the blog of jewelry designer

November 1, 2016

Elizabeth Showers' 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago in 1996 at age 24, I started what was then called Elizabeth Showers Studio. 

Read more about my beginnings here.

Y'all have been hearing from me about making big changes after all of these years….part of that was closing out hundreds of adored jewelry styles over the past year with my fun and successful End of an Era Sale.

Blue Topaz Pinwheel Earrings in 18kt Gold

After this sale was over, I continued to hear from so many of you, making requests for certain styles.
While I can’t offer the over 3500 styles that I have designed over these 20 years, I have decided to offer some of my and your favorite jewelry styles from throughout the years for special order.

18kt Gold Marilyn Chandelier Earrings in Turquoise and 3.5 Carats of Diamonds 

Not only are all the prices greatly reduced from the original retails, but also you get to put only half down, (a little like layaway!), then a few weeks later when we finish making your beautiful bauble, and you pay the remaining half, your beloved jewel shows up at your doorstep.

Hope Star Deco Earrings in White Quartz and White Sapphires in Sterling Silver

This delayed gratification feels like you are getting a surprise in the mail!

Mini Bowl Rings stack of 3 in Turquoise, Moonstone, and Cognac Quartz

Here are some of my additional favorites:

Sophia Pendant in Seafoam Chalcedony, White Moonstone, and White Sapphire in Sterling Silver

Deco Traintrack Earrings in Swiss Blue Topaz in Sterling Silver 

Susanna Earrings in Norwegian Moonstone and White Sapphire

18kt Gold Madeleine Ring in Chrysophrase, Turquoise, and Diamonds

18kt Gold Deco Earrings in Blue Topaz

Drew Leaf Pendant in Turquoise and Diamonds in 18kt Gold

Enjoy!  And celebrate our 20 years by letting me know what your favorite Elizabeth Showers' jewel is that you have or that you might be considering.  I would absolutely love to hear from you.  Email me personally at

August 11, 2016

Hitting The Reset Button

Graphic above and copy below is from the current edition of
EO/Entrepreneurs' Organization's Octane Magazine.

I have had my own jewelry line since my early 20s, when I quit my job to follow my passion. It wound up being one of the best decisions of my life, launching a career that has supported me, introduced me to a wonderful cast of characters and stretched my brain in ways I never could have anticipated. Now, after almost 20 years in the business, I’ve decided to take a bold step and change everything. I’ve decided to hit the reset button by clearing out my inventory and taking a creative sabbatical to figure out what’s next.  
The idea for my business came to me while on a trip to the Bahamas in 1996 while in these beautiful waters.  I returned there this summer during my creative sabbatical to recharge.

My break from the business started with dissolving ties with my brick-and-mortar retailers. Once the lifeblood of my profession, selling in stores has changed so dramatically, it’s as if it has transformed into another type of business altogether. Many Octane readers will know what I mean: the increased competition; the customers’ prerogative to explore endless comparisons; the demands retailers place on you to ensure your inventory sells, all while existing under the unspoken threat of being replaced. And I’ve been one of the lucky ones!

I am still happily selling through Neimans, as they are a marketing machine, and I have found a way that is a win-win (I think ;). I plan to discover/uncover 'win-wins' for working with retailers again in the future.

While severing my brick-and-mortar ties proved challenging, the next steps were more difficult. Over the course of several months, I have rolled out massive sales on practically every piece of jewelry I’ve ever made.

I knew that breaking with the past also meant getting rid of baggage I had been holding on to for too long. I needed to get back to the place where all I had was passion and a purpose. Now, several months later, that is just what I have done, and I’m looking back at all of it with a clear perspective. In the spirit of 20/20 hindsight, here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned throughout my journey:

Do something with every single contact you get! I can’t tell you how many business cards I’ve let pile up without ever reaching out. Take action immediately when you meet someone. Send an email, set up a coffee date, write a “thank you” note, etc. My network would be so much larger if I had taken this advice earlier in my career.

In a non-threatening (and hopefully fun) way, shadow
your employees to see how they do their jobs. When I’ve
done this, I’ve discovered efficiency improvements that increased
productivity by as much as 30-40%. Sometimes it’s as simple as
getting a feel for how team members operate and spend their time,
and then making subtle tweaks to their routines.

Establish a daily group huddle, even if it’s just for five
minutes. I realize there’s a growing trend against meetings that
distract employees without increasing output, but I’ve found that
short huddles (instead of drawn-out meetings) can boost morale
and serve as a reminder that everyone is on the same team,
working toward common goals. Plus, it helps everyone—including
myself—to get a daily check-in for the sake of accountability, and
to introduce the potential for collaboration and fresh ideas.

Trust your gut first. It’s important to reach out for help, but it’s
even more important to trust yourself. I’ve spent close to a million
dollars on consultants over the years. Many of them I hired just to
validate what I already knew. Most of the time, I could have just
listened to myself.

