Meet Samantha Howard, the creative mind and lead designer here at Wings Hawaii.
Sam can be found in so many places on any given day; the drawing board, the jewelry studio, her upcountry flower garden, or the shop in Paia. We asked her a few questions about her vision with Wings, her many creative mediums and the love behind it all.
Can you tell us a bit about your role here at Wings?
My main role is Head Designer. I like to pretend that designing and making jewelry is all that I do. Reality is that when you are running your own operation, there are so many different hats to wear. On any given day I can be found making jewelry, updating our website, styling photographs, designing clothing, drawing print logos etc. Anything to keep it all flowing.
You seem to have a voice in so many different expressions. Do you have a favorite artistic medium?
Experience is really my favorite medium. I express love with cooking. I express gratitude through jewelry. Self expression through clothing. Reckless abandon through flowers. I love to make things. I really enjoy the process and experience. For me, each creation through any type of medium is the same in a way. I love putting together an outfit with its jewelry and accessories in the same way that I would make a meal for you, with drinks and desert and the table setting. So for me there is no line between mediums - its all art. I think this is why it has always been hard for me to just express myself artistically in just one way.
There is so much heart behind what you do! Can you tell us a bit about what it means to you to be able to handcraft your pieces and share them?
So, for this I have to say, I am so stoked. I always feel so blown away that people really love and enjoy what we are making here. I'm really honored that people want to wear, share and love the pieces I create. I know how personal it is to adorn your body and it is such an amazing gift to get to make things that people use for that expression. Sometimes when I walk down the hall to my studio, I feel really proud of what we have created. It has not been simple or easy, but I love to create, so I am happy to work this hard at something I love to do.
How do you want people to feel when they are wearing your creations?
I would hope that people feel like their best version of themselves in our creations. There is so much love and intention in every piece that we make. I hope the wearer feels that, and that magic lives on when they wear any garment or jewelry creation from Wings.
Can you tell us about the seed stages of Wings? What were those initial concepts/ catalysts in its creation?
First I was selling hand-sewn tops at school with a few friends. Then in a sculpture class I learned about metal fabrication and lost wax casting. This steered all of my focus on wax carving and casting. This was really what drove the conception of Wings. I had been making butterfly drawings and when asked to create a piece that you could "wear on your person" in an art class I began carving wax butterflies and casting them in sterling silver. This design has evolved, but is still part of our signature jewelry line today.
What elements of your original vision have stayed true in the evolution of Wings?
We have naturally always choosen routes of production that are conscious. We save all of our scraps: metal and fabric. We reuse them. We create new projects with them and recycle rather than throw away. We love to find ways of using things that exist in the world to create new pieces. There are plenty of ways to give new life to older items and that has always been an important part of our business.