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a guide for creativity

kaliska sweetwater


Being a creative business owner poses unique challenges, because unlike my previous jobs, I have to be CONSTANTLY coming up with new ideas- from designs, to branding, to business growth and strategy. And honestly? I love it. It's one of the most fulfilling parts of being self employed. Over the last 7 years I have played a lot of mind games with myself- trying to keep myself organized, motivated, and moving forward. Here are some of the strategies I use that help me stay creative and moving forward, even when I’m not sure how to proceed.

I always write everything down. I carry a notebook around with me all the time; if you have an insanely brilliant idea, you're going to want to write it down when it comes to you because just like a dream, it’s sure to slip away.

I keep all these ideas written down and filed away- literally. I keep a file box with 6 files for different areas of the business. Usually creativity flows when I’m busy and my head (and my schedule) are full to the brim! Then a lull comes and my mind is a blank page!! Endlessly frustrating. These are the moments when I take out my files and dump them out- sorting through until I find the project I’m ready to tackle and bring to fruition. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but for me it’s served me well and helped me organize my chaos.

When I find myself in a true creative lull, uninterested even in woking on projects i’ve already thought up, I’ve found that nothing’s more effective to shake off a funk then shaking up my day to day routine. Switch it up! Even if its just taking a different rout to work, seeing different things can overhaul the auto-pilot that can come over like a fog and put you too much in your head. Changing the input changes the output.

Take time for yourself. If you never take a moment to clear out your head, nothing new can squeeze its way in! Whether it's a bubble bath and a glass of wine, or an hour of kickboxing that should spent been spent fulfilling orders, take the time to stay sane. It's worth it- I promise.

As I write this, I’m seeing it is a guide to how I stay creative, but it’s all the same tools I reach for when I’m depressed or unmotivated in other parts of my life as well; as an entrepreneur- especially one that works alone from home, these low moments can really sneak up on you. It’s been a real challenge over the years to hold myself accountable and not allow myself to hide out and let those feelings and melancholia grow. Keep moving, even when it’s the absolute last thing you feel like doing. Especially then. Life is like a circle, and it all comes around again.

radical consumerism

kaliska sweetwater


In America, consumerism is king. We are constantly being convinced to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need, and that are built to break down, wear out, and become obsolete. This entire model was designed and implemented to benefit the few at the expense of the many. We live in a reality where 95% of the population lives and survives on 28% of the total wealth in this country, while the remaining 5% maintains 72% off the country’s wealth, while paying lower taxes than anyone else. The wealth disparity is more drastic now than even in history- yet we are less aware of it than ever. Consumerism is designed to keep the rich richer, and the rest of us scrambling to grab the scraps. This is not news, even as I write this I feel the redundancies in the things I’m saying, and yet the reality persists, and will continue to persist unless we take change into our own hands.

Now we have an opportunity- a chance to take that power back. We have a say in what the future looks like, and how we spend our money matters now more than ever. If we hope to dismantle a system, we can’t continue to fund it. I hope that by creating a product that’s built to last, using sustainable practices and materials, I can offer the market an alternative. Designs should last a life time- translating from season to season, without breaking the bank, and without needing to be replaced. This is what I hope the future looks like- many small businesses, all sharing in the wealth, hiring our neighbors, and contributing to our local economy. Taking the money and the control out of the hands of the wealthy few, and giving back to the overwhelming majority.

planned parenthood

kaliska sweetwater

health care should be safe - information should be free - facts should matter

       For our 2nd collaboration with the amazing photographer Tien Austin, we decided to create a collection featuring two classic pieces with a modern, relevant twist. Featuring local model and artist Theadora Frost, this collection we will be donating 50% of every sale to Planned Parenthood. ( pssst- that ring Thea is wearing? It's actually a necklace! Check it out by clicking the image. )

Click here to donate directly :  Panned Parenthood

behind the quantum collection

kaliska sweetwater


       From sketches, to prototypes, to a finalized collection with images, pricing, and systemized production (which often is me on my floor, working through the night). I love designing, and for every collection the inspiration comes from a different source. Our SS17 collection was birthed from the minutiea of our universe- the beauty that hides in plain sight all around us.

       For me, science and magic have always been intrinsically linked. As a born and raised witch, I have always known that nature is bigger than we know. Vaster, wiser, and cleverer than we believe. When I stumbled on a physics book and began reading, I became mesmerized. The things I was reading sounded like magic, not science. Teleportation across space and time, particles and waves swirling together to form the world we see around us, simultaneous realities?!  Insane!! It reminded me how to view the world how I used to- when everything I saw was new and constantly mind-blowing. 

       This year has shown me that the world isn’t what I thought- that the ground is a lot shakier than it seems. Reading about physics brought me a great deal of calm, mostly because irrationality is baked right in. Reading about quantum physics, and the unseen laws that govern our existence, became a powerful metaphor for me. That metaphor became this collection. The curves of space and time, history as we view it- as we experience it- is it as it is? We may have lived this life before- and physics says so. Though the pieces I put forth are far from microscopic, they represent the beauty of chaos, and the calm that can be found within it. The waves that symbolize the ebb and flow of time, and space, and matter. 


       With serious implications in the future of technology, potential teleportation technology, as well as the implied existence of parallel realities, quantum physics is nothing if not mind bending. And you know what makes it all even more incredible? There have been no experiments able to disprove the theories. Regardless of what you believe, our world is indescribably vast and beautiful. The coming months and years will challenge our ability to remember that, and I hope that in some small way, jewelry can help us scramble through. For me, I always feel a little stronger, a little smarter, and sometimes even a little taller when I put on the perfect pair of earrings and a necklace (or four). 


Want to learn more about QUANTUM physics? Here are some places to start! 


kaliska sweetwater

KD designs is a handmade clothing company here in PDX, made and designed by one of my dearest friends- Katrina Dimick. I first met Katie in pre-school, and we grew up along side each other- going to school together until the 12th grade!

Our paths went in different directions after that, but now here we are! Both makin' rad shit in Portland so we decided to get together and do a little photo shoot! Her clothes, my jewelry, and an absurd amount of fun. 

KD designs is made by hand in PDX and strives to produce effortlessly wearable simple clothing that you will return to time and again. They use deliciously soft materials in basic solids and interesting graphic prints.


kaliska sweetwater

Hi everyone!

POLARIS JEWELRY is starting a blog!! Yay!

The disclaimer is- of course- that I have no idea how to write a blog. So here we go!

I will be sharing glimpses into my life, my city, and of course, behind the scenes at Polaris Jewelry!

It could also just become a glimpse into the chaos of my brain.

Let me know what you like, what you don’t, and what you wish you could see more of!