Story By Kara Mautz/ Photos Contributed By Hoop Love Studio
There is a new jewelry store in town. Hoop Love Studio, created and owned by jeweler and artist CyEra Bibbs-Taylor, offers unique and custom jewelry pieces both online and at a physical location on Duvall Drive in Auburn.
Bibbs-Taylor is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina but moved at 33 years old to start a new life here in Alabama.
While in Auburn, she has discovered a new passion of creating jewelry with beads and wires.
Per the official Hoop Love Studio website, Bibbs-Taylor said that she aims to speak love and the stories of other people through her work.
Bibbs-Taylor was first inclined to open Hoop Love Studio back in 2019, to help cope with the grief surrounding her grandmother’s passing and inspired by their mutual love of jewelry making.
“After my grandmother passed away in 2019, I turned back to creating jewelry because of the grief I had was very heavy,” Bibbs-Taylor said. “Creating the jewelry gives me comfort. Throughout my childhood, my grandmother would give me materials to make jewelry as a means of calming my anxiety and to help heal trauma. Each piece of jewelry I made was unique and gave me an outlet for my pain.”
Bibbs-Taylor said that she was raised by her grandmother for most of her life, and the love and memories of her grandmother inspired her to name the studio “Hoop Love.”
“I chose the name Hoop because the very first piece of jewelry I ever made were hoop earrings,” Bibbs-Taylor said. “I chose to include ‘love’ because of my grandmother’s love for me throughout my whole life.”
Bibbs-Taylor said that she was inspired to open her own jewelry studio to help others who may be going through hard times, such as grief and mental health problems. Bibbs-Taylor is also a member of the deaf and autistic community and said that part of the drive to open her own studio was to connect with other people with disabilities who share the same interests.
She went on to explain that she chose Auburn to open her studio because of the welcoming community and tranquility she has found here.
“I choose the Auburn/Opelika area to open my business because it’s so peaceful here,” Bibbs-Taylor said. “Auburn is such a happy town and I thought it would be the perfect place for my healing.”
She said she believes that what makes her jewelry so unique is that each piece has a meaning and a deeper story behind it. She also specializes in creating custom pieces to help others tell their stories through her creations.
“Each jewelry piece that I create has a special meaning behind it.” Bibbs-Taylor said.
Bibbs-Taylor recently made a necklace with a pair of boxing gloves, reminding her that she is a survivor, she said.
“It gives me a reminder that I survive, from beating uterine cancer, beating the odds of childhood abuse, the fight to get my children back home with me full time and beating so many other obstacles as a Deaf Autistic Black Woman.”
Bibbs-Taylor said that she has experienced many special moments since opening Hoop Love over three years ago, that it is impossible to choose just one.
“I have way too many special memories, but the best one has to be the feeling that my grandmother is with me in spirit through the process of this business, and that she is watching over me from the other side.”
Per the official Hoop Love Facebook page, the studio is currently offering curbside pickup, as well as in-store pickup and online classes.
“In addition to jewelry making, we offer online classes such as a basic jewelry design workshop and beginner jewelry designs,” Bibbs-Taylor said.
One thing is for sure, Hoop Love is not planning to slow down any time soon. Bibbs-Taylor said that she has several plan in the works for the jewelry studio in 2023.
“I am very excited to be working full time for Hoop Love in 2023,” Bibbs-Taylor said. “I am also excited to meet new people and continue building a clientele base.”
Bibbs-Taylor said that she also has plans for Hoop Love to attend the upcoming SummerNight art walk event in downtown Auburn.
Not only will Hoop Love be attending more events in the new year, but Bibbs-Taylor is also planning on expanding the jewelry offered in store.
“The next step for me is learning how to do wire wrapping with healing crystals,” Bibbs-Taylor said, “My favorite kind of jewelry to make right now is with wires, beads for necklaces and earrings but I want to experiment with adding healing crystals.”
Bibbs-Taylor said that one of her favorite aspects of the job is to help her customer’s visions come to life through her handmade creations. She spoke about a recent client who requested custom matching necklaces inspired by the mythological story of Osiris and Isis.
According to the Albany Institute of History and Art, the story explains how the god and Egyptian king Osiris was killed by his jealous brother Seth, but his wife and the goddess Isis was able to reconstruct his corpse and mummify him, bringing him back to life. Osiris then became the king of the Afterlife, but he promised that their son Horus would one day defeat his Uncle Seth to become the protector of the Earth and restore order and peace to the Universe.
“These necklaces held a special meaning for my client since she is very interested in Egyptian gods and goddesses,” Bibbs-Taylor said. “They both have charms, and I really enjoyed being able to create those necklaces for them.
“I also have a few special pieces that I have made for myself. I have a necklace made with rose quartz beads and purple pearls, that symbolize self-love and surviving domestic violence and childhood abuse. They are a reminder to myself that I have survived through it all and I love myself for that.