Maker Profile: Anita Groundwater of Bluefish Bohemian
Meet the Maker is a series focusing on showcasing and supporting up-and-coming designers, artists and creatives. Meet Vancouver designer Anita Groundwater of Bluefish Bohemian, who after years of selling other lines of jewelry decided to create her own.
Who are you and what do you design?
My name is Anita Groundwater and I design and create boho-inspired jewellery. I was born and raised in Vancouver and Handmade has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up with a very talented mother who worked on an extensive variety of handmade projects involving both a variety of textiles and ceramics, so I was always keen to learn alongside her. I’m married with 3 sons and a furry four-legged friend.
Tell us a bit about how you got you to where you are today.
I started back into a creative realm in my 20s learning wheel thrown pottery, which had been a longtime passion. I took classes and worked in the studio for about 5 years until my first child was born. Then, as my kids became more independent, a jewellery line caught my eye, and I began selling jewellery through in-home trunk shows. This is where I developed a keen appreciation and love for jewels, the materials, and gems. After 8 years selling 2 different jewellery lines, and a training injury where I was couch bound for several months, I took up making my own jewellery, and have never looked back!
If you could choose one word to describe your collection what would it be.
A typical morning involves getting my 3 boys off to their 3 different schools (!), packing and shipping online orders, following up on supplier orders, customer inquiries, and ordering materials, and above all, coffee! Then I get down to the fun stuff: creating!
Where do you find your inspiration?
Often I’m inspired by the materials I find – sometimes I order in beautiful pieces just because they make my heart stop, though I’m not quite sure yet what I will do with them… I’m also inspired by our glorious coastal lifestyle, and the beauty that surrounds us in B.C.
Tell us about maintaining a balance. Do you?
Balance is a tough one – everyone knows that the daily juggling act of looking after a family, running a business, and finding time for creativity is a challenge. I’ve learned to be realistic – to feel that I am maintaining balance, I must break my day in 1.5 hour increments (during the weekdays). If a break is in order, I take my best furry friend, Leo, for a walk in the beautiful forest near our home.
Is there a designer or brand with whom you’d love to collaborate?
I admire so many of the beautiful jewellery designers that I meet – I always say, “I don’t discriminate, I love ALL jewellery!”. In future, one of my bucket list items would be to get back to doing some clay work, and make some of my own clay beads that I can incorporate into my jewellery designs.
What advice would you give someone who is looking to launch their own business?
Invest in a good camera, the return will be ten-fold! So much business is e-commerce nowadays – people expect you to have a website and be engaged on social media. Websites and social media can often be your potential customer’s first impression. If your photos don’t display your products impeccably, you likely will loose your audience quickly.
What’s next for you?
Next for me is stamped jewellery, with inspirational messages, and diffuser jewellery. It sort of fits in the more meaningful, intentional, and compassionate attitude I’m experiencing more as I grow older. I’m also hoping to find some help with making some items, so I can increase my volume and offer more to wholesale accounts.