Meet Kate O' Connell, Joshua Tree local, motorcyclist, and owner of Hexorn, a unique jewelry line that we fell in love with. Kate has been so generous to donate an item to the Babes Ride Out 4 raffle this year and we cannot wait to see what she creates. Get to know this lady and how she started her own business.
Name: Kate O'Connell | @hexorn | Joshua Tree, CA
What do you ride and how long have you been riding?
'98 Harley 883, I've been riding since 2011, I've always had friends in the biker scene, but it took me a few years to get up the courage to do it myself, and I'm so glad I did! It's been such an amazing experience and I've meet some wonderful people in the community!
My favorite ride is up through Joshua Tree National Park to Keys View, honestly it's one of the reasons I moved out here. The road is smooth, with big gentle turns and amazing views. At a certain elevation you hit a cooler temperature that really makes it heaven in the summer.
How long have you been making jewelry and how did you get started?
I've been at it about a year an a half. I was an interactive art director in advertising before and I just found myself fed up with creating for clients and wanted to make art for myself again, to create products that I really love a believe in. One of my dearest friends is a master crystal hunter, she started sending me stones she's found up in the mountains of Montana to incorporate in the jewelry. I bought the materials and slowly taught myself the craft, creating my own process for setting the stones to keep them raw and natural, while providing a high-end product.
What has been the best part about owning your own business?
I was able to leave the city, leave my office job and move out to Joshua Tree. It's allowed me freedom and brought creative passion back into my life. I hand make everything on my own, so each piece has hours of my energy and my heart packed into it. I am proud of the jewelry I make and it gives me so much joy to see others love what I've made.
What is the hardest part?
The jewelry market is flooded with amazing talent, and many people who have been creating much longer than I have. I constantly have to remind myself that I'm at the beginning of my journey, and to not allow myself to become frustrated if I'm not making the sales, gaining the followers, etc. that I would like. It will all come in time, but I find myself impatient, especially when bills need to be paid!
What are your goals for Hexorn Jewelry?
I would like the business to grow to a point where I can create full time without stress of money, possibly hiring in help when needed, but I would like to keep it small enough that I still design each piece myself.
Tell us about what inspired your creations:
I have two design directions for each of my pieces, either to look like they are either part of the natural world, that the stones are jutting out from the metal in a natural way; or that they are an archaic ceremonial piece, buried for thousands of years and pulled from the ground of an archeological site of some ancient culture. For the natural pieces, I find inspiration primarily from the stone, I look at the shapes, textures and colors to interpret how the stone would have grown from the metal. For the archaic pieces, I draw mostly from Ancient Egyptian, Assyrian and Inca jewelry, artifacts and architecture.
How did you first hear about Babes Ride Out?
Riding in the LA scene, it was talked about a lot by the other lady riders I ride with, since the beginning!
Any recommendations for things to do in the area while the girls are in town for BRO 4?
La Copine Kitchen on Old Woman Springs is by far the best brunch in town on the weekend, and it's run by two amazing women! The ride up to Keys View, of course, and if you have a big enough tank, ride down to the Cholla Cactus Garden, it's really remarkable. A good sound bath at the Integratron is always an amazing way to recenter after an amazing weekend.
Anything we left out?
I'm proud of living in Joshua Tree it really makes me beam when Babes Ride Out rolls into town. Seeing that many women rip through town all at once is some seriously girl power, thanks to BRO for making it happen!