By Angela Feng
As a child, former UNC student Hailey Geer frequently visited her grandparents’ house, where they had a wire flower sculpture on their coffee table. The intricacy of the sculpture always intrigued her, and she hoped to one day recreate it.
Geer finally decided to try her hand at wire art when she was 14, but found it much more difficult than she had imagined. She started out making jewelry, gradually working her way up to 3D wire art and sculptures.
In 2016, Geer created Fully Alive Wire Art, selling her work on Etsy. However, business didn’t immediately take off.
“It wasn’t until COVID that something just clicked, and I started selling a ton more,” she said.
She began receiving more commissions and growing her Instagram account to promote her work, refining her skills along the way.
“I’m entirely self-taught – most of my learning has come from commissions,” Geer said. “In the beginning I would accept almost every commission I got, which forced me to learn and grow.”
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Geer took an unconventional approach to the learning process. She tackled many complex, difficult projects early on. In fact, one of her first pieces was a turtle sculpture that took nearly 35 hours to complete.
“I started off really complicated, with all these aspirations,” Geer said. “I’m such a perfectionist that these projects took me so long, but I made it work.”
In addition to sculptures, Geer also makes jewelry, bookmarks and wall art. Some of her most popular products include ballerina figurines, copper chickadees and leaf bookmarks.
While Geer receives all kinds of different commissions, the most meaningful ones to create have always been memorials. Many customers have reached out to her looking to recreate images of pets and loved ones who have passed.
“The ability to help people with their grief is definitely one of the most meaningful things I can do,” Geer said. “Who would have thought that through Etsy I’d be able to connect with people from all over the world in such a meaningful way.”
Over the years, Geer’s business has grown tremendously. Some of her bookmarks are now being sold at local coffee shops, and she’s currently working on an elaborate fairy figurine that she expects to be displayed at an art gallery. Though she doesn’t foresee wire art ever becoming a full-time job, she hopes to pass her craft onto others and eventually grow her team.
Interested in seeing more of Geer’s work? Check out Fully Alive Wire Art on Etsy to see her ever-growing collection of handcrafted pieces.