Hephaestus Rings Blog
The Hephaestus Rings Blog is here to bring you along on our journey and to help you discover more about the materials and processes that go into creating each of our wedding bands.
The Beginning of Hephaestus Rings
This is a story about the start of Hephaestus Rings (Heh-feh-stus), a handmade mens wedding band shop started by me, Josiah Salik.
Everybody has a story. You may be tempted to think that yours is less interesting than most. But don't. Your story is unique and beautifully interesting, even when you don't feel it. Anyway, I'll get off my 3-in-1 soap bottle and get started.
Although I absolutely love ringmaking, it was never really a dream or a passion of mine. It just sort of...happened. That, and I was desperate for work change.
I was fresh out of college and I had my first real engineering job for a small civil engineering firm in Grand Rapids, MI. I was coming up on a year of working there and I gotta say, I didn't love it. The company was great, my coworkers were kind, the pay was good, but with it came a swallowing anxiety each day. The engineering field wasn't for me.
I can't even remember what video it was anymore, but one day I was watching a video of a guy from some far-off country forging a wedding band, and I thought what probably most people watching it thought, "That's awesome! I wanna try that." Except for some reason, I actually did try it. I learned how to make my own small coal forge and then a propane forge. I melted down aluminum and bronze and silver and experimented daily with ring making. I probably could have learned a lot faster than I did, but I loved the trial and error and figuring things out myself. It's because of this that I feel I am a stronger and more creative ringmaker today. February 2021 I started an Etsy shop on a whim and added my first listing with a dark grainy photo of a bronze ring that turned your finger green. It was thrilling. I never had any expectation of doing it full-time but 2 months later…
It’s April 2nd and my wife and I are having our first child. It’s a home birth in our small upstairs apartment. Baby comes. There is much rejoicing mingled with the common uneasiness of new parents. 2 weeks later I’m working 50+ hours in a job that makes me feel like I’m dying a slow death. I resigned weeks after our baby was born.
The feeling that you’re less than a man, a poor husband and father, failing your family because you can’t stick it out in a tough job is too real. At the same time, I was not mentally, emotionally, or spiritually available for my wife and newborn. We decided together that resigning from my job may not just be the best thing for my own mental health, but for the health of the family.
Humility or humiliation? Choose wisely.
I started ring making full time under the name Hephaestus Rings, and by the abundant grace of God and kind family and friends, we stayed afloat. It's a risky venture, and because of this we go through some rough patches, but we wouldn't have it any other way.