Gillian Trask earned an M.A. jewelry degree in 2019.
SCAD: What went into your decision to study at SCAD?
Trask: I have always had a love for SCAD. I was in one of the earlier groups of SCAD's Rising Star program in '94. Truthfully, I was working in the corporate world of luxury jewelry when I had one of those "aha!" moments. In 2015, my father passed, and while I was on bereavement leave, the store I was managing got robbed. Going back to that environment made me realize that life is short and highlighted the importance of doing something you love. While I loved working with the customers and bringing joy to them, I had always wanted my own jewelry line and store. Having something like that happen was the catalyst to get myself in gear. It motivated me to go back to school for my master's degree in jewelry at SCAD.
SCAD: Did you receive any scholarships during your time at SCAD? If so, how did that impact your experience?
Trask: I did receive a scholarship. It helped me tremendously because I knew the importance of this education to help sculpt my pathway to my own collection and store. Without the help, it would have made that journey much more difficult.
SCAD: What role has SCAD played in your current success?
Trask: SCAD absolutely prepared me for the launch of my business! I was very fortunate with my professors who helped me tailor my M.A. around the building of my business and the development of my process. Many of the friends I made at SCAD needed internships, and I was able to help them fulfill this requirement. In turn, many of them helped me in collaborations with designs, events, and ideas to help get Gillian Trask collections launched. Those friendships and the support I received were necessary in the development of Gillian Trask.
SCAD: Do you have any projects on the horizon we should be on the lookout for?
Trask: We have lots of plans on the horizon. We hope to be able to open our gallery space upstairs so students can showcase their thesis work. Then, we will have a kiosk at the Plant Riverside District for the Christmas Market at the end of the year. In the next year or so, while we plan for more European shows, we're hoping to work more with Brightside Savannah CASA. Our goal is to help empower kids who are about to age out of the foster care system. If we can empower those kids with foundation jewelry classes — or even teach them how to set up their own businesses — then we are on track to help change and empower the world. It will take time, but at Gillian Trask we have big plans. We're not shy! I mean, after all — we do play with fire.