Clay Beginnings

At my core, I am an artist. There is always a need for me to create...

In 2012 I decided to start a business for myself. I started making jewelry in Montgomery, AL. I taught myself how to work with clay and built a great base of customers, opened an Etsy under the name AfroChicGrEEK and did pretty well. Things broke from time to time but people were still willing to support me because of the uniqueness of my product. Everything I did was African/ tribally inspired. 

                    First generation clay necklace from "AfroChicGreek" 2012

I'm an artist, and I'm sensitive about my shit....I was at what I could describe as the highest point in my life up to that time, I was selling almost daily.About midway through the year I got an email from OkayAfrica saying that they wanted some pieces. Long story short, it didn't work out and yea, I got kind of sensitive. Life happened some more :) and I put the business down. I wasn't completely happy with my quality of work/ I was too worried about other people's opinions to focus on me. i went throughmy own personal "dark age"...a job I hated, bad break ups, friendships flipped...it seems like the stars were not aligned for creation at the time.

                              First generation "fly" ring by AfroChicGreek

 I graduated from college in 2012 with a degree in education and I love it but I gave myself a five year limit to pick my business back up and become an artist full time. So I started to mainstream my business, my look, my jewelry...fail! I didn't sell one piece from the post "dark age" collection!

I started making pretty things...they looked nice, but they weren't true to my vision

My medium, my consistency and my drive is in my jewelry. I recently moved to Atlanta, Ga and it has been like growing wings. My business is not booming as it once was but I am so much happier and whole and it shows in my work. I take my time, I create, and I put my heart into every piece. I don't force myself to create anymore. The basis of the creation is not for profit as much as it is for me to feel good...to make others feel good. It feels much more organic. Sometimes I slip up and forget my aesthetic but I always pull myself back in...I'm always guided back. 

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                       Hand cut Africa from a jeweler's saw. ABJCO 2013.

                                                         Clouds...

Fast forward to today. I have been through soooo many name changes...AfroChicGrEEK, A.Battiste Handmade (my name) and I'm currently on ABJCO...I'm still struggling with the brand thing because I feel like every time I go through a major change...the name changes..so we shall see how this goes. I just released a new collection on Etsy for Fall 2013 and I am so proud. This is the first step for me to what I really believe is my life's path. So feel free to check out some pics below, and on Etsy at www.abjco.etsy.com and instagram @abjco90

                              Photo Credit: Nneka Bennett; Atlanta, GA

   

Photo Credit: Nneka Bennett; Atlanta, GA

Photo Credit: Nneka Bennett; Atlanta, GA

Photo Credit: Nneka Bennett; Atlanta, GA

Photo Credit: Nneka Bennett; Atlanta, GA

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