Passion Project: Harrill was always surrounded by artists, whether it was her mother, who was a painter, or her husband, Doc Harrill, a musician. In 2004, while Harrill was visiting family in France, her mom asked if she wanted to make some jewelry with her. Harrill resisted at first, assuming she wouldn’t like it, but she decided to give it a try. “Literally, I got hooked,” Harrill says. “We sat down and as I’m making stuff I realized, Wait, I can actually make my own stuff.”
Starting Small: Once Harrill realized she found a passion in jewelry making, she started to connect with artists in Collinwood and signed up for shows to sell her jewelry. “It was very different at the time,” she says. “I would go to either thrift stores or even like Michaels and mainly mix a lot of beads and metal. I did more charms, and I used a lot of aging metal [techniques] at the time.”
Opening Day: After making jewelry out of her spare bedroom from 2010 until 2015, Harrill moved into a shared space with Fount. When a spot opened up on the same street, Harrill rushed to teach herself how to write a business plan and save up the funds for rent. “It was never like, I want to open a store. It just kind of happened,” Harrill says. “It was one of those dreams that you didn’t know you had but it happened.”
Creative Boss: One thing Harrill has learned is the importance of balance between being an artist and a small business owner. She had to learn a lot of the responsibilities tied to running a business such as hiring staff, handling finances or filling wholesale orders. “I think for me, the most challenging thing is to have to do the things that you’re not necessarily good at,” she says. “There’s a lot behind the scenes that happens — things that take more time than you planned for or things that take way more money than you planned for.”
When You Go: 6519 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-862-7043, oceanne.net
Editor’s note: When shooting portraits of shop owners, photographer Matt Shiffler wore a mask and worked at a safe distance.Click here to explore more than 30 local shops and boutiques as part of this month’s “Shop Local” package.