A Jewelry Studio Grows In Ridgewood, NY

Well lit jewelry studio bench with green plants, tools, shelves, storage, guitar, chair

I'm thrilled with Sweet Hyena's new jewelry studio space filled with light, plants, and space for all of my tools and materials.

Some of you may know that Sweet Hyena began and, until recently, operated out of a 3'x3' closet. While I loved the fact that I was able to create numerous pieces of jewelry in such a small space, after several months, it began to feel claustrophobic. 

Jewelry studio inside a closet, with pegboard and tools

In my old studio, I maximized storage in the minuscule 3'x3' space with a pegboard for tools and shelves crammed with materials.

In late May, almost two months after the launch of sweethyena.com, I began to really feel the pain of being so cramped, despite my efforts to keep everything organized.

Jewelry designer working inside of a crammed messy closet studio

My boyfriend Tom posted this photo of me on his Instagram account with the caption, "When the girlfriend wants to make jewelry for a living out of your closet...you let her. Goodbye closet! 😕"

Tom was feeling the pain, too. He had been working steadily on a freelance gig from home, and our once cozy bedroom had begun to feel chaotic.

Bedroom with clothes, surfboard, picture frames, and closet

In our old bedroom, you could peer into the closet studio from the bed. The bedroom was maximized with an open rack for clothes, and even accommodated some surfboards.

So in May, we began the search for a new space in earnest. After countless viewings, we almost settled on two different places in Brooklyn—one in Crown Heights; the other, Bedford-Stuyvesant. However, we changed our mind about one, and the other fell through. Exhausted but determined, we resumed our search. Two months later, we finally found a loft-style studio in Ridgewood, a Queens neighborhood bordering Bushwick, that fulfilled very little of our original wish list (which had included a separate room for sleeping, outdoor space, and being in Brooklyn). However, the tall ceilings and open layout captured our imagination, and we decided that the loft would allow for us to create our ideal live and work space.

I'll save the full apartment tour for another time, but for now, here are a few details that I love about the new studio.

Olympia typewriter on top of case on shelf, plants and jewelry tools blurred out in the background

This Olympia typewriter is a treasured item given to me by my old creative director, and now it has a happy new home on the metal shelf dividing my studio from the living space.


Small Shih Tzu dog on black floor of a jewelry studio, with plants, tools, warehouse light, and a guitar.

The new studio sometimes hosts guests. This small furry friend finds himself a comfortable spot on the floor.


Jewelry studio bench with a Foredom flexshaft motor, jewelry tools, and green plants by a window

After working out of a closet space for so long, this large window feels like such a luxury. My goal is to turn this space into an indoor jungle, filled to the brim with greenery such as this assortment of newly acquired plants.

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