Cindy Kassebaum has always loved art.
Her passion dates back to the kindergarten days, with a vivid memory of choosing to color with a big box of crayons during free-time while her friends chose to play games. At five years old, sitting by herself and scribbling a chicken in a bright red barn, she had no idea that her fascination for color, texture, intricate patterns, and design would one day transform into a successful jewelry business.
Kassebaum studied Advertising Design at Cypress College, and has experience as a magazine art director, as well as both a producer and designer of several publications. One day, while cleaning out her closet, she stumbled across old gemstones, and was instantly intrigued by their beauty. Knowing she had to create something from them, Rock & Hardware Jewelry was born.
But deciding to create Rock & Hardware Jewelry was only the first step—building a small business from the ground-up is no easy task. “As a small business you are faced with so many challenges because you have to wear so many hats,” Kassebaum says. “It’s those times when you’re juggling everything that you wonder if you can really do it all.”
As the owner and designer of her company, Kassebaum has to find joy in the small, daily tasks in order to get through the tough (and occasionally crazy) times. “Success is a subjective word and I find many successes on a frequent basis,” she says. “Whether it’s processing all my orders in a timely manner, creating a new design that is well received or having a piece of my jewelry worn on a popular television show, each comes with a feeling of accomplishment.”
But her hard work has paid off. Her handcrafted bracelets have been showcased on television shows such as Quantico, The Real, Chasing Amy, and Cedar Cove. Actress Nina Dobrev has worn Kassebaum’s jewelry designs on The Vampire Diaries three times.
Working with artistic passion everyday, Cindy Kassebaum encourages young people with a desire to turn their passion into a business to just go for it. “You’ll have a lot of people tell you it can’t be done, but handwork, determination, and a whole lot of self-confidence can go very far,” she says. “The sky’s the limit!”