Meet the Maker: Betzy Nina Medina, Jewellery Designer
Betzy Nina Medina is a jewellery designer and DCCI member based in Dublin. She created Sandia Dublin in 2017 after many of her friends commissioned to make pieces of jewellery for them to wear for parties and special occasions, or simply because they wanted unique accessories. Betzy Nina is inspired by her native city along the coast of Venezuela. A blue wavy beach, soft bright sand and the tropical forest from the valley, are always present when she is choosing colours and materials to include in Sandia Dublin's collection, taking into consideration the unexpected Irish weather and the amazingly stylish people who walk freely around the city. Her process of designing and working on a new piece for Sandia Dublin may vary from pen and paper to materials she has in front of her, and from visits to vintage furniture shops. Discover her fun and unique pieces on sandiadublin.com.
What's a typical day in the studio like for you?
I have a weekly schedule so Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursdays are the days of the week I spend producing work and I do this in stages depending on the day. The other days of the week are for admin, computer based work and social media. Tuesdays I spend cutting the wood shapes and/or cleaning + sanding. Wednesdays is a Post day so I spend a portion of time in the morning getting packages together and then the rest painting the wooden shapes and / or adding earring posts/backs. Thursday is the day I resin and clean + assemble / package each piece. There are times when the schedule goes completely out the window if there's a show on or if I have a big wholesale order so I go with the flow. I always have my dog with me and a coffee, sometimes people pop by for chats and on the odd occasion I'll have an open studio.
What's a typical day in the studio like for you?
I start by organizing my workspace. I'm not the tidiest person when working in an arty environment but I can not start the day unless my surroundings are tidy enough to create something new. From there everything goes smoothly; getting orders ready, checking emails, doing paper work or simply going through materials and ideas for new designs. My studio is based in the lovely area of Ranelagh so having a local coffee is always a must.
What do you like most about your work?
Creating a new collection! Choosing colours and shapes to bring to life a whole new fashion style for my friends and customers.
What do you like least about your work?
Having to make many pieces of the same. I've set up my own creative environment to have a limit - I can not be bored of my work, it'll feel like the end. So, sustainable oriented and unique small selections of pieces are always the essence of Sandia Dublin. There will always be my signature pieces which I love but the variations and constant addition of materials and shapes, or making a collection for an specific store or season, is what keeps me loving my work, always evolving.
What's your favourite craft item in your home?
I've so many things at home that have been made by creative friends. I'm obsessed with mid-century and retro-inspired pieces. I have a phone speaker from Menlo Design which I adore. I'm also a big second-hand treasure hunter so 70's details are always a big part of my home.
What other maker in your discipline do you most look up to?
I have to go with the Irish goddesses! Not in my discipline but I totally love Úna Burke! She is definitely an artist who went with what she liked and believed in her amazing designs and made it happen. Joanne Hynes makes a lot of people have fun with her amazing designs and I deeply admire Chupi's marketing and branding, she's a star!
What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?
If you are starting, have a back up. Have a "day" job that supports your business. If you live free of rent, take that opportunity to grow. Take a place in your local market, meet your customers, show your brand to the world and enjoy it. It's all about letting people know who you are. It's not about money at the beginning. If you stop having fun with it, move on.
What's your favourite time of the day?
I'm not a morning person... I love my sleep, but my favorite time of the day in an ideal world would be the part when I get to listen to live music. I love going to gigs so that's where all my arts support funds goes to.
How do you switch off?
Switch off? Is that an option? Tell me more please!
How do you start your day?
I used to start my day exercising, which I miss and should get back to, but normally it'll be with coffee...
What's the first thing you do when you leave the studio?
I wash my hands!
I'm not the best book reader unfortunately but I've read Aoife Dooley "Frankie's world" and I loved it!
I think Labyrinth is a lovely piece of art.
Best concert you have ever been to?
Elton John, Paul McCartney and Villagers.
Basic, I like fried chicken.
Music when you're working?
What do you listen to?
So much! I actually host a Radio show in Raidió na Life 106.4FM every Sunday at 5pm since 2010 and I play whatever I like there. That'll be mainly what I listen to.