We had the good fortune of connecting with Nissa Rhodes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nissa, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
The space between where you are now and where you want to be can be overwhelming at times. What has helped me is go back to my why – what’s the reason I love doing this? In that answer lies the magic. For me, I love this work because I get to connect to people’s stories in a profound way, learn about their families and celebrate and commemorate milestones with a physical object created by my own two hands. It’s such an honor! Each piece is a new challenge and jewelry can hold so much importance. It’s meaningful and long-lasting without being a matter of life or death. I love that level of importance. With any creative endeavor – whether it’s writing songs or acting or making art – you’re always just one project away from something hitting. You can’t expect to get ‘there’ or wait for something to hit – you have to just show up every day and do the work. I find the unplanned rewards to be the most exciting because it feels like the Universe is thanking me for being in my heart.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I look back and realize how crucial each phase of my life was to bringing me to where I am now. I first started by taking a class at the local community college. I was so excited to be working with my hands and creating. I thought to myself “this is so much easier than I thought it would be!” As time went on my mindset shifted and I thought, “this is so much harder than I thought it would be!” I was living in my in-laws basement, didn’t have any money and I was constantly saying no to plans because I was so stressed about spending. Looking back, it’s because of the constraints I was under that year, that I was able to dive so deep into learning and creating. Saying no to plans on evenings and weekends became normal for me – but it has always been a choice. For someone with a history of being very hard on themselves for never finishing anything, I’m SO proud of my ability to show up for this every day. I believe that this is what builds grit and tenacity, which are integral to success.
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?
I love this question! We’d do a couple nights in the desert out in Joshua Tree. We’d do a big Malibu beach day, hit a farmer’s market and gather up some fresh seasonal fruits and veggies and make a big home cooked meal. We’d have to eat street tacos and catch a comedy show. I would take them up to hike up to the Observatory and walk down to the Greek for a show. We’d go get my favorite summer drink: Black ice tea with sea salt whipped cream at Pine & Crane in Silverlake. We might pop down to the jewelry district and over the flower market. I’d throw a little dinner party, we’d go to an art show and grab a beer at Clifton’s downtown and end up at a random dance party Downtown. Having visitors is the best because you get to see the city through new eyes. Each neighborhood reveals new layers to the city. Los Angeles has so much depth, the heartbeat of the city lies in the rich and dynamic cultural juxtaposition.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are SO many people that have helped me along the way but the first person that comes to mind is my older brother who has been there for me from the moment I started. He’s someone I’ve always admired creatively and his opinion means everything to me. I know he’s going to always give me his honest opinion and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. I also want to shout out all the different jewelers downtown. Many of the people I work and mentor with have 30-40 years of experience in the industry and I can talk to them anytime. They patiently sit with me and make suggestions, help me repair or reimagine challenging pieces. They’ve been instrumental to my education and success. And to those who repeatedly reach out to design pieces together, I’m forever grateful.
Beau Partlow, Aleks Danielle