Matthew South

 Matthew South—Maker of Hiya Moon Jewelry 
Matthew South sits comfortably on the red sectional couch. Wearing faded denim jeans and a blue and black plaid button up, South starts fidgeting with a piece dangling from his neck.
The piece, which catches the eye quickly, is the necklace of a crystal wedged in between an old bullet case hanging from a chain.
That necklace is Matthew South’s creation. 
South, 22, started his own jewelry line, called Hiya Moon, this fall. South’s jewelry, which consists of rings, earrings and necklaces are unique to the jewelry scene. The necklaces and earrings consist of bullet and crystals. The rings have either an argot or pyrite crystal fastened to a silver or gold band. The design and the idea of Hiya Moon came easy to South.
“I got the idea looking at websites on the Internet,” said South. “I realized my dad had old bullet cases at home and I found crystals at random shops around downtown Iowa City.”
After stepping into the downtown store White Rabbit to shop, South’s line evolved.  
“I was wearing one of my creations that I have made previously,” said South, originally from Colfax, IA. “The owner loved it and wanted me to start carrying my line in her store.”
“The next week I sold ten necklaces and rings.”
Not only does South sell the line at the White Rabbit, but he also has picked up revenue on the website Etsy and Vitae, a store in downtown Des Moines.
Etsy has been his main source of revenue locally and internationally.
“One of my biggest sellers are people in Denmark, that’s where twenty percent of my revenue goes to,” said South. “I also have sold to people in California, New York, France and Germany.”
“Because of Etsy, a store in Boulder, CO contacted me about starting to sell my jewelry line in their store.”
With Hiya Moon in full swing online, South has made about $3000 dollars since he has started in November. The money is not what matters to South though.
“I really love what I do, it truly is a passion for me,” said South. “I created this jewelry line for myself because it’s what I wanted to wear, now I get to share it with other people.”
As a student coming to University of Iowa as a Studio Arts major concentrating in Photography, art has given South inspiration in his jewelry line and marketing techniques. When South is not furthering Hiya Moon he loves to travel, explore vintage shops, and do photography, which has come in handy with marketing his jewelry line.
Using a Polaroid camera, South holds photo shoots for his jewelry line and uploads them to Etsy to sell.
“I believe that one of the main reasons Hiya Moon has been so successful is because I have an interest in fashion and photography,” said South. “Regular pictures wouldn’t sell the product well, you have to create a design and brand an image.”
“People find my pictures on Etsy, they really like the pictures and then they discover my jewelry that’s used in the pictures.”
After graduation next spring South hopes to work as a Art Director, which oversees photo shoot sets, or dreams to be a photographer.
Sipping his frozen margarita in his right hand, South reminisces about the last whirlwind months since starting Hiya Moon.
“I didn’t have a job before this and I found a job that I love to do,” said South. “It honestly came to me at the best point of my life.”
To see some of Matthew South’s works check out his etsy website: