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Meet the Maker: Jacqueline Davis of Surface Handmade

Photo via @surfacehandmade Instagram.

Hi Jacqueline! Congrats on the launch of your new website,! We are so excited to finally release our collaboration necklace, the Link. After we had our initial video meeting/ chat discussing ideas, tell us about your thought process for creating the necklace.

Hi! Thank you! I am excited about the release as well. I think it is going to be a great fit for your beautifully curated store. When we spoke about collaborating, I understood your desire for a minimal statement piece. The Link necklace takes the basic Surface cylinder shape a step further by layering another cylinder piece on top. It adds just enough while keeping the piece minimal.

What was your inspiration for naming the necklace Link?

After our initial conversation, I played around with the few designs trying to decide what would be the perfect fit for your store. My Mom is one of my biggest fans, and so like all loving daughters, I shared my designs with her and sought her advice. She loved the simple cylinder with the small additional cylinder on top. She was so excited about the design that I decided to give it her maiden name, Link.

Link Necklace in black // Photo by: Jen Eun, Model: Kacie Williams

We love getting to know people's stories. Tell us about your story. How did you get to where you are now?

I was born in Nashville TN and raised in a small town just south of Nashville called Franklin. It was in Franklin that I began my fascination with fashion. After graduating from High School, I decided I wanted a career in fashion so I attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and obtained a degree in fashion merchandising. It was during my time at VCU that I began to experiment with designing clay jewelry. Since my graduation the hobby has begun to grow into an exciting business. I am so happy to be working on something I am passionate about!

We discovered your necklaces about a year ago in a small boutique while visiting Richmond, VA. At that point you didn't have a website yet and only had 1 photo posted on your Instagram. It's been so great to see your collection and stockist list grow since then! What were your plans for Surface when you first started it? What is your vision for Surface now?

When I first started, my plan was simple. I was just making a few pieces that my friends and I would enjoy wearing. Once I started sharing my work with a larger audience that plan quickly changed and grew. I am now focused on expanding Surface to include other jewelry items and housewares. I also plan on collaborating with other designers and stores in the future.

Photo of when we first discovered Surface Handmade in October 2014.

Have you always wanted to be a jewelry maker? How did you come across using polymer clay as your medium for jewelry making?

All my life I have had the habit of taking jewelry apart and making it my own. I can’t say I had plans to be a jewelry designer, but I could have seen it coming. Over the years, I developed an allergic reaction to different types of metals and it become increasing hard to find jewelry that didn’t cause me irritation. Clay and leather just worked out to be the perfect medium for me.

Do you plan on expanding your collection beyond necklaces?

YES!! I am so glad you asked this question. There are some surprises in the works for Spring 2016!

What inspires you?

I am most inspired by other designers and shop owners. It is very exciting to see so many people creating and so many shops that are dedicated to selling these handmade goods. What's the most enjoyable thing about doing what you do? I most enjoy the act of creating. I make each piece by hand, so each piece is an entirely new creation. Oh, and that I get to hang out with my dog, Birdie, while I work.

What does your typical work day look like? Walk us through it.

Wake up early with the sun, light a candle, put on music and just create.

Photo courtesy of Surface Handmade.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to a creative who is looking to launch their own business?

Hard work pays off.

How / what outfit would you wear with the Link necklace?

Simple simple simple! I would pair it with your favorite dress, or relaxed top and comfy denim. Ease is key.

What are your current faves? (Can be a food, movie, music, book, person, thing, etc).

Right now I am obsessed with Richmond local, Pete Curry’s new album Advice on Love. You can hear it at

Thanks, Jacqueline, for doing this interview with KALEIDOS! Be sure to check out our collaboration necklace, the Link HERE!

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