One of the Babes: Claire Sommers Buck
Meet Claire Sommers Buck, a metal smith and jewelry-designing guru, with an amazing collection of hand-crafted goodness—from bracelets to necklaces to rings.
She'll be vending at our September meet, so stop by her booth to say hello! You can also get a feel for her style and work on her website.
Q: What inspired you to start your business? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: I am fortunate to have grown up in a creative, honest and hardworking household. Both of my parents are ceramic artists and were incredibly successful in carving out a beautiful life from doing what they love. From this foundation in a dusty, wood-floored pottery studio with two amazing role models, I gained the confidence and enthusiasm to start my own creative business.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: No matter what your passion may be, the more time you can dedicate to it, the more successful you will be. I absolutely adore this quote by Chuck Close, which has been a mantra in my studio for some time now:
“The advice I like to give to young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All of the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”
So, work hard, but don’t be too hard on yourself, either. If you’re having doubts about something, don’t dwell on it but rather talk to a friend about it. I guarantee you aren’t alone in feeling that way and talking it through can really put it into perspective.
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity?
A: My favorite moments of creativity are times when I am creating a new collection. Sorting through ideas, wrestling and dancing with the materials, and then finally making something that works is truly a great feeling.
Q: What have been your most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
A: I may sound like an absolute lunatic, but I would have to say that the most challenging moments in my career are the same as my most favorites, the times when I am creating a new collection. I try my hardest not to force creativity, but sometimes you don’t have a choice and the collection needs to be finished. There are a lot of sweat and tears produced during these times, but it is an incredibly rewarding process.
It’s also quite challenging being a one-woman show. There are times when I just feel incredibly overwhelmed and uninspired, but then I go to a #bossbabesATX meet-up or talk with a friend and realize that I am not alone in any of this.
Q: What's your day job (if this business isn't your day job)?
A: This is it! And I feel incredibly lucky.
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: When I am feeling discouraged, I try to take a step back from everything. I’ll go on a walk or just sit somewhere peaceful and allow myself space. It’s in these moments that I reflect on why I am feeling the way I do. I think about all the positive things in my life and career and realize that I am truly the only one in control of my happiness and well-being. This generally resets my energy and prepares me for the next hurdle.
Your favorite band at the moment: Just one?! Impossible. In my Spotify queue, there's a mixture of Leon Bridges, Shakey Graves, David Ramirez and Langhorne Slim—all artists who continue to inspire me on a daily basis.
Your favorite book at the moment: "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. You’ll want this one on your bookshelf for the rest of your life.
Your local Austin gem: Barton Springs, hands-down (maybe one of the best places on earth).