Finding what you love and making a livelihood doing it—don't we all wish we could be so lucky? For Huntington Beach native Samantha Nicole Rodden, the hunt for her passion ended eight months ago. Making it her full-time job, however, waves from a distance, but monetary return on her small jewelry design business is hardly the highest of the self-taught jewelry maker's priorities. Her intentions lie in giving back to the local community and creating positive karma, which is why she aptly named her company Give and Get 714.
Born and raised in Surf City, 27-year-old Rodden has spent most of her life here in Orange County. She headed north for college but eventually made her way south to the warm community she loves. It was here in HB where the retail manager stumbled upon a business card for an Anaheim-based mom-and-pop jewelry shop during a staycation at her parents' house. She paid local gem Kamal Trading Co., Inc. a visit and found herself drawn to the spools of wire. Rodden also realized that she, the daughter of a crafty father, was also crafty by nature.
"I decided to pick up some wire, looked on Pinterest for some ideas and it literally just started like that," she says of her handmade jewelry line, which features unique, meticulously bent and twisted flowers, letters, hearts and infinity symbols; snuggly wrapped stones; and earrings handmade by her older sister, Sara Rodden. Friends began requesting pieces, and the name "Give and Get 714" was born. Giving to customers is the highlight of her work, as is the overall creating experience. "It's my serenity," Rodden says. "It's very relaxing, and it's something that's exciting to show off when I'm done."
What Rodden receives from her work aside from money is the pleasure of crafting a piece of jewelry by hand and sending it home with someone who will cherish it just as much as she did the process. "It's not really how much can I sell, it's just meeting people and getting their opinions," says Rodden. "A lot of people love to share." The weekend Pier Plaza Art-A-Faire regular makes matching mother-daughter rings on the spot with customers eyeing her wire skills. "I think it makes it a little bit more special because they can connect and it's something they did together," she says of the onsite crafting.
Sourcing her ring, earring, necklace and bracelet materials from local stores, Rodden's go-to spots are JJ Bead on Edinger Avenue and Beadology on Goldenwest Street. Both shops are located just around the corner from one another. This curious placement might make for heated competition elsewhere, but not in HB—a city where the community unites to better the lives of everyone in it. As we chatted with Rodden about her work, she could not resist mentioning other budding local entrepreneurs, some her close friends.
Currently commuting 100 miles to and from work every day, Rodden says her goals remain in HB: "I ultimately have the intentions to give back to the community with donations and/or my time to an organization that I connect with."
Having already expanded her materials to include beads and clay, she says the creation possibilities are "pretty endless," adding, "There's no one vision."
Her work can be viewed on Etsy, her website and her weekend Pier Plaza Art-A-Faire booth. "I get there when I can," says Rodden of the typically bi-monthly showcasing of handmade art. "Hopefully when I'm just making jewelry for the rest of my life I can just enjoy it every weekend or every time they have it."
This December, one of her most adorable pieces—Bow Handmade Wire Ring—will be available through the Main & PCH Marketplace at a discounted price. "I think it's a great thing you guys are doing with local businesses and keeping it at home," she says of the "Made in HB" project, adding that for buyers, "...what's most convenient is helping everyone in the neighborhood, what's right here in front of them."
Follow Give and Get 714 on Instagram.