Rockhaus Metals is Kristina Brownell. How did we meet? Instagram maybe? I think it was outside Gratitude Coffee truck about two years ago and I had bought a ring of hers off her Etsy shop. I loved it and her and I think I practically forced her to come to a meetup group I had started called the Buttermilk Bakery Gang. Nowadays we support each other in lots of ways.
Kristina started Rockhaus Metals after needing to find a way to connect with her creative side after becoming a mom of twins. A few metal smithing classes and she was hooked. Her “minimalist jewelry with an earthy edge” is so well designed she has collectors coming to her from all over, clamoring for her pieces as soon as they are released on Instagram and in her online shop.
Get to know this powerhouse business owner, artist, jewelry maker, wife, momma, and ruler of markets.
Growing up I was obsessed with My Little Ponies and had a pretty decent collection that I never got rid of. When my mom came to visit last year she brought them with her and it makes me so happy that my 4 year old twin daughters now enjoy playing with them.
Recent acquisition for your home?
My husband built the cutest playhouse out back for our girls and it has some serious mid century modern vibes. It’s in direct view when you look out from our living room and it’s the greatest addition to the backyard.
Self help/mindfulness/wellness podcasts. I love listening to them while I’m driving or working on jewelry.
Does it count if I say making jewelry? Even though it’s now my full time “job” and I don’t treat it as a hobby, I still find so much peace and enjoyment in metalsmithing and it doesn’t feel like work to me.
Always on you - watch, memento, etc?
Since I make jewelry, most of my accessories are in pretty heavy rotation. But I always have on my wedding rings.
Favorite spot in your home?
The spare room, which houses my jewelry bench in one corner and my husband’s guitars and music equipment in the other. During the week it’s where I spend most of my time and on the weekends our daughters are usually in there dancing while we’re tinkering away at something. There’s a lot of creativity fostered in that space. Plus it faces west and gets great light in the afternoons.
Favorite neighborhood restaurant?
Domu! I’d wait 1.5 hrs every night to eat there if I could. And sometimes we hit it up just for dessert because their soft serve is SO GOOD.
Favorite neighborhood shop?
The Owl’s Attic on Corinne. Great vintage and handmade goods and the kindest shop owners you’ll ever meet.
Favorite art museum?
Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins.
Favorite place visited in the last year?
In January, one of my best friends and I took a super last minute girls trip to Puerto Rico. It was our first time visiting and the weather was perfectly warm and sunny. We spent the long weekend exploring, eating and laughing.
Best gift recently given?
Last year was a milestone anniversary for my parents as well as a milestone birthday for my dad. So my brother and I rented a house near the beach for our two families and my parents to stay and spend some quality time together.
Best gift recently received?
My daughters give me presents almost daily which consist of a picture they drew or something that they colored. I love those gifts.
Most inspiring book you’ve read?
One that has really changed my perspective is “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer. It taught me to separate myself from the constant chatter in my head and to focus more on being in the present. I’m really working on letting things flow because we can’t control anything or anyone beyond ourselves (which seems like a no brainer, right?). That book helped me do some inner work.
The thing you most love about your city?
How supportive Orlando is of small, locally owned business. I can’t even keep up with all of the great new restaurants or retail shops popping up around town and all of the small business that are being born here. I also love that there is no shortage of opportunities to vend in a market or event if you don’t have a brick and mortar and am extremely grateful of the community of people that repeatedly show up and shop small.
Best thing about what you do?
I absolutely love creating something from scratch. Taking metal and transforming it into a beautiful piece of jewelry is deeply satisfying. Then the feeling of gratitude when seeing someone wearing my jewelry and knowing that they or a loved one chose to spend their hard earned money on something that I poured my time and effort into. That never gets old.
On your bedside table? Several partially read books, a lamp and alarm clock.
A film that holds a special place in your heart?
The Life Aquatic by Wes Anderson. It’s probably not one of his most favorited movies, but there’s something about it that I love. Another one is Lost in Translation. Maybe I just love Bill Murray.