Ottawa Icon .08
“..jump in! Don’t wait until everything is in the right place..”
Fran / @openfirejewellery is an exceptional jewellery smith. Creating what she calls “mini sculptures“ for anyone looking for a uniquely designed rings, earrings, and more! I especially love her dainty and thoughtfully designed rings. She has a abundance of knowledge towards the crystals, materials, and gems she uses. I fully respect her dedication of learning her craft and mastering it the best way she can.
Where did the idea for ‘OpenFireJewellery” come from?
While working at a independent jewellery shop in Ottawa, I was inspired to start making my own. I loved gemstones and began to take interest in the art of metalsmithing. I jumped right in. The name ‘Open Fire’ comes from a line in a song; once I saw the correlation with metalsmithing, I knew it was the right name to begin my business.
Tell us a little about yourself and your path of becoming a successful business?
I started Open Fire in 2015 after taking a few introduction to metalsmithing classes. I invested in a home studio and started making jewellery. I began showing at local markets and retail-shops started carrying Open Fire! I balanced Open Fire as a side hustle for less than a year before deciding to jump in full-time. Having a small business is a huge lifestyle change; there are so many facets to being an entrepreneur. Passion, determination, inspiration and support from others have brought Open Fire to this place.
What materials do you use to make your jewellery?
Open Fire focuses on both raw and polished authentic gemstones! I use Sterling Silver, Goldfill and 14K Gold metal for my work. Each piece is made by hand.
What inspires you for your jewellery designs?
I like to view jewellery as ‘little sculptures.’ Thinking of metals in this way is very inspiring for me. I have the most ideas while in the midst of already creating or while I am looking through my stones. Metalsmithing mistakes have led to some of my favourite designs which is always a nice surprise!
If you could give any advice to the next generation of entrepreneurs; what would it be?
My advice for those who want to start their own business would be: to jump in! Don’t wait until everything is in the right place or until you understand the business side of things. Begin, and learn as you go.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I see myself continuing to be a creative entrepreneur. To have a family, be my own boss, have an epic home studio and doggies by my side. I hope to develop my metalsmithing skill and take on new artistic mediums!
How do you want to be remembered? What legacy would you want to pass down?
I hope to be remembered as being a creative and compassionate person.
Why do you think I chose you to be apart of my series “ICON OTTAWA”
Open Fire is a new brand that has quickly grown its presence in Ottawa. My story is an example to other creatives of what is possible in the city’s handmade community. I am very grateful to base Open Fire out of Ottawa; the support I have received is a testament to this awesome city!
The reason I chose Fran Miles,
Fran has a beautiful dream and a wonderful talent. She followed her passion, something that started out simple and casual, bloomed into a great adventure. Fran is now able to successfully live off her ‘dream job’ . I put ‘dream job’ because I know she is capable of growing even greater and doing even more! That this is just the first step. I am excited to see what she will achieve next!
Fran' ICON is none other than a shamrock!
“A clover that sprouts four leaves, rather than three, is a mutation and is considered 'lucky' according to Irish mythology. Why? According to Celtic lore, each leaf of clover represents something special. One leaf represents faith, one hope, one love and, and , if a fourth leaf is present, that's luck.” ― Leslie Le Mon
Growing up, finding 4 leafed clovers were like hitting the jack pot! I used to believe that when you found one, it was a sign that great things will come in the future. That when you were able to find such a rarity, everything you dreamed to do will come true. Work hard towards what you love and everything will enfold. Fran is a lovely example of this. She is truly a gem and I hope anyone who reads her story will also be inspired to follow what they love. It will be worth it in the end.
P H O T O G R A P H E R . C R E A T O R . A R T I S T .