Linsey Pisciotta has been in the jewelry-making business since she started selling her creations as a little girl at her father’s bar in El Paso. Her mom would take her to local thrift stores, where she’d find pieces to take home and redesign. “That’s how I started, buying old pieces and reinventing them,” she says.
Her father was a rock hunter, foraging in the desert and bringing home his finds to polish and repurpose. She, too, developed a love for rocks and natural materials. “That’s just been embedded in me,” she says.
Fast forward to college in San Marcos, where she would make jewelry for her friends as a creative outlet from her studies in consumer science. Her designs caught on, and she realized her hobby could be a way to make some extra money.
In 2009, she opened her Etsy shop under the name Mesa Blue, a combination of her favorite color and Mesa Street, a main thoroughfare in El Paso. Her logo bears a thunderbird, another nod to her hometown.
Her roots play a big role in how she imagines her line, too. The turquoise and raw geode pieces are direct influences from her Southwestern upbringing, and her simple, everyday, bohemian aesthetic is a tribute to her own style. “El Paso is a really eclectic place, and it’s really diverse. That’s kind of my line also,” she says.
Being on Etsy proved a boon to her business and opened her eyes to what other makers were doing and how to cater to a varied customer base. “It was so cool to be able to sell stuff all over the world and get customers’ feedback,” she says.
After four years tending her Etsy shop and working full-time in retail, she decided to pursue jewelry making full time, launching a website and freeing up her time to conduct shows and travel in support of her line. She also became her own boss, meaning a lot of her items are made while she’s in pajamas, sitting on the couch. “The process behind it is super laid-back and organic,” she says.
She keeps her prices as reasonable as she can, knowing that for most, jewelry is a luxury, not a necessity. “My customer is a working mom, a college student, a high school student—someone who doesn’t have a ton of money to spend on jewelry,” she says.
Her line has expanded to include necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, magnets and key chains. “Anything I can attach a stone to, I will,” she says. She’d like to eventually extend her offerings into lifestyle pieces and home goods, such as jewelry boxes and wall hangings. And the ultimate goal? A brick-and-mortar store. “That would be amazing,” she says.
In the meantime, she’s happy being totally hands-on, even if it means she can’t get manicures because she’s always making jewelry. “I don’t have any helpers,” she says. “No one’s going to do it like me, because I wasn’t properly taught and I do it my own funky way.”
Not that she views being the sole producer of her line as a burden. Ultimately, she enjoys the creative freedom that comes with being the one in charge. “I like that, in the end, the final product is mine.”
Though she’s only been in Plano for a year, she’s happy to call it home. Her husband Justin’s job transferred the couple to North Texas from Austin. She’s hoping to find other makers and craftspeople in the Plano community, but until then she continues to ply her trade at home, taking breaks to explore local parks and grab a bite at Spezzo or Mexican Sugar.
And when her 14-month-old daughter, Blake Olivia, goes down for naps, she gets busy, crafting beautiful pieces from materials inspired from her childhood as well as her everyday experiences. “It’s what I like,” she says.
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