Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Pham.
Elizabeth, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My parents were Vietnamese refugees. My mom’s first job in America was working for a small handmade children’s hair bow company called Bows Arts. My mom handcrafted bows and hair accessories. As a child, I was always by her side watching her create with her hands and come up with new designs. I have always loved making things and being creative. I would always pick the craft set over the Barbie.
Since my parents were refugees, they always wanted my brothers and me to grow up and have stable and successful careers in fairly safe fields. I went to the University of Illinois, and I got my MS in accounting. I was a quintessential poor college kid. Instead of buying the latest fashions or jewelry, I would dig into my craft supply box and try to make the pieces that I could not afford at the time.
After college, I worked in public accounting. The work was hard and the hours were long. Jewelry making became the way that I would de-stress. I would always get compliments on the pieces I made, and I had made so much jewelry that I figured I should try my hand at selling my pieces. I officially launched See Song Designs in 2012 on Etsy. See Song is the phonetic pronunciation of a Vietnamese phrase my mom had always called me. It essentially means high-maintenance, so I thought it would be a fun and unique name to brand my jewelry. I sold at my first live event at the Randolph Street Market, and my pieces were a hit! From there, I continued to hone in on my aesthetic and shape See Song Designs jewelry into what it is today.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make fashion jewelry that includes necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. I handcraft each piece from my home studio in the South Loop. I have always loved making jewelry. I love learning new jewelry making techniques and finding creative ways to make new pieces.
See Song Designs jewelry is made with the utmost care and with the best quality materials at a reasonable price point. My collections consist of our classic line which includes everyday pieces that are made with genuine gemstones and 14kt gold filled chains and findings. The seasonal collections incorporate my interpretation of current trends while still being wearable and unique.
I am most inspired by my travels and the materials I work with. I love finding unique color palettes in my travels and just in everyday life. I also love finding new materials to make jewelry with. I love combining different textures and shapes in a unique way.
I always design my pieces with my customers in mind. I aim to make jewelry that is easy to wear and can elevate any outfit. Overall, I try to create pieces that make my customers feel beautiful and confident.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
My advice is to try not to compare yourself to other artists. It’s a hard balance because you need to know what is going on in the market, but you should not get bogged down by comparing yourself and feeling as if you’re not as good as another artist. It takes time to find your unique voice and style, and it will be constantly evolving.
I wish I understood the value of my work earlier on. I was most concerned with making the sales that I don’t think I priced my jewelry fairly, in the beginning, to account for my materials and for the amount of time and work that went into each piece. In the beginning, I said yes to everything from selling at music festivals to churches to any craft fair that would take me. It was exhausting! I learned over time to better vet any markets or pop-ups and to better evaluate the avenues where I sell my jewelry in-person.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My jewelry can be found online at www.seesongdesigns.com or through Etsy. I also do local pop-ups and event which can be found on my Events page https://seesongdesigns.com/events.
- Website: www.seesongdesigns.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seesongdesigns/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SeeSongDesigns
Headshot taken by my husband Daniel Nguyen