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This Local Jewelry Designer Makes Funky Accessories That Give Back

Symone Williams opens up about her newfound hobby turned business venture, and how it benefits others
Made in San Diego / Symone Williams

Made in San Diego / Symone Williams

At the beginning of quarantine, I started baking a lot—lemon cakes, banana bread, cinnamon rolls, you name it. Then flour started to run out in stores, so I ventured into “baking” with clay and making earrings for myself. The first pair I ever made, I rolled the clay into cylinder-like strips, then decided to shape it into these curvy, twisty structures. I was nervous the shapes would collapse while baking, but they didn’t.

Around this same time, mutual aid became more important, with many people not having access to health care, being furloughed, and having to take care of their families in new ways. Mutual aid has been around for years and is how many marginalized communities practice care and survival together. It’s much greater than monetary funds, but also about redistributing resources and redefining visions of collective care. I wanted to donate but had limited personal donation funds. So, I thought I could raise money with this newfound creative outlet while still holding my day job as a research assistant and graduate student at Yale University.

I make all of my earrings at our kitchen countertops. My husband and I live in a 450-square-foot space in San Marcos, so there’s not much room to have a dedicated space for Funk & the Sun, but I try to make my environment as comfortable as possible. I have my plant shelf directly in view, am always playing music, and have the windows open to let the sun shine through while I work. I am still working

on incorporating other jewelry pieces into my collection and will soon be introducing ceramics, like funky little mugs and espresso cups. All the while, redistributing funds for mutual aid with Funk & the Sun is just one of the ways I’m practicing the sort of livelihood I envision for the future.

Funk & the Sun


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