This Former Journalist Pursued Her Passion of Creating Wearable Art Through SUBLIMA Jewelry

In a world that often values practicality over creativity, it can be challenging to pursue our passions and follow our hearts. But for Kelly Bit, the founder of SUBLIMA, it was a calling that she couldn’t ignore.

After years of working as a financial news journalist, Kelly realized that she missed the creative arts as a major part of her life. She started spending her free time making jewelry, and the intentional lifestyle switch brought her a lot of fulfillment.

SUBLIMA is a sustainable, handmade jewelry brand, referencing subliminal messages that produce hidden feelings in our everyday lives. Art imitating life.

In this article, we will explore Kelly’s journey of following her passions, the artistry and intentionality behind her jewelry, and how she is bringing her love of art and design to the world through SUBLIMA.


I’ve always loved crafting. I’m an only child, and when I was very young, I spent a lot of my time drawing or creating cardboard models of things that I found delightful. I’ve always been captivated by beautiful forms and well-loved objects in our every day and creating artful homages to them.

During my career as a journalist, I missed crafting and the creative arts, so I started spending my free time making—drawing, painting, sewing, and creating jewelry. I wanted to invest in one of those hobbies in a more disciplined way, and I saw jewelry as having commercial prospects. I enrolled in metal smithing and wax carving classes after work, and that’s what gave me the skills and confidence to start a jewelry brand.


I love commemorating ordinary moments of delight by capturing something of their essence through elevated and artful jewelry that I make by hand.

I have many delightful memories centered around food and the people I enjoy it with, so that’s one reason why many of the pieces are Asian food inspired. I also tend to notice beautiful and aesthetic aspects of food all the time—like the way milk tea splashes with movement, or the mesmerizing repeating folds of dumplings—so those types of details make me want to highlight how interesting they look through an unexpected art medium.

The way that I make my pieces is by carving wax by hand to create wax prototypes. The prototypes are then molded, and from the molds, the pieces are cast in recycled brass or sterling silver and polished and assembled by hand.


The casting company I work with, which is based in midtown Manhattan and family-run, uses a New York-based company called United Precious Metals to recycle their metal and for purchasing refined recycled metal to use in new castings.

In choosing to partner with my casting company, their ability to source recycled metals was important, and I love how I’ve been able to offer sustainable jewelry since day one. It’s important to me because using recycled metals compared to newly mined metals reduces greenhouse gas emissions and conserves natural resources. And I’m thrilled with the quality of the pieces—the recycled brass and sterling silver are both beautiful bright colors, and I provide a polishing cloth to keep the pieces shiny forever since none of the casted pieces are plated.


I love seeing how different people style the jewelry and how they implement their vision of themselves—what they want to project into the world through their self-expression—using the jewelry as part of their toolkit.

My general hope is that the pieces can be marveled at as wearable works of art and that conceptually they serve as a reminder to see an elevated beauty in everyday moments. For some styles, like those based on Asian food or other cultural motifs, I’d love for people to wear them with a sense of pride or appreciation of Asian culture.


Aesthetically, I aim to make jewelry that looks unlike anything else in the market, at once striking and timeless, with quality that lasts a lifetime. My designs are unusual and eye-catching, somewhat abstract, and can be styled as edgy or classic. Executing these concepts while drawing inspiration from my Chinese American heritage and Asian culture helps set SUBLIMA even further apart from the rest.

The rise in anti-Asian hate after the pandemic made me turn specifically to Asian culinary delicacies as a source of inspiration, to create symbols of cultural pride by elevating the beauty of Asian food through the art of jewelry in a highbrow way, and it’s not something that I’ve seen done by other artists.

Since the pandemic, and even before, there’s been a growing and palpable demand for Asian products and stories. There’s an appetite for consumer brands to create products that help reinforce the emotional connection to identity and culture. The way that I’ve been doing that with SUBLIMA is a two-pronged approach: first through visual representation, and more meaningfully, I’ve pursued partnerships with local nonprofits serving the Asian American and Chinatown communities here in New York. Since 2020, SUBLIMA has donated $65,000 to nonprofits supporting NYC’s Chinatowns, after-school programming, affordable housing, and food security.


My long-term vision is to be the premiere jewelry brand for Asians and Asian Americans and to have the jewelry represent not only high art but humanism and community impact.

One of my biggest desires and goals is for my work to gain more exposure so that its inspiration and aesthetic beauty reach more people. That means collaborating with more organizations and people who share SUBLIMA’s values, being part of events where I can meet people and build connections, getting my jewelry into more stores, and working with more cultural gatekeepers, such as editors or stylists, to spread the word.



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