Tammy (@tammyyeah) is the owner of Ssek Jewelry (@ssekjewelry) whose collections stem from reflecting on our place in the world. Deeply rooted in exploring the ebbs and flows of what makes us feel human, every collection she creates shares a little (very relatable) part of herself. Very fitting, since when it comes to Ssek Jewelry, not only is every piece personally handmade, Tammy is a one woman show that also does her own photography, translates the source of her inspiration into words and runs her store's operations - building a truly personal brand that holds a mirror up to our inner thoughts and emotions.
Everyone knows that running a small business is no mean feat; running a business singlehandedly where you also make all your own products is a whole other ballgame. Tell us, what do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy breaking my own boundaries with jewelry design or making, and almost every process involved in work. It's a never ending benchmark to be pushed to the limit, but it's something I work hard for and find satisfaction in. At this point I think I've dedicated my life to expressing myself, and pushing out the best creative version of myself and my brand.
We hear you are working on a new collection that many of us might resonate very strongly with. What’s upcoming for SSEK?
The new collection that I’ve been working on touches on a very sentimental nerve for a lot of us. The collection is about the romance of travel, of our dreams of touching a foreign land once more-- but more than that, connecting with our friends and loves we have all around the globe. It's always about the relationships, no matter how fleeting, that keeps these memories so dear to us.
Missing travelling and the connections it nurtures is definitely a feeling many of us are now all too familiar with. Since most of us won’t be able to travel overseas for a while, we’ve been focusing on celebrating everyday adventures. Walk us through one of yours?
My favourite everyday adventure is looking up in the trees when I'm walking, especially when I'm walking my three furkids. I learned to love a bird of my own this year, and he's taught me so much more than I can teach him. I look up into trees to follow bird calls, and see if I can spot these beautiful creatures.
Is there anything else you’ve been finding joy in?
Cooking for sure. I've honed my cooking skills quite a bit during this time, and whenever something goes awry at work (or just life in general), cooking is something I feel like I can control and succeed in. Small wins matter, and food always make people happy!
Finally, it’s definitely not easy to run a business alone. What’s something you find useful for dealing those times when you hit a bit of a slump?
When I get restless from being cooped up at home for too long I always take breaks when needed, whether it's running a grocery errand, taking a walk or going to the fridge to get water. Also, crying is cathartic. It doesn't need to be sad all the time, but it's a form of release that I needn't be ashamed of.