Through My Naptime Jewelry, jewelry designer Michelle Stangl makes handcrafted essential oil diffuser jewelry, custom birthstone necklaces, nose rings and wire wrapped stud earrings. In another lifetime, Michelle worked in the kitchen as a Pastry Chef. As such, she took many classes involving sculpting and creating edible works of art. In her new endeavor with jewelry, she likes to think that her creations are now not just edible and can be enjoyed much longer than say, a cream puff. Michelle is thrilled to be doing what she loves and making things that may brighten up someone's day. Making jewelry is something Michelle always loved doing, and when the kids are sleeping, she finds herself staying up (really) late, and thinking of various gemstone lovelies for friends or new techniques to try out. Her shop name, My Naptime Jewelry, comes from her most productive time: nap time! While the kids are awake, life can be a bit crazy. She lives with the mom mindset of: give, give, give, go, go, go. But, then, her favorite time of the day comes around. While they're sleeping.... Ahh, the silence, time almost stands still. A perfect opportunity for Michelle to focus on something for herself. To create, to be inspired, to just be. She gets all of that from making a simple necklace or earring.
Read Michelle's full interview below and check out her jewelry in her Etsy shop here!
Talk about the beginnings of My Naptime Jewelry. What inspired you to begin this endeavor?
I started making jewelry in high school to help combat hormonal migraines. I took a break after graduation. Went to college, got married, had kids, gave my entire day to my family, and realized that I needed something for myself. So I decided to pick up my jewelry tools again in 2015.
How has your business evolved? How have you evolved?
After I started up again in 2015, I loved it so much that I ended up making a very large amount of jewelry during my children’s naptime. I realized that I had too much jewelry to actually wear or give away as gifts. A friend of mine suggested I do a craft show to see if I could sell some of my jewelry. During my first craft show, I nearly sold out of all of my jewelry. It was then that I knew that I had a gift and I needed to use it.
Have you always been creative? What forms or channels have you explored in your creative journey?
I have always enjoyed arts and crafts over sports or studies. I did stained glass and glass bead making, choir, and musicals in middle and high school. I went to culinary school in 2007 to become a pasty chef, and really enjoyed baking and decorating wedding cakes for nearly 5 years!
What are the most important aspects of your creative process? Do you find the process fulfilling?
I think the most important aspect of my creative process are the feelings of accomplishment that I get from designing and creating a piece that really sells well and people love and wear on a daily basis. That to me, is absolutely fulfilling!
What is special about your jewelry?
I think my jewelry is special for two reasons, the first reason being that I started out making jewelry while my kids were napping, hence my name, My Naptime Jewelry. I think people can relate to that, especially mothers, who have been in my very shoes. They know how precious nap time is and how important it is to find something for yourself when you're giving your entire day and life to these little people that need you constantly. The second reason I think my jewelry is special is that it is essential oil diffusing. I use volcanic lava beads on nearly all of my pieces, to create beautiful, every day jewelry styles with a multi function of being an oil diffuser.
What is your home community like? Does it inspire you creatively?
My house is hectic at times, and now that my children are not napping, it's even more hectic! My children are independent, yet they still need their mother. I work from home, so it can difficult for me to separate time for my kids and husband, and yet be firm enough to designate enough time to complete all of my business tasks. All still while making sure that I'm actually ENJOYING making the jewelry! If I'm not enjoying it, I need to take a break and do something else for a moment.
Why is local important?
I think local is important because when you buy local you are supporting your community obviously, but you're also supporting a stay at home mom like myself to help provide for their family and for their future. You are helping accomplish something for herself in the midst of giving her all to her family, all the while giving her children an even better reason to look up to their mom, who had a dream, went with it, and is successful!
What do you see for the future of your business?
This is a tough question. I want to see growth; I want to see employees added; I want to see My Naptime Jewelry in more shops around the Twin Cities area and across the United States. There's something about being that successful that seems a bit scary for me. I have yet to climb that mountain.
Do you feel like making and creating through My Naptime Jewelry allows you to contribute to something larger than yourself?
Absolutely, the first thing that comes to mind is what my children see in me. I hope that when they grow up and they are faced with whether or not to pursue a dream or pivot in a "safer" direction, they remember what their mom did when they were little and they saw her dream become a success; and that would give them the hope and confidence to achieve their dream.