2015 Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts - La Habra, CA

hillcrest festival of fine arts handcrafted jewelry art la habra

I participated in the 55th Annual Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts and it turned out to be an amazing event! This event showcased artists work ranging from paintings, weaving, photography, pottery, sculpture, wood turning and jewelry. Best of all..it was LOCAL!

Situated on the rolling hills of La Habra Heights, Hillcrest Congregational Church was a perfect setting to have an art festival.

It was my first time participating in an art festival and I found it to be a great experience. Since I launched Bovar Jewelry at the beginning of this year, I found it both insightful and motivating to get the public's opinion in person.  

Not knowing what to expect, I was quite nervous to participate in the Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts. Having my booth located just around the corner from the festivals featured artists, Armando Baeza and Yoshio Nakamura, was a little much for a newbie like myself.

Armando being an extraordinary sculpture with a +40 year career as a toy designer plus endless bronze sculpture dating back to the 1960's was awesome. Yoshio, award winning painter, was one of the first demonstrators at Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts back in 1960. Fast forward 55 years, he has participated in the festival every year except for 1970, when he took a sabbatical leave to Europe.

But like anything, these featured artist started somewhere so it was great motivation and inspiration meeting these talented individuals.   

From the very first piece I designed, I knew what I was creating was something out of the ordinary. Not just ordinary but also handcrafted.

Best part of an art festival is the people attending value handcrafted artisan work, such as my jewelry, rather than the mass produced products you see in large department stores. I would have to say the crowd that attends art festivals are my prime demographic! I found my niche market.

I received tons of great feedback both on the craftsmanship and uniqueness of the rings. Not everyone is out to buy a statement ring, which I find the majority of my rings to be. I sold an equal amount of my large statment rings like Dying Flower and Spira while also selling a fair amount of my smaller rings like Parva and Arma. I felt I had something for everyone.  

From the very beginning, I wanted to design a collection of handcrafted rings that brought a sense of elegance but also boldness. I want the person wearing the ring to feel they are wearing something of importance, value, and art.

Building an inventory of rings large enough for my first art festival while simultaneously building inventory for my online jewerly store was quite a challenge. Deciding which ring sizes to stock for the event and quantities was all new to me. There were several sleepless nights filled with endless cups of coffee.

Not only did I have to create these beautifully handcrafted rings but I also had to design a booth that looked appealing to the public and would compliment the rings.

I decided to mix the Men's and Women's Collection rings within the gallery style display cases, which were also custom made. This idea to intermingle the men's and women's rings turned out to be a great idea as I found many of the rings appealed to both genders. Men tried on and purchased the Spira Collection rings. I never would have thought to advertise these rings as unisex.

Meeting other artists that were displaying their work inside the Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts gallery, demonstrating their skills in ceramics, jewelry, sculpture and mosaics was far worth any sale. The ability to see what inspires them, ask questions and receive advice was quite an amazing experience.

Thanks to Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts, all the volunteers, patrons, and community for making this event happen and provide me the opportunity to showcase my jewelry.

See you next year Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts!! Look out for future announcements on art festivals that I will be particapating throughout the year.

- Rob