We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Montilla-Pérez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patricia, what makes you happy? Why?
I find happiness in my everyday life, with mundane tasks but above all, I really enjoy the “creation” process. All my pieces are made with raw materials such as silver, gold-filled, gold, and natural stones ethically sourced. I love to take a piece of silver wire, select a stone from my collection, put them on my bench, and after a few hours of work, a new ring is born, a ring that someone will wear and cherish.
The time I spent working on a piece makes that piece special, a little bit of myself goes with every piece created and that thought makes me happy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Jewelry making is a very competitive market because lots of already-made pieces come from overseas at a very low price point. This makes it hard to grow and be successful. Far from being discouraged, I keep on building my jewelry business every day, sticking to my values and quality standards. I thrive on providing high-quality material and locally sourced natural stones. My work ethic combined with my creative mind makes my work special.
I produce small batches of jewelry pieces and I normally work on one piece at a time, focusing all my attention on it.
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?
For a fun visit, I would definitely start with a small hike around Julian such as the Stonewall. Then, I would take my friends to any of the local places to try the famous apple pie. Back in San Diego, we would stop in la Jolla Cove to enjoy the wildlife and if we feel adventurous, we would go snorkeling with the seals.
After that, to enjoy a beautiful view, we would stop by Mount Soledad and Kate Sessions. For lunch, we would visit my favorite taco shop, Taco Shop la playa, in the heart of Mission Beach. There you can find all types of Mexican food with delicious vegetarian options.
To spend the afternoon, I would let them discover Balboa Park and Seaport Village. Finishing with a fine dinner in Little Italy to discover places like Monello.
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?
I have always liked jewelry and have been creating bracelets and earrings with beads and wires since I was a little child. It was with the pandemic that I decided to learn how to solder. I first created a reagent list by reading all the blogs available and watching many videos on Youtube. It has always amazed me how people share their knowledge on the internet and put so much effort into creating very didactic videos.
Once I got all the materials, I started my metalsmithing journey. It took me a couple of tries to make my first ring, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed on the videos but everything worked out. In the process, I contacted some jewelry makers on Instagram with many questions and I was gladly surprised to see that they were always willing to help me with insights and advice.
If I have to give a shoutout to someone it would be to the metalsmith community on social media, especially to @metalsmithsociety for constantly sharing tips and tricks, to Stardust Mine Jewellery for creating awesome jewelry-related videos on Youtube, to Metalsmith Academy for creating such motivating content on how to run a jewelry business and many many more.