Tune in to your financials weekly, if not daily.  An intimate
understanding of the bottom line clarifies every decision you
make. It can be tempting to be a people-pleaser to the detriment
of your financial health; for instance, offering raises you can’t
afford or scrambling to purchase things that employees request
but don’t necessarily need. It’s the same for customers. Early on, I
remember thinking, “No problem, we can absorb this US$25,000
chargeback off the entire sale because we’ll get this incredible
marketing and promotion in the process. We’ll make it up in all
of the future sales we’ll get.” And then I was left with no profit,
clambering to find money to pay the company’s obligations. Being
ever-mindful of the financials makes all the difference in the world
when faced with choices like that one.

When working with investors, be as clear as possible
regarding how you plan to use the investment money
before spending a dime. In fact, I recommend putting it in
writing, with the understanding that the plan is a set of ideas
and intentions, not a strict contract (which should be handled
separately, of course). The idea isn’t to nail you down but to start
these important relationships with as much mutual understanding
and transparency as you can. Cultivating a climate of harmony
with investors is itself an art, one from which every business owner
would benefit.

Let mistakes lead to insights, not fits.  It’s so easy to freak out
in the moment when things go awry, even over little things. But
when you remain calm and absorb the hits as they come, you give
yourself an opportunity to learn. I’ve stopped believing in the words “mistake” and “failure,” as people commonly use them.  Obstacles and unexpected outcomes light the path to truth about your business and where to take it next, and truth about your strengths and where your energy is best focused.

Make room for yourself so you can get into “the zone.”
The workday is packed with opportunities to self-distract and self-destruct. We all struggle with getting out of our own way. When you tune in, you can become aware of the ways you lose focus and prevent yourself from entering the zone. Change your work environment and work style to make it easier to operate distraction free, even if it means leaving the office to get away from your team for a while. I can only go into the zone when I create the space for it. It’s a challenge, but the rewards are huge once I get there.

I could go on and on— about getting enough sleep, listening to your customers, the importance of meditation … about a million other things that occur to me every day. I’m still learning, that’s for sure. The lesson of the moment, however, is a big one:  Learn to let go of those parts of the past that don’t serve you and move forward carrying all of your hard-won knowledge by your side.

Click here for a direct link to this article on EO Octane's blog.

June 14, 2016

Going Rogue

I went rogue. And I'm so glad I did.

Last September, I decided to take a plunge I'd been fantasizing about for years.  After some sleepless nights, many heartfelt conversations with my partner, Tommy, and close friends and family, and a Netflix binge (I highly recommend these 2 comedy series:  Silicon Valley and Grace and Frankie),
I dissolved ties with most of my retailers and focused on selling direct to customers via my website. I held my breath and jumped in, readying myself for any outcome.  It was a relief - to say the least - when I sold 75% of my inventory.

After a lot of worry and uncertainty, the decision to focus on direct-to-consumer sales was the right move after all! I can't tell you what a good start that made for 2016. I've felt such a renewal of energy, optimism, and excitement about the future.

It could not have come at a better time.  After 20 years of designing jewelry and running a business, I needed a career shift - especially since I'm already living a new personal life with a soon-to-be-husband and stepchildren (Harley and Ethan). 

So many changes!

Oh, and did I mention that Tommy and I are working on having a baby?
We have an unconventional timeline for the things we want to do, but it works for us. For example, we finally scheduled an engagement party for late September, and we've been engaged for a full year already!  We'll figure out a wedding date soon. (Note: my "soon" is different than my mom's "soon.") 

It's been such a period of joy and transformation that it has taken awhile for me to recognize what lies underneath all this hectic excitement:  fear of the unknown.  Particularly where my career is concerned.

Some days I feel like I'm waiting for a burning bush to tell me what's next. But the reality is that I have so many burning bushes right in front of me:
  • I have built a brand over 20 years with an important, life-affirming message:  reminding women of how beautiful and precious they already are.
  • I have amazing customers who enrich my life. I truly love, adore, and appreciate all of them. ;)
  • I have a vast and beautiful portfolio of jewelry designs from the past 20 years....and fun, exciting ideas for revamping them.

   I have so many really cool loose gemstones, with an opportunity to design one-of-a-kinds with each of them.

  • My mom - Jan Showers - and I designed a jewelry collection two years ago, which exists in renderings only right now. She is so well-regarded in her interior design world, and it could be quite an adventure launching a collection together.
  • Some smart and talented ex-employees do contract work for me, and they are available to help move the business to its next stage.

So while I haven't found the singular "burning bush" I was seeking, I am rich in ideas, but it may take some time to know where all this exploration is leading. I know I am not alone in this - many of us struggle with decisions every day. I would love to hear how you make decisions when options are plentiful. How do you know which one is right?

Even though I lack a crystal ball, here is what I am sure of:

       I am 100% certain that I am soon going to offer a small handful of my bestselling styles of jewelry online (and keep in stock), and offer them at a new retail price that is below the previous store prices. (there are already some available on the site now)

I am 100% certain that I am going to roll out a special order business of my 100 bestselling styles from over the past 12 years.  I already have special orders from many of you for jewelry styles that I haven't carried in awhile. (We actually just uploaded a handful of bestsellers for special order that are now available on the site. Check it out!)  

I am 100% certain that very soon I will launch my Itsy-Bitsy Hope Star collection that includes several precious NEW Hope Star styles that I think people will love.

The most exciting part comes now, seeing which burning bush has the biggest fire, and what will happen next. I hope you'll stick around to see!