never pressure someone to buy a piece of mine. I undoubtedly do not make the best salesperson. When the sales have inevitably dipped at times, it has been hard to maintain my confidence that I am making the right decision in jumping into such a saturated market. Sometimes I have to take a step back and remember that success is not necessarily the number of sales I make. I can define my own success as having found something that I love so much – it doesn’t even feel like work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friends were visiting I would start by taking them to a local coffee shop, either OB Beans or Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. From there we would go grab some vegan pastries at Hazel & Jade Bakery in Hillcrest. Regardless of the weather, I would then take them to the beach. Windansea beach would be at the top of my list because of its unique beauty. Of course, we would need to grab some burritos at Don Bravos on La Jolla Boulevard on our way down there. In the evening, I would take them on a sunset walk at La Jolla Shores, the reflection on the sand is always spectacular. As for drinks, Vino Carta in Little Italy is a crowd favorite. It has such a nice ambiance, particularly in summer when you can sit outside and people watch. We love to try a new skin contact wine (orange wine) each time we go! Ketch is another place that stands out with its happy hour menu of spicy margaritas that are to die for and its view of the sailboats in Shelter Island. Nova in Ocean Beach is another spot we would have to hit up. Although they are known for their kombucha, I personally believe their beer selection is great. There is always great energy in there and even better people watching. As for food, Cesarina would be at the top of my list with its ambiance and amazing/ authentic dishes. And for a little dessert Plant Power’s vegan milkshakes are phenomenal!!
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?
My mother definitely deserves credit here. When I was in fifth grade I asked her to take me to a jewelry-making class but I did not mean a beading class, I very specifically wanted to make a silver band. With little hesitation, she called around to various studios. It was difficult because of my age but eventually, she found a class that would take me. She drove me to that class and waited three hours while I made my very first sterling silver ring (with a lot of help) among a group of lovely ladies.
Another person that deserves a huge shoutout is Jay Whaley, owner of Whaley Studios. There is no possible way I would be doing what I am doing without him. He is an amazing and brilliant teacher who has taught me everything I know about working with metal, I highly recommend checking out his studio in San Diego!
Lastly, I owe my friends and family a huge thank you. My friends are constantly supporting me, wearing their Kayge, and taking cool photos (special shoutout to Charlie Hawks and Cora Mitchell for this). I wouldn’t be as confident in this endeavor without them.
Charlie Hawks Kat Eddie