the blog of jewelry designer

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!