Squish Jewelry - Interview by Jyanne

Jill Kooymans, otherwise known as Jill, is the lovely creator and owner of Squish Jewelry, an online business on instagram that sells fun and fabulous polymer clay jewelry and accessories!

Jill started their business back during quarantine, originally doing things in theatre, but due to the pandemic, fell flat. Squish was a way for them to express their creativity and kill some time during isolation. In the beginning, they’re shop started off being online, mostly selling to close friends and family, but when markets started opening up again, they took their products out into the real world!

The first market they attended was the South Osborne Market, with their business only growing since then, selling their stuff at Pride and Woozys Farmers Market. After a while though, Markets became harder to do on their own, so they started having to limit the amount they went to.

Luckily for us, they have plans on selling their product in Willow Press, a Queer, author/sex educator owned bookstore. So stay tuned for that!

Back when Squish first started out, Jill had noticed a lot of their peers were getting frequently misgendered, so to combat this, they created their first product, which were sets of dangling earrings that spelled out peoples pronouns.

Because their products are handmade and made with polymer clay, the creation process can be quite time consuming. Jill talked about how they actually learned a lot from TikTok and Youtube content creators, following along to tutorials they provided on their products and adding a special Jill twist to them.

Each different design has their own process, though after the design is created, it’s just baking and a resin coat to finish them off!

Their business has grown to making their products to both be a combination between queer themed jewelry and just jewelry that matches Jill’s maximess glitter aesthetic!

All in all, when asked about any advice they could offer, their main piece of advice was to just start. We had a long conversation around this, where they talked about the toxic belief that you have to be already good at something to do it or that there’s an age limit for when you can still be able to learn. Jill encouraged to just do what you love or find interesting, whether you're good at it or not, and I feel like that was some pretty solid advice that we should all strive to follow.

I want to take the time to thank Jill for taking the time out of their day to have this interview with me! They truly are a wonderful human being and have taught me so much about their business and the ups and downs that comes with it. If you found Jill as awesome as I did, you can follow them on instagram @squishjewelry, and if you're interested in purchasing any of their stunning products, DM them through their instagram!

If you found this article interesting, stay tuned for more this month! Throughout June, I will be trying my best to interview queer makers here in Winnipeg and share them all with you! So if you enjoyed reading about Jill, expect more to come!

- Jyanne - Met School Student

June 26, 2023 — Made Here

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