2024 Renegade Craft Tour! →

Renegade Craft Fair

May 4, 2016

Swim to the Moon

Maker Spotlight

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With a name like, Swim to the Moon, you can certainly imagine these jewelry pieces are fantastically dreamy! The self-taught designer, Stefani Stoyanof, creates these adornments in her Austin studio using wax casting and hand-carving techniques. 

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Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind it?

Being born and raised in Greece, I have a true love for the sea. One summer day in 2013 as I was swimming out past the rocky cliffs of the Aegean, I turned back to see how far I had gone. The sun was beaming down on the white jagged rocks and it looked as if I was staring at the moon. It was at that moment that SWIM TO THE MOON would be the perfect name for my business; always reminding me where I come from and where I feel most comfortable.

Have you always been passionate about design?

Most definitely! Whether I’m making jewelry, sewing clothes, naturally dyeing fabrics, or trying to make furniture out of wood, I am always creating. And when I am not, I am observing and learning.

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When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?

I have always been designing, specifically designing clothes and working in the fashion industry as a visual merchandiser for the last 5 years. But, I started making jewelry as a hobby and as a way to relax, back when I was pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology. I had even signed up for a metal smith class, on top of all the workload I had from classes. In the spring of 2013, after a year of school, I noticed that I always found myself at my desk designing or in the studio soldering, when I should have been studying. It was at that moment I decided I needed to step back and re-evaluate. I withdrew from the university and in the summer I decided to start my own business.   

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

I think the character of my work lies in the methods I use to make my jewelry. From hand carving and sculpting pieces out of wax, to taking my hand drawn sketches and turning them from 2D to 3D printed wax molds. My pieces are very geometric and minimal, but when you take a closer look, you can see all of the tiny detail that brings the jewelry to life and makes you want to throw it on and run around in the sun.

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Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

Oh yes! Failures definitely occur on a weekly, sometimes daily basis when you run a small business. I might have spent hours sketching a design only to discover that it cannot actually be created, or the vintage chains I found and ordered end up lost in the mail. Whatever the problem may be, I try to keep going and push through because in the end I absolutely love what I’m doing.

Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?

The biggest sacrifice for me is missing daily social contact. Because I absolutely love working with people, having your own business can sometimes get very lonely, but it also gives you the chance to blast your favorite record!

What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?

The proudest moment for me by far, is seeing someone wearing Swim to the Moon. To see your creations floating out there in the real world, is a pretty incredible feeling.


What are some inspirations for your work?

I’m inspired by the sea, the moon, and nature’s textures. Every design, in some way represents any of those three things; whether it’s the shape, the colour, or the texture. I am that person who takes a picture of dried and cracked mud and then ends up designing a necklace.

What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

Always listen to your intuition and try not to compare yourselves to other artists, because each and everyone has something unique to offer. So, be confident and stand by your work.


All things Swim to the Moon: