Hi, my name is Dante Perozzi. I’m a jewelry maker and designer living in Lakewood, Colorado, in a little neighborhood called Applewood. I work out of my shed in my backyard, and I’m happy to be a Colorado creative.
What are your favorite resources to get inspired? Well, I think that I have many. But recently I’ve really been enjoying following the community of other artists here. Watching them strive, watching them build and create things is just so inspiring. Watching people succeed in their creative and business ventures, makes me want to do the same.
Who is an artist or designer you admire and why? There’s so many. But I, in particular, for jewelry designers, there is a designer named Ariana Broussard Rebel. And she, like me, has a background in sculpture. And her designs are unapologetically sculptural, she is not trying to design for the masses, she is not trying to please you with her designs, she is following her creative vision to the end, and is succeeding with it. She’s wildly desired and shown in so many boutiques and stores all over the world. And her stuff is just gorgeous. So she is sort of my jewelry crush.
Assuming you didn’t have limits of budget, time, and topic, what would your next dream project be? Well, I’m pretty sure that if a budget was not an issue that I would buy all the tools, I would set up a casting facility here in my she-shed, and have everything I need to go through the design, creation, and production of all my own pieces I have to cast elsewhere because I don’t have the equipment for it. And I plan to one day, but I would do it right now if I could, and probably just really deck out my space. Because another thing that inspires me is having a beautiful space to work in. Lots of light, organized. All the tools that I love to play with at my fingertips, that would probably be pretty dreamy for me.
It would be dreamy for me.
What career advice would you give your younger self? Well, there’d be a couple of things. Number one, take a business class. Before you get started, or at least at the beginning. I have had to kind of scramble to figure out some things later on that a lot of people learned in business school and I just sort of did it backward. I created the business and the art and the designs and then had to sort of piece back together the more practical, business-minded aspects of my business. So I don’t know if that made sense. Go to business class. And then the second thing is, don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are so much more willing to be supportive than we realize. Yes, there are individuals and businesses out there that are more competitive and not looking to help anyone else come up. But for the most part, people in your industry, they want to help. They have wisdom they want to share it.
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You know if you need to know where to go to find a certain material, ask somebody who does what you do and they will tell you, they will help you and just really form connections and community. And in doing so you are able to reciprocate in kind. So, be giving and be generous with your information and your insight as you gain it, and people will do the same for you. When I was just getting started, I was sure that everyone was just out for themselves. I was scared to ask for help. I was scared to ask for advice. And so it took me a lot longer to get to a place where I could have been much sooner if I’d have just asked for help. I had to figure everything out on my own and make some mistakes and really could have just asked and saved myself a lot of time and pain and stress. But yeah, people are generally good and willing to be helpful. So that is what I would say to my younger self, other than take a business class.