Pia Hogue is the Middletown-based mastermind, entrepreneur and metal jewelry jokester behind Hammered by Pia. Made with “a steel block, many tiny steel rods – each with a single letter or number on them – a bending tool, and a good old-fashioned ball peen hammer,” many of her bracelets, rings and necklaces are adorned with what she politely refers to as “sailor vocabulary.” She started Hammered after searching unsuccessfully for jewelry with curse words; her first bracelet, featuring an unprintable phrase, met a tidal wave of support. Pia spent years touring with metal bands for work. “I always knew I would end up in metal,” she says.
As her client base grows, the irreverent, defiant but jokey vibe seems to have struck a chord among those going through “any kind of heartache” (e.g., divorce, death, breakups), Pia says – people who “needed that extra little ‘umph’ to pick them up through the day” and those “who are just plain trying to get their sass back.” “Each person has a different view on what inspires them, or copes differently with tragedy,” she reflects. “Who am I to judge?”