Meet the Maker : BethKaya
How did your business get its start?
It was a windy path. I moved to NYC when if was 19 from Maryland to work and go to school. Spent a decade in corporate marketing and night school at the fashion institute. When I had my son I decided to make a go of jewelry and honestly I fell out of love with the business side. I have a passion for gemology and natural living and had been making my own products for a while. I decided to try that angle and it was really accepted by my tribe! I fused the gemology element and the holistic crafting elements and here we are, a global business!
What motivates you as an artist and maker?
Music is the gas in the tank of the studio, patterns and nature as well as the elements they produce and how I can incorporate them into my works really sparks a lot of great almost farm to table designs.
Where did you grow up and where do you live and work now?
What is your favorite part about living there? I grew up in Maryland in a suburb of D.C., when I moved to New York City I was really inspired by the beat of design on the pavement. Now being settled here at the Jersey shore I really appreciate the vibrant fabric of the artistic community. The people are what make asbury great, and each little beach town along the Jersey shore has a very unique vibe. There's also always something to do, somewhere to go, something to inspire you. I didn't move to New York to settle in New Jersey but I actually found a really awesome place that's highly underrated.
Walk us through a day in the life in your work space.
It's chaos right now because I started out of my house and I just leased a space in July that I'm converting into a boutique centric on self-care. So I've kind of been working in split locations. But mostly it's like any other day at the office during the day. I'm busy processing orders, responding to customers, working on marketing materials and packaging the product. When nightfall hits is when the little elves come out and make mounds of things. I get in my head where I am going with the design, say it's rose clay soap, I know it's a season for sensitive skin and changing skin needs. So I'll use essential oils to compliment what skin is looking for, some clary Sage perhaps to calm the tone down and clear bacteria. I'll pair it with a stone, in this case Rose Quartz. I'll make till I drop, and do it all again the next day. Hopefully the store will be able to open soon. I have a lot of really awesome support in my life right now. So there are interested hands helping me take care of packaging, labeling and more. I am very grateful.
What kinds of products will you be offering at the holiday bazaar?
We are going to offer a series of self-care themed gift sets with soaps, crystals, candles you name it. Also, all of our customer favorites (crystal candles, minerals, moringa soap and more) and some new cheeky gift items with fun messages.
What are you most looking forward to at the Asbury Park Bazaar this Holiday Season?
love the buzz of the hall when it's packed with customers! We love chatting with all the personalities about their views on self-care and self-love and we really felt an openness with the APB's customers. Making lasting connections and sharing special moments of healing is why we do this! We can't wait for the holiday spirit!
Why should people shop small / shop local for the holidays and year round for that matter?
People should shop local and small because you're supporting a family directly, enabling someone's dreams, and reducing your impact when you don't buy big box stuff. The purchase is generally more mindful and intentional and that lasts a while in someone's heart.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Growing up split faith I enjoyed opening stockings on Christmas! Going through them is always a surprise. Also getting little judaica gifts from my father’s side of the family really was a great contrast and extended the holiday experience for me growing up. We cannot wait to start new traditions at our new storefront, Self Care Cove!