Thursday, June 22, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Aprilierre


These delicate, contemporary designs are the work of April Barnhart, the artist behind Aprilierre. April's passion for art and design led her to take on the challenge of jewelry making, and we are so glad she did! Whether you are attracted to simple or bold pieces, the natural clean lines of her jewelry appeal to any style. 
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is April Barnhart and I am jewelry designer living in Northeast Minneapolis. I am the
Chief Visionary Officer and lead designer/maker of Aprilierre.

What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?

My latest collection of statement cuffs and a new design of spinner ring.

What was your first memory of making something?

My earliest memory involves making friendship pins in first grade. We used safety pins and
colorful seed beads. We wore them on our shoe laces and the goal was to give and get as
many as possible to show how many “friends” you have.
Have you always been passionate about art and design?

Absolutely. I grew up around the theatre with both my parents being active in community
theatre. (I actually have a theatre degree). I loved anything artistic be it acting, painting, writing
and I dabbled with them all but found that my passion lies with in jewelry making. I love that a
tangible object that was once a flat piece of metal, or wire or a loose stone comes together to
become a treasured accessory for someone else to wear.

What do your customers love most about your product(s)?

They are attracted to the design. Some love the simplicity of one design while others are
attracted to the bolder statement pieces. All of my customers value and appreciate that each
piece of jewelry is handmade to the finest detail.

What’s your favorite item that you sell?

My spinner/meditation rings. They are by far my most labor intensive item in my collection.
Sometimes taking 4-5 hours per ring because you have to get the fit just right. However the end
result is a beautiful and comfortable ring that my customers just love.

How did you get started in your business?

I began doing simple beaded designs and friends encouraged me to sell. In fact my first craft
show I attended I just showed up to that morning and introduced myself to the organizer (a
tactic I wouldn’t recommend doing normally) she looked at my work and welcomed in the show.
I drove to a local Walmart, bought a small canopy tent and a card table and I made 3 sales…
Is this a full-time business for you?

Not yet but with my deepest commitment to designing and creating beautiful work I visualize
that this will be my full time business very soon.

Why did you start working in this particular craft?

I was drawn to metalsmithing because the work itself was the opposite of who I am. It involved
using all kinds of power and hand tools, fire, making lots of noise and getting my hands dirty (it’s
impossible to keep a decent manicure when I am deep in production mode). It was a challenge
to me. Learning the basic elements of metal work has opened a lot of new jewelry design
concepts and ideas.
Check out more of April's beautiful designs online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!


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CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors
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