College student Matthew South is already doing what many studio art students only dream of while still in school: designing jewelry and running a successful online jewelry business, Hiya Moon Jewelry. Matthew designs edgy art jewelry, most notably his line of bullet art jewelry. LoveToKnow provides a look into Matthew's jewelry designs, online business, and his popular bullet jewelry collection.
About Matthew South and Hiya Moon Jewelry
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, Matthew South is a jewelry artist and photographer. His photography and a lifelong interest in rock collecting, fashion and graphic design have inspired many of his designs. Matthew was studying studio art and liberal arts in college when he first started the Hiya Moon Jewelry Etsy shop to sell his handmade jewelry. In addition to selling jewelry online, Matthew's jewelry is also available at shops in Iowa and Colorado. He will graduate with a Studio Art degree from the University of Iowa in 2012.
Bullet Art Interview with Matthew South
Matthew South's interest in photography and rock collecting led to a new artistic expression.
A First Shot at Jewelry Art Led to Business
LoveToKnow (LTK): You are currently in college studying studio art. What led you to start your own jewelry design business?
Matthew South (South): Since a young age, rocks have intrigued me. Last summer, I had the idea to make a necklace for myself with a crystal inside a bullet. I bought a crystal from a local museum and asked my dad if I could have one of his old bullet casings. Then one day while shopping at White Rabbit, a boutique in downtown Iowa City, an employee complimented my necklace and asked if I would be interested in selling them. I began selling in their store, and a couple months later had the idea to begin selling on Etsy.
Photography is my primary career interest, but I am an entrepreneur at heart so I see myself doing lots of different ventures and projects in the future.
Inspirations, Artistic Vision and a Name
LTK: What inspires you to create art jewelry?
South: I would say I am most inspired by nature. Rocks and minerals are some of the earth's most beautiful treasures and it boggles my mind to think that something so intricate and special grew in a cave somewhere before it came to me. I am also very inspired by Ancient Egyptian and Native American cultures and am constantly being stimulated by my findings at flea markets and vintage stores.
LTK: How would you describe your art jewelry?
South: I would describe my creations as otherworldly, sublime, imaginative, and borderline avant-garde.
LTK: Do you consider any of your jewelry to be statement pieces?
South: I would say that all of my creations are statement pieces in their own way. For example, the bullet necklaces combine something usually thought to be powerful and menacing (the bullet) with something positive and peaceful (the crystal) creating a perfect balance of Yin and Yang.
LTK: Please explain to our readers what Hiya Moon means and how you came up with it.
South: Hiya Moon basically means "hi-yah moon!", as in "Hi there moon! Nice to meet yah!" My friend Kaitlyn came up with this one night when we were staring at a full moon and I thought it was beautiful the way it rolled off the tongue. The reference to the moon is also related to my infatuation with science and space exploration. I wanted to create an extraterrestrial, awe-inspiring and out-of-this-world look for Hiya Moon.
Bullet Jewelry and Collections
LTK: Please describe your jewelry collections.
South: I offer bullet-crystal necklaces and earrings with amethyst, citrine, quartz, pyrite, aqua aura, spirit quartz, apatite and tourmaline rocks secured inside the bullet. I also sell agate-slice, pyrite and crystal cluster rings.
How Others See Hiya Moon Jewelry
LTK: What do you hope people will think or feel when wearing your jewelry?
South: I hope anyone who wears Hiya Moon first and foremost appreciates the aesthetic and beauty of each piece. But beyond just superficial appreciation, my dream is that the wearer can develop a deeper connection with the world and people around them and that they can reap the many metaphysical properties each rock can bring into their life.
Future Plans for Hiya Moon Jewelry
LTK: What are the future goals and plans for Hiya Moon Jewelry?
South: I would like to see Hiya Moon expand over the next couple years and be sold in boutiques all over the world. It would be awesome to someday see my pieces sold in stores like Urban Outfitters and Opening Ceremony. My ultimate goal would be to expand my jewelry line and someday have my own store in New York City.
Discover Hiya Moon Jewelry and Artist Matthew South
Visit the Hiya Moon Jewelry Etsy store, the store's blog, and its Facebook page to learn more about Matthew South and his jewelry. Customers can purchase one-of-a-kind pieces and make special requests at the Hiya Moon Etsy store.
The following stores also carry Hiya Moon jewelry:
- Frisk Accessories: 1144 13th Street, Boulder, Colorado
- White Rabbit: 109 S. Linn Street, Iowa City, Iowa
- Vitae Design Collective: 400 East Locust Street, Suite 4, Des Moines, Iowa
Many Thanks to Matthew South
LoveToKnow thanks Matthew South for the interview and wishes him all the best in his future plans for Hiya Moon Jewelry.