Using vintage fragments and bits of antique hardware, Lucy Farmer of Lucy’s Inspired creates one-of-a-kind jewelry that draws you in. The timeworn patina and suggestion of stories untold mix with Lucy’s modern touches for a delightful mashup of modern elegance-meets-repurposed vintage. And her personality, like her jewelry, is anything but cookie cutter. She’s made a career out of trying new things and testing creative waters, and she, unlike most, loves life’s unexpected changes. When she’s not designing her unique line of jewelry, discovering antique finds at flea markets or designing home interiors, this unabashed free-spirited creative is spending quality time with friends or traveling with her family. We are delighted to welcome today’s FACE of Birmingham, Lucy Farmer!
Where did you grow up and, if not from here, what brought you to Birmingham?
I grew up outside of Huntsville, Alabama. My husband is from Birmingham, and when we decided to get married, I moved here.
Tell us a bit about your professional journey and how you got started in jewelry design.
I graduated from the University of North Alabama in Fashion Merchandising and worked for Parisian for several years after college. After staying home with my kids, I decided to go back to work as a social media manager and became the Creative Director for Southern Accents Architectural Antiques. There, I fell in love with old pieces of hardware and started using them to create one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry.
How would you describe the style of Lucy’s Inspired?
#ISaveOldThings is a popular hashtag on my Instagram feed. I fall in love with craftsmanship and stories and want to save them and turn them into something new. Whether I’m making jewelry or designing a home, I always want to find something that has character from amazing craftsmanship or a history that makes it special.
Tell us about your Inspire to Give initiative.
I have a necklace in my line that is loved by many people. Light shines through the prism necklace and the act of sharing it is meant to give light to others, whether it’s through happiness, hope or unity. So many people tell me they get many compliments on this necklace, and they’ll buy it for themselves and for each of their friends. I’ve sold 20 to one person for Christmas gifts before. So, I wanted to make it easy for them to be able to share with someone. I want people to experience that feeling of giving away something that they love to someone they know deserves to feel special. Whether you are buying it to give to someone special or buying it to find just the right occasion to give it away, I want it to be shared and as light shines through the prism, maybe it will unlock a new perspective for those who might need something special in their life.
What or who inspires you as an artist?
I am inspired by learning. If I could go back to school, I would get an art degree and learn as many techniques as possible to be able to work my way into a new creative path all the time. There are so many ways that being creative can help you in life.
Where do you get the stones, antiques and vintage finds?
I travel to flea markets around the South and have a few salvage stores that I frequent. I also, thankfully, have a picker that is always on the hunt for me. He finds keys, butterfly hinges and unique pieces of hardware from Ohio to Florida.
Do you listen to any music or radio while you work?
Sometimes I have on music, but only when I’m in my space alone.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a jewelry artist?
I want to say when someone loves my work, but I’m finding that it’s the relationships that I create with the collectors that keeps me going. I also love to evolve. I’m that rare person that actually loves change. I want to continue to grow and find new ways to be creative.
Shifting gears, how do you like to spend your free time?
We love to travel. We have a place on the Gulf Coast and are lucky enough to get down there very often. We’ve started taking family vacations out of the country, and I love showing my kids the world. I wasn’t as fortunate to travel like that growing up, and seeing it all for the first time together is one of my favorite things.
If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
Do things that make you happy, and don’t let other people’s opinions hold you back. Most of the time, you worry more about what people think than they actually think about you!
What are you most proud of?
Probably that I dropped everything and went to the beach to renovate a house with my best friend in six weeks. We did it all on HGTV, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We did all the manual labor ourselves and took a 1970s house and brought it into the 21st century! It was truly beautiful and something I’ll never forget!
What’s your favorite thing about Birmingham?
I love the fact that Birmingham is growing and evolving into something that seemed impossible not so long ago. We have a history, and it shouldn’t be forgotten, but like with most things, it doesn’t define you. I love that there are people embracing this city. There’s growth and new life. Birmingham is creating a new story.
Favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
Hang out with friends anywhere — just being together!
What’s your favorite local restaurant?
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m a horrible eater. I love junk food and could live off of chocolate and potato chips.
Any guilty pleasures?
I love to sit in the sun and read. I know it’s so bad for me, and I swear I wear a ton of sunscreen, but I could sit out there all day!
What are your three must-have style staples?
Jeans, a white shirt and a little black dress.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Dress up for life. It’s worth it.
Besides faith, family and friends, name three things you can’t live without.
A pen and paper for notes and ideas, moisturizer and Bobbie Brown lip balm.
Thank you, Lucy! Learn more about Lucy’s jewelry at lucysinspired.com.
Thank you to Eric and Jamie Gay of Eric & Jamie Photography for the fabulous photos of Lucy in her home and home studio.