Interview with Kherish (@kherishjewelry)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have high functioning autism which is a day-to-day struggle that makes it incredibly hard to hold a 9 to 5 typical job. I started making jewelry as a way to destress during college because I had to deal with a difficult social situation on a daily basis. One day at therapy I showed my therapist a ring I made and she suggested I try craft shows. I did several craft shows and people really loved my jewelry. Eventually, I created my own website and my business started to take off. I became successful enough to hire others on the autism spectrum. Together the seven of us create handmade jewelry that we designed locally in Virginia. We all create and design our own pieces while working within our weaknesses of being on the spectrum. We thrive together and it’s really been an amazing journey.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
I was supposed to do a craft shows a few years ago but didn’t want to last minute because it was going to be a lot of people which makes my anxiety extremely hard to deal with. My mom suggested I try and if it doesn’t work out she would take me home. So I went and set up and this woman came over and was very interested in the piece of our jewelry. I explained to her that all of our artists were autistic and she got very excited because she’s also on the spectrum. She was telling me how hard it is to find a job and how she struggles with social etiquette and I completely understood. She asked if she could sign up for an email because she’d love to be considered when we’re hiring again. I said “would you like to interview now?” She said “oh my God yes.” So I interviewed her and we hired her. She’s one of our best creators. The way she blends color with design is amazing. She’s a great fit and we’re very happy to have her. If I hadn’t gone to that festival, I never would’ve met her. I’m glad I changed my mind.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Burnout is very easy especially when you add to it anxiety from a major disability. But I have found that good work and life balance is the best way to cope and prevent burnout. I make sure every day to have an hour to myself where I’m just relaxing so that the rest of my day is not overwhelming. I recommend that everybody have some time every day where they can just gather their thoughts and take a deep breath.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My mother has been by my side ever since I was diagnosed and she was the person that bought all of my original materials and even my first fire torch. She’s been my rock through everything making sure I had the supplies and allowing me to lean on her when times got tough. Her strength and encouragement are what led me here today.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Kherish is so excited to have seven autistic artists creating their own designs while making a living wage. It has allowed all seven of us to support ourselves well showing the world that we are just as capable as non-disabled artists. We hope to inspire other people on the spectrum to reach for their dreams because we are just as capable as people without disabilities.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If I can build it, I can fix it.” kherish offers a lifetime warranty because every single thing we make we can repair. I also like to use that idea in every day life. While I struggle with high functioning autism on a daily basis, I know that if I try my best it’ll all work out in the end. Some days are harder than others, but with the support of the other artists from Kherish I am succeeding at my life and my company
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
All of our artists have high functioning autism and create their own designs by hand. We are located locally in Richmond and Leesburg Virginia. We offer a lifetime warranty on all of our jewelry.