By Nicky Park. Photography by Kevin Cortopassi.
The passion of an artist seeps through in many ways. For Omonivie Okhade, founder of tula in bloom, she pours her creative passion into jewelry. This wasn’t always the case. For years this highly educated woman worked in the healthcare industry, and even though the work she did was honorable, it did not, as she stated, “feed [her] spiritually.” Okhade made the difficult transition from a corporate world to an artistic one. Entrepreneurship is not known for its easy beginnings, but Okhade found that “the Sacramento community wants artists to thrive.” Because of the support lent by the community, she was able to establish her business quickly. She was also able to establish herself as an artist, which is for Okhade, what feeds her soul.
Okhade has an uncommon take on the jewelry she makes by hand. She thoroughly enjoys repurposing materials found in thrift stores, re-sales, antique stores (like buttons and broaches), and gives that-something-vintage a modern and clean style while still maintaining its authenticity. She has ready-made jewelry, but she will also work with you to customize an original piece of your own. She enjoys working with natural materials, brass, copper, wood and leather. She often tests the jewelry on herself, snapping a photo and then posting it on Instagram; depending on the feedback she receives, she will instantly know if it’s a winner. As an artist, it is easy to guess that Okhade may have perfectionistic tendencies, she states, “It can always be better. It’s never finished.” Accordingly, she takes art classes to refine her artistic eye – classes like ceramics, glass fusion, watercolor painting and jewelry making, which all contribute to the vastly different looks each of her pieces have from one another.
It is clear from Okhade’s website, and in minutes of talking with her, that making the jewelry is more than just creating a necklace, or a ring (or earrings or bracelets, she does it all!), it’s about authenticity. Her jewelry represents her belief in the self; she emphasizes the importance of self confidence in women, being true to yourself and to your passions. Okhade merges femininity and strength like fused glass on a pendant. Her copper rings twist together class and originality. She considers her jewelry to be modern with an organic feel, and each original piece of jewelry says something.
Even Okhade’s workspace signifies what she values. She has learned that creative thinkers need to, as she says, “Seek out your tribe,” because isolation creates negative thinking – but the support of other artists quiet those thoughts. She has been working in the Hacker Lab for two years, sharing space with fabricators of all kinds; the Maker Space carries the aroma of freshly sawed wood from a project by a colleague. Her workspace is in between different labs, allowing her to move about freely, or get lost in her ready-made holiday jewelry project that matches the season.
In addition to how much she values others, she values time, and strives to use it wisely so that she can enjoy her life. She implores others to discover: “where you really want to spend your time,” so they can get on the path that takes them there. To any individual with a budding passion, Okhade recommends that you “Don’t wait for the right time. If you are interested in something, try to explore it.” She certainly has, and successfully.
Currently, Okhade is working on ready-made jewelry for the holiday season, and will resume custom orders after the holidays. To see Okhade’s ensembles you can: visit her website or social media pages, attend craft fairs and events when she showcases, or contact her for a viewing appointment.
Patchwork Show: Sunday, October 25th @ 11:00 a.m., Jack London Square, Oakland
BG Craft Fest: Saturday, November 7th @ 10:00 a.m., Sunday, November 8th @ 4:00 p.m., Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek
Blue Line Arts Gallery 3rd Annual Holiday Sale: November 21st - November 22nd @ 11 a.m., Roseville