New York, NY
Describe what you sell.
Handcrafted jewelry. I describe my style as “Industrial Organic,” because it’s a fusion of sleek lines and natural shapes. I use very few stones or gems in my work; instead I try to create visual interest by mixing metals and multi-dimensional shapes.
What is your real life like?
Hmmm. Well, no kids, no pets. I live in an apartment with two roommates, an ever-rotating cast of house guests, friends that live in the apartment above us, and both of my brothers live a few blocks away. Ultimately, I feel like my life is a circus of friends, family, and jewelry making! Jewelry is my full time job, though I also work one or two days a week as an academic advisor at a local University. I’m always busy with jewelry, but I definitely make traveling and seeing live music priorities too. I spent most of August in Morocco, and I’m already plotting my next journey!
What is your process?
Well, my creative process is usually born out of procrastination. If I’m not feeling motivated to fill orders, I’ll usually start messing around with some scraps and sometimes something cool comes out of it. As for my tools, well, as any jewelry designer will attest, buying jewelry tools is truly addictive! I have to be careful about acquiring too many, since my work space is so cramped. But I do love my torch and my dremel!
Business Goals and Vision...
Ha ha, well, my vision for the business is always changing. Sometimes I feel like my newer pieces have evolved beyond what are considered the “signature” style of Sprout Jewelry, so from time to time, I consider producing my newer, more industrial pieces as a separate line under a different name. But then I worry about saddling myself with the added responsibility of juggling two lines, two marketing concepts… two of everything! So that’s something that I need to resolve. Also, I need to start making bigger investments in the business, beyond materials and such. I hired a graphic designer a few months ago, and that was scary! I was entrusting her to shape the look of my business. But she has really done some great work, so the investment proved to be well worth it.
How do you market your business?
Ads in magazines like Bust, Venus and Craft. Lots of promotion on Etsy. A mailing list. Business cards. A customer appreciation program. Word of mouth is huge too. Whenever someone emails me to tell me they love their new Sprout piece, I tell them the best way that they can thank me is to pass on my website to their friends.
Do you subscribe to any business related blogs,zines or magazines?
I read Accessory Magazine. And I’ve been trying to read a lot of books and online articles about marketing and graphic design, to help me improve the “business” aspect of my business!
What inspires you?
I love light fixtures! I’m forever photographing lights in NYC. I really love light bulb encased in cages of metal. I’m working on a new line that is inspired by these shapes!
What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
I love the Paloma necklace (first picture) – visually, the shape is just very unique, and the touch of copper that I incorporated is a fun twist. And the Cleo bracelet;(last picture) making it was truly a labor of love, but it came out so well in the end.
Am a fan of these places...
Aside from the obvious (email, etsy, and facebook) I always check the Onion, NYTimes.com, and Feministing.com. Oh, and Perezhilton.com, though I feel guilty admitting it!
Find seller at...
I have a website: www.sproutjewelry.net which will link you to my blog: www.sproutjewelry.blogspot.com and my etsy page: www.sproutonline.etsy.com