On her style, her passions and her store's calming effect on guests
It was merely a hobby, turning the bottle caps from Slammers-her mother's Downtown Columbus restaurant-into jewelry for herself. Until someone bought a piece off of Jamie Riley's neck. Enter one man's eventual request for cufflinks, and bam-a booming business was born.
Riley created a virtual shop on Etsy in 2006 and today creates roughly 30 to 40 custom cufflink sets a day, using items from wedding dress pieces to sand. Meanwhile, her other jewelry evolved into boho-chic, sophisticated pieces made of earthy elements like raw brass, amethyst and arrowheads.
Now, Riley has opened Bohindi, a shop in the front of her Upper Arlington studio to showcase her work, along with other lifestyle goods. "It was scary; it made it way more personal," says Riley, 36, who lives in Columbus with her husband, Jason Walsh. But she's pleased with the results. "To me, it's soothing when I walk in here. It's calming," she says. "Everything's a little more free-spirited, down to earth."
Bohindi: 2134 Arlington Ave., Upper Arlington; Bohindi.com
What makes you so passionate about jewelry making?
Because the possibilities are endless. There are no rules. I've never been one for rules. I've never liked to conform to anyone's ways. It's limitless.
You grew up in Newark, where you helped your grandmother at her ceramics shop and often hunted for arrowheads. That must influence your natural vibe.
Everything in my life-it's here in the present. I was almost a designer in the making and didn't even realize it.
Walk me through the process, from conceptualization to completion.
I usually get this vision. And I obsess about it until it's out. I don't know what that's called. [laughing]
How would you describe your style?
Maybe ever-changing? I don't know. Sometimes I feel tomboyish. Other times I feel I have this boho-chic thing going on-or want to have going on. [laughing]
The store has a calming effect on guests. How about on you?
I feel a little lighter on my feet when I walk in here. Safe.
The shop showcases goods made by other artisans you know, too. Give people an example of someone else whose work you're selling.
My good friends Jeff and Chad, who own Tilton Hollow, and they're makers of apothecary. They own a little goat farm in Frazeysburg, Ohio.
What other shops do you admire?
I get a lot of joy and inspiration going into Columbus Architectural Salvage. There's little capsules of history in every corner.
What are you passionate about outside of this?
I adore my family. Good food. Red wine. Yoga. And we try to travel as much as we can. That's probably when I'm most inspired. And it doesn't have to be across the country-I'm talking Arlington to Dublin! [laughing]