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Meet Andrea ONeil

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea ONeil.

Hi Andrea, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My passion for anything vintage began at a very young age. Looking back it seems I was always drawn to the classic vintage jewelry that my grandma had, and the antiques that filled our house. Memories of going to garage sales and antique stores, which perhaps were my first true sources of creative inspiration. Years later the elements I find beauty in remain similar, from a rusty coffee can full of keys to old treasures found in a garage and even scraps from a torn down house.

For my business, my husband and I spend a considerable amount of time shopping for unique parts, researching supplies, and crafting each piece myself. The ideas are constantly changing with new materials and concepts, which keeps it inventive and appealing to a diverse clientele.

Antiques and vintage pieces were made to last which is why using recycled and repurposed materials is such a simple choice. The jewelry I create encompasses everything I adore: antiques, vintage items, recycled materials and obviously a little sparkle. Every piece has a story that makes it unique. It was once gently loved, holds someone’s memories, and can be Upcycled as a new treasure for new memories and more love. Hearing that my jewelry reminds people of things like their mother, their grandfather, or a childhood home brings me great joy and is an aspect of this career that I truly love.

I reside in beautiful Southern California, and travel whenever possible to find new inspiration. I am deeply grateful to have the support of my family and friends as I pursue this passion. Their encouragement motivates me to continue down this path of creativity. I am especially blessed to have the support of my husband Patrick, who now is equally excited about the treasure hunt and, also helps me with every street fair and event I take my creations to.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road is ever changing for sure through nearly ten years of my business. I think the struggle for every small business owner is the back-end details that most consumers may not see, or think about. Keeping up with all the social media platforms and keeping everything linked, managing online websites, doing your own photography, and the back end details that are very time consuming and sometimes overwhelming. I think most artists would love to “Just be creative” but these days it takes much more than just producing a beautiful item.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I Upcycled vintage jewelry and other unique antique treasures into relevant current pieces of jewelry. I currently, only sell online and at street fairs and a few larger shows, like the San Diego County Fair.

My husband helps make the Custom One of a Kind License Plate Signs. We repurpose all old, used license plates to make the signs which in turn helps keep them out of landfills.

I pride myself on having one of a kind items that my customers know that no one else will have. Over 80% of my line is handmade and designed by me. Having One of a Kind items, keeps the customers coming back to see what new treasures i have found. I also love that our customers are 8 and 88 years old male and female.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Making customers smile! I love being out at shows and watching customers explore my jewelry and giggle and smile because it reminds them of something or someone. Much of my jewelry and custom signs brings back memories for people and I love that. I also pride myself on the quality of each one of my pieces. I search for really unique different items that are rare and hard to find.

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