Artist Collab Series: Upper Metal Class
We are beyond excited to launch Tender Loving Empire’s Artist Collab Series with the incredible designs of T of Upper Metal Class. Upper Metal Class jewelry is defined by minimalist style and light-hearted fun. Each design is hand-crafted and developed with simplicity in mind. These four styles, cast in bronze and silver, were co-designed by Upper Metal Class and Tender Loving Empire in honor of the musicians, makers and creators that make up our vibrant community - including you!
The Tender Loving Empire Artist Collab Series was dreamed up at the end of 2017 as the TLE team was considering new ways to empower and engage with our local community of makers. Over many brainstorming sessions, coffee dates, studio visits, and email threads our teams worked together to discuss and decide everything from product choices, packaging materials, color swatches, process videos and more. The result is five curated collections inspired by TLE’s core values, co-designed by Tender Loving Empire and some of our favorite vendors: Upper Metal Class, The Far Woods, Penrose, Sissy Moon and Betsy & Iya. We’re ecstatic to share these products with you over the next several months, which will be available exclusively at Tender Loving Empire shops and at tenderlovingempire.com.
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Behind the scenes
Meet T, Owner & Designer
Favorite thing about being a maker?
I love being able to connect with people and hearing their stories! I am so grateful to have met so many amazingly talented makers, the best customers and create true friendships through it all.
How did you get started?
I started making jewelry as something fun for me to focus on while stuck in a cycle of hostile work environments. Eventually, it turned from a side business to a full time job.
Which Tender Loving Empire core value do you relate to?
Inclusiveness and empowerment are extremely important to me. In past work environments, bosses have made racist comments and I was held back from a promotion because I was not a white male. I do not regret any of my experiences because I was able to learn how to build a business that empowers and values all people.
Any advice for beginners?
If you have a dream that's been hovering and you're not going for it because it makes you uneasy, then you need to try! Don’t just quit your job, take it one step at a time and put your whole self into it.