We had the good fortune of connecting with Mo Hayden and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mo, how do you think about risk?
I think the biggest risk I’ve taken is choosing to believe in myself – that my work has a place in the world. It’s a risk of the heart to put something you make out there. The first time I had a sale of a few pieces on my instagram I felt sick to my stomach. All the doubts are so loud – what if I put myself out there and nobody meets me? What if I buy this expensive piece of equipment and people suddenly stop wanting my jewelry? In one sense, these things are not huge risks. But feel huge emotionally! Being brave enough to make work, to risk it being seen, and to be ok regardless of what comes is one of the biggest risks I take.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a mostly self taught jeweler. I took one class in college and pursued it on my own afterwards. I got to where I am by remaining present with what interests me. There was no single moment of launch but a slow growth built through regular tending. Just like supporting a new plant, I understand my growing business as something that needs regular attention. I’m learning every day about how to balance my time. I am invested in finding ways to make a sustainable business model, one that is equitable, accessible and can sustain me into the future. I’m excited about the alternative economies that are popping up in Covid. People are spending more time on their hobbies and focused on direct payments as opposed to traditional business models. I’m grateful to be where I am, asking the questions I am right now.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The beach hands down! No matter the weather, Lake Michigan is always stunning. You could get wine from Red and White, pick up sandwiches from Big Kids, and head east. 31st Street Beach is my current favorite but Hollywood Beach is a classic. I would be keeping my ear to the ground to hear if Jennifer Kim is putting out any special meal offers–she is the former owner of the restaurant Passerotto and anything she touches is inspired. Humboldt Park at sunset is truly a dream. Another west side must see is the Garfield Park Conservatory!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Ione Sanders, my girlfriend and biggest supporter. She’s an art education facilitator and movement artist in Chicago.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foryou_thankyou/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.