Who to Know in RVA : Liberatus
With the influence that local makers have on their communities and industries, I love getting to know the stories behind up and coming brands. One, that I'm excited about in Richmond, is Liberatus by Ginny Rush. Both Ginny and I met when attending college at VCU and seen each other around the city at many events.
Most recently, during the start of The Good Wear, I ran into Ginny at a local market and instantly fell in love with the handmade jewelry she was producing with Liberatus! There is evident passion behind each item, love for the craft of jewelry making and desire to continue to grow as a maker. And as this growing accessory brand, we've had amazing conversations surrounding The Good Wear's values and mission for ethical and responsible style - which has everything to do with jewelry too! Ginny + Liberatus are on the path to become a more sustainable maker through research, planning and small changes along the way. Check out her story below!
THE PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY
Ginny's plan for Liberatus is to take the next few summer months to plan and execute some goals to be more transparent, sustainable and responsible with production and materials - WOO! I love the excitement and heart that Ginny has begun to put into this process and if you're a maker like her, you may be able to learn a few things of what she discovers through the process.
What is currently being done at the Liberatus studio to be ethical + sustainable
- Use of ethically-sourced and recycled metal from RioGrande.com
- Rags for drying pieces instead of wasting paper towels
- Reuse my scrap: “Pieces” series designed to showcase the jewelry that can come from the scraps of other jewelry
Goals for the Liberatus jewelry
- Stop buying craft store pot-metal clasps and findings + find alternatives for those pieces
- Check sources for ALL materials, not just the metal used for each item
- Switch to vegan leather or faux suede for chokers and necklace chords
Goals for the Liberatus studio's sustainable practices
Add small recycling bin to the studio
Petition CoreRVA Properties (studio rental space) to provide a recycling dumpster instead of only waste
Research and create a responsible chemical disposal practice
GET TO KNOW LIBERATUS
1. How did you decide to start Liberatus?
My obsession with jewelry-making stemmed from loving to work with my hands. I’ve always connected with a three-dimensional approach to creating. For me, adorning the body with those creations engages the wearer and the pieces in a way no other art format can. In school, at VCUarts in the Craft/Material Studies program, I was working very sculpturally and conceptually. After graduating in 2015, I wanted to do a more production-style form of making. I wanted my work and what my work stood for on as many people as possible. I wanted all those people to wear their pieces everyday and love on them as I had to continue that piece of jewelry’s story. With that desire spurring me, I founded Liberatus Jewelry in January of 2016.
2. How did you choose the materials used to make your jewelry?
During school we used copper, brass, and silver. Getting these from RioGrande’s Jeweler Supplies ensures that they’re sourced responsibly and ethically.
3. What are some of your favorite pieces you make?
The “Parts of Pieces” series is shaping up to be one of my faves. Having 4-6 pieces come from one original design accomplishes my goal of becoming more sustainable. Saving the cut-outs from one piece and transferring it into another and then another is my best and most-favorite solution to material waste.
4. Are you inspired by other sustainable jewelry brands? If so, who?
I’m obsessed with Soko and Half United. I’ve also been loving the simplicity of FashionABLE jewelry-which Kelly turned me onto!! Thanks Kelly!!
5. What would you like people to know about Liberatus?
“Liberatus” is latin for “liberty”. I am so thankful for my freedom in Christ to create as a form of worship. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given so I feel it’s important to make the best product in the best way for those around me as well as for the planet-both of which I’m blessed by!
6. What’s been the biggest challenge in sourcing & producing sustainable product?
Taking the extra steps to research and compare my material sources! It’s so much easier and quicker to buy supplies and not check where they're made, how they’re produced, or what they’re made of.
7. What’s one thing you’ve learned during this starter-process to be more sustainable?
I’ve learned that the process to complete sustainability is a long one and we have to constantly strive to be and make better. Taking little steps to a greater goal is important and your imprint matters.
8. What’s your favorite thing about RVA?
The way this city loves its artists & entrepreneurs gives me so much motivation. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new business opening, a new market or event to be a vendor for, a new network of makers forming, and just a community ready to embrace whatever you want to put out there.
9. Where can we find you next?
Stay tuned for a post in August about the progress Ginny + Liberatus makes on their road to responsible style. She will have tips, feedback and lots of great information for you!