MATERIAL GIRL: Meet Shelly Hickam, Owner of Outstanding Jewelry
by Ted Scheffler
Born and raised in Utah, Shelly Hickam is “inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the area.” As founder/owner of Outstanding Jewelry, she is always on the lookout for beautiful materials that will inform her jewelry making.
“I seek out materials that inspire me,” says Hickam. “The kind that when I see them I can envision the finished product. For example while traveling in Ecuador I found handmade straw beads that made a great lightweight jewelry collection. And in contrast I like working with fused glass because you never know exactly what the finished product will be until you open the kiln.”
Prior to starting Outstanding Jewelry, Hickam worked in retail. She says she started her own business because, “I always enjoyed working at small businesses and this gave me the chance to make my own accessories and schedule around things I am passionate about.”
She continues, "I have been making and modifying my own jewelry for as long as I can remember. Over the years I have expanded my material base from beads to stones and wire and glass. Many friends have asked where they could purchase my products, that inspired me to start an online store and sell at festivals (still my favorite as I get to interact with my buyers).” Hickam also credits her daughter for being “my biggest supporter and social media teacher.”
Explaining what’s different about her handcrafted jewelry, Hickam says, “I focus on creating collections, not just individual pieces. You may like a color group I am working on and you will have options of rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces to mix and match.”
Looking to the future, when asked where she’d like to be in five years, Hickam says, “I will continue to expand my marketing and social media presence. Five years ago I didn’t know how to work with glass and now it’s one of my favorite things. Looking ahead I am open and ready to all new possibilities and techniques.”
In addition to festival such as the Made in Utah Festival, Shelly Hickam’s Outstanding Jewelry pieces can be found at outstandingjewelry.com, as well as on Instagram and Facebook.