Today’s entrepreneur is Nancy Troske.
When and why did you start your business?
In 1975 I took my first metalsmithing class and started selling my work right away. The rest just fell into place and I was able to quit my job and make jewelry full time. Within that first two years I was back teaching at the center where I took that first class!
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
I love being a free agent….working my own hours and networking with other artists and artist’s groups. It is not a steady paycheck and when you are in your own business it is almost always “feast or famine” but if you can roll with the punches and stay positive you can survive the leaner times.
Describe your business in 20 words or less.
I’m trained in ancient jewelry making techniques. That means that the jewelry I make is made entirely from scratch. I alloy my own metals, make all the components; wire sheet, settings, findings, cloisonne enamels, and granulation embellishments by hand. This is pretty much the way it was done in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome with the addition of a few more tools!
Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
I’m inspired from colors, textures and patterns I see around me and those get translated into jewelry. For example, I was looking at some Mars photos and the colors and textures inspired a cloisonne enamel. I collect ancient coins and intaglios. They inspire me to find a way to set them into a beautiful ring or pendant. I keep a sketchbook with me at all time, so if inspiration strikes I can jot down the idea.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs when they are first starting out?
Be passionate about what you do. If you love it madly and it is as important to you as breathing, you are on the path to success!