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Product photography serves MIAD alum’s business

Briana Hibbs wearing one of her earrings in the shape of a snowflake

Briana Hibbs

Briana Hibbs ’12 (Photography) started her own handmade earrings business, Made by the Lake, in January 2019. She relies on her eye for product photography to show her jewelry in its best light, and the business now boasts a successful following of over 2,000 customers on Facebook.

“It was an opportunity that came after [graduating] that really opened my eyes to product-specific photography,” says Hibbs. After a former classmate helped her get a job at a photography studio post-graduation, her interest in product photography took off. “A bad photograph of an item will never sell, so it was important that I already had this skill going into opening my own online business,” she explains.

Drawing inspiration from seasonal details, customer requests and other small business artists, Hibbs crafts popular earrings out of wood and acrylic. She creates many of her own designs, but also purchases patterns from other makers. “I love supporting small businesses near and far when I can,” says Hibbs. “I think this type of community building is very important because we all know how difficult it is to start out, and all have our fair share of dealing with imposter syndrome.”

As a student, Hibbs interned with MIAD alum Jessica Kaminski ’01 (Photography), who helped guide her decision to start a business. “MIAD helped me get in touch with a great group of people that taught me experiences beyond college and pointed me in the right direction of what it was that I wanted to do for my future,” she continues. Hibbs hopes that current students chase their dreams and stay flexible. “Even if you think it’s a waste of time, do it and get what you can out of it,” she advises.

Keep up with Briana on her website and Facebook, read more about her business and learn how you can do what you love for life at MIAD.


MIAD students receive 2023 Graphic Design Awards from GDUSA

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IAD seniors tour construction site of The Couture

Interior Architecture and Design (IAD) seniors from MIAD were taken to new heights on November 13 when they toured the construction site of The Couture, a 44-story skyscraper under construction that will be Milwaukee’s tallest residential and mixed-use building. The tour was part of a series of tours their senior thesis “Building Systems” class is taking with instructor Dan Kalkman, AIA.

Ornament Trail features MIAD alumni, faculty, students

For decades, Milwaukee has hosted an annual Holiday Lights Festival. To commemorate the festival’s 25th anniversary, Milwaukee Downtown will also host the new Ornament Trail this year. Five Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alumni and one instructor, who teamed up with both students and alumni, produced giant ornaments for the event.

MIAD Values Recognition Award: Sarah Eichhorn

Sarah Eichhorn, Visiting Instructor of Fashion and Apparel Design, received the October 2023 MIAD Values Recognition Award at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Eichhorn’s nominations speak to her Kindness, Inclusiveness, Innovation and support of MIAD’s Community.


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