Christina Grace, a third-year metals and jewelry major and marketing minor, has turned her passion for jewelry and metalworking into an unexpected discovery to a rapidly-expanding business featured in Vogue Magazine.
She learned about wire wrapping from a metalsmith she met by chance, who inspired her to pursue and ultimately fall in love with metalwork and jewelry.
She then enrolled in the metals and jewelry program at Pasadena City College in 2015 and simultaneously received a scholarship to the Gemological Institute of America.
Grace began selling her work through her website, TIN HAUS in 2016. To keep her business afloat, Grace would use her winnings from various competitions to pour back into her work.
Before her first collection, she worked independently doing exhibitions, freelance and custom work on top of being a student.
Grace views her efforts as labors of love, not work. However, she does admit to being completely drained at the end of the day.
“Part of it is organization, but part of it is having all your to-do lists in your mind and trying to find moments where you can squeeze it in,” Grace said. “When I’m not in school, I work 14 to 18 hours in my studio.”
Inspired by Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, she created sterling silver pendants called The Bern Necklace, and gave a portion of the profits to his campaign. His spouse, Jane Sanders, endorsed her jewelry right away which got TIN HAUS the first bit of exposure.
A couple of months later the founder of Make A Film Foundation, Tamika Laminson, saw Grace’s jewelry and asked if she could create some pieces for her film, “The Black Ghiandola.” She created sterling silver pendants called “Film, I AM” for the cast and crew.
“It was organic, nothing was forced, I didn’t think about it, ‘Oh, what’s my next thing?,’” Grace said.
TIN HAUS was then featured in Flaunt Magazine and, after receiving money from scholarships, grants and multiple exhibition winnings, Grace was able to acquire a fully functioning studio.
TIN HAUS is run by a two-person team, Grace and her partner Cedric Jonathan, who have been together for seven years. Recently he helped create their commercial, “Breaking Glass.”
“Seeing Christina work as an artist is truly a blessing and humbling experience,” Jonathan said. “She has the hungry mentality where if she is focused on something, she literally would be lost hours during the day trying to research and accomplish her goal to the point where she is satisfied.”
Grace may have jumped into this career unexpectedly, but she knows she wants to take her business as far as it can go.
“I would like to be the next David Yurman or the next Jennifer Fisher [well-known jewelry designers],” Grace said. ”I’ve been taking things as they come, there’s that element where you have to allow the universe to do its work for you. The action, the vibration you create as you’re doing the work, creates the pathway to what you want to do or where you want to go with your career.”