It all started in a college dorm room with a few headbands, accessories, and a need to create.
As a musician, artist and overall maker-of-things, jewelry designer Nicki Sarra Halford made her own accessories as a way to express her imagination and curate a style that would tell a story through design, color, and materials. Now, almost nine years and countless working hours later, The Faint of Heart has evolved into a signature bohemian jewelry brand in Memphis.
“The Faint of Heart is jewelry for the dreamers,” she said. “All handcrafted in Memphis, TN, this jewelry brand features raw gemstone crystals in designs because we believe that ‘imperfections’ can be beautiful.”
From a dorm to Etsy, to craft fairs, and now on display at 2535 Broad Avenue in its own studio space, The Faint of Heart is one of many businesses that have partnered with Arrow Creative in their one-roof creative district and concept shop.
“The Faint of Heart fits in really well with the Broad Avenue Arts District because it’s become this revived creative hub, and now all these artists are being put under one roof,” she said. “If you work for yourself or work at home, it can be isolating, and as a full-time maker and small business owner, it’s so important to have a space to create and dream. My studio space here provides just that for me, and it doubles as a retail space. Being a part of a community where like-minded artists and makers gather to work and collaborate is such a great feeling.”
With such a central location in Memphis, clients are also now able to meet with Nicki for custom designs and consultations. “I’ve done a lot of custom pieces for weddings,” she said. “It might be a variation of a design that I already have, or something more specific they have in mind. Sometimes, they come in to look at the stones that are available and I put together however many pieces they need for their bridal party or as gifts.”
Before Nicki began growing her jewelry business, she was a musician. While she still performs and teaches, her primary goal for the last few years has been building The Faint of Heart and expanding on her jewelry-making skills. With that said, there is no doubt that there will always be a connection between the art and the music for her.
“Music was my biggest passion for a while, and this brand grew out of that same artistic place.”
Her carefully curated style and artistic identity, found in her jewelry, has a direct correlation to her musical identity. In some ways, it seems the idea of making and creating is transcendent, moving beyond a single sensory experience and linking what is heard to what is seen.
“Music is a great creative outlet for me, but I’m also a very visual person and I like seeing art. And with jewelry specifically, I love that it’s something that can be sentimental. I love that you can wear it, that it’s so close to you.”
The connection between the internal and external drives her brand and influences her designs. Even the name of her business reflects the bold nature of living creatively and finding that inspired language between who you are and what you’ve come to know about the world around you.
“I like the idea of a ‘free-spirited style’ being something you wear, not because it’s popular, but because you like it. The name ‘The Faint of Heart’ stems from my hope to inspire people to express their authentic style through their jewelry and fashion, regardless of current trends, and even if they might be a little afraid to stand out.”
The Faint of Heart jewelry will be available at the Arrow Concept Shop Grand Re-Opening in the heart of the Broad Avenue Arts District Saturday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stop by to see the space and find the perfect piece to express the spirit of Memphis that is unique to you.
You can also follow @thefaintofheartco on Instagram, or visit www.thefaintofheart.co to order online.
Cover photo: Nicki Sara Halford by Zoe Fluger