Jeweler Jessie Morrow has opened a showroom for her jewelry line and a place to shop for modern homeware items that “match the aesthetic and ethics” of her own work.
“I feel like this is the natural next step for my business,” she said.
Material Wit in the Our House Building (across from the food co-op) is open Thursday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The week before Christmas, it will be open every day.
After selling her wares at fairs, Morrow met a variety of artisans who created work she admired.
“I had quite a catalog in my mind of these hand-made things that I wanted to carry,” she said. “The majority are U.S.-made and most are from the West Coast.”
Her store has pottery, pillows, personal care items and office and kitchen accessories. She calls her inventory “unique, beautiful and useful.” Morrow’s main studio is at home but she also has a workspace in the shop. The store is named after her jewelry line.
When she moved to Orcas, Morrow worked as a farmer in Olga. Ten years ago, after she couldn’t find jewelry that she wanted to wear and could afford, she started making her own from hardware parts.
“I love working with my hands,” she said. “We have such a supportive community and people kept buying what I was creating.”
Morrow sold her pieces at the Orcas Farmers Market and craft fairs along the west coast. Stores from Brooklyn to Seattle now carry her line, and half of her business is supplying wholesale items. She still sells her hardware jewelry at The Artworks in Olga.
In the past few years, Morrow made the move to creating carved wax casting molds for her brass and sterling silver designs. The metal casting is done in Portland, and she puts on the finishing touches like soldered jump rings and chains.
“They are designed for longevity,” she said. “Making that leap in quality redefined my brand.”
Morrow says she has “a tomboy aesthetic” and describes her work as minimalist, utilitarian, strongly feminine and no frills.
She creates one major collection per year – this year it was named Hiyu after the ferry – and she plans to have a signature collection with her best-selling pieces.
“Brass is an affordable metal that can have a color match to gold,” she said. “I use simple forms and I let them speak for themselves.”
Her husband Justin Blevins and their daughter Zoe, who is four and a half, are thrilled with the newest chapter of her career as an artist. When she isn’t working, the family goes on hikes in Moran State Park and Obstruction Pass.
“I’m a workaholic so it’s about appreciating the little moments,” said Morrow.