Meet the Maker
Janet’s practical career started in dentistry. When she was gifted with a box filled with vintage dated and broken costume jewelry, she was inspired to create pieces of wearable art.
“Throughout my life, I don’t remember a time that I didn’t have a craft project or two going on. I love going to thrift stores and vintage markets to scour items to be used for their intended purpose or repurposed into something else altogether. The displays I use for my jewelry are a prime example of this. My husband has stopped asking me what I’m going to do with something and just sherpas it to the vehicle!”
As Janet’s jewelry business has evolved over the years, her vision has been consistent; to create memorial jewelry that sparks a conversation and to provide excellent customer service.
I was able to ask some questions of Janet to learn more about her creative business.
Becky: How has your background in dentistry supported you in becoming a jewelry maker and business owner?
Janet: Patient care helped me develop strong customer service skills that are above and beyond what people expect. In a competitive profession where there are a lot of jewelry designers to choose from, customer service is what I can do to differentiate my brand from the others.
Having great hand dexterity definitely helps in jewelry making as well.
Becky: You create a lot of your jewelry that is metal stamped. How long did it take for you to become a skilled metal stamper?
Janet: Oh my goodness, it definitely didn’t happen overnight! It has been an evolution of skills and use of materials and tools over the years. It was about three years of research, practice, practice and more practice before I really felt comfortable with the technique. To this day I still have an “oops” container for mistakes.
I belong to a number of online stamping groups of all skill levels and love to learn and share tips with others. The skill of metal stamping is an ongoing process.
Becky: You recently started creating beautiful resin jewelry. Did you have a learning curve with resin?
Janet: I sure did!
Becky: How did you work your way through that?
Janet: Resin was a completely new technique for me. I read tutorials, watched videos and spoke with fellow artisans that were professionals when it came to resin. Starting out I didn’t have expectations of making retail quality pieces right away. As with everything, practice makes perfect and by the second mix I felt comfortable, but slow. Mixing colors isn’t an exact science but by taking notes on colorant formulas I could closely replicate a beautiful hue. Patience and time are needed with this technique especially with rogue bubbles. There’s nothing happier than all the joyful colors staring back at you in the end.
Becky: How do you primarily sell your jewelry?
Janet: I sell through local boutiques and select artisan markets. I’ve learned through the years that having a great relationship with your boutiques is essential. They are representatives of my business and with that relationship they promote my business as if it was their own. At this point in my career I get recommended to markets, fairs and pop ups by fellow artisans. It is humbling to participate in events where community over competition is in the forefront.
Becky: Would you consider yourself as a person who is living a creative life?
Becky: How does living a life of being creative enhance your level of happiness?
Janet: For me a creative life starts with a creative mind. I wish that I could say every piece designed was perfect on the first try. Honestly, my greatest ideas wake me up in the middle of the night. Sometimes a design sits on my table for days waiting for that spark to light. The greatest gift of happiness comes in the form of an in person compliment or a comment on social media regarding a design. It honestly warms my heart and makes all those long days so worth it.
Becky: What are your top 3 challenges of running a small jewelry business?
Janet: 1- Being a one-woman show I find time is the top challenge. Some days 24 hours just isn’t enough with creating, social media, marketing, etc. Finding a balance between work and personal responsibilities is key.
2- Keeping up with the latest trends and styles. While some trends take off like wildfire, my geographic area and/or clientele might lag behind.
3- Fair pricing especially with today’s supply chain increased issues.
Becky: A lot of your jewelry is created with Nunn Design Findings. Thank you. Why do you trust your jewelry to the Nunn Design Line?
Janet: Over the years I have tried a number of different suppliers, but with Nunn Design Findings I am afforded a wide variety to choose from in three plate finishes that match throughout a piece. I have confidence that with Nunn Design the components will be of consistent quality on my creative end as well as for my customer. Aside from the aforementioned, being a woman owned business in the United States and one that manufactures here as well, my customers appreciate who I support with my business.