1. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in jewelry design?
When I was 15 years old, an opportunity arose to apprentice with a jewelry designer. I took it, and I immediately fell in love. This designer gave me the tools I needed, as well as bags and bags full of overstock gemstones. She taught me the basic techniques I needed to get going on my own. I continued to make jewelry, but it wasn’t until college — when I moved from small-town Connecticut to Los Angeles, only 15 minutes from the city’s famed Jewelry District — that it again became central to my life. In my last year of college I had business credits to fulfill, and so I decided to do an independent study, start a fictitious jewelry company and write a business plan. From here I applied for a juried art show, and once accepted, I had a store buyer approach me and landed my first wholesale account. This was the beginning of the making of Bloom Jewelry.
2. What did you study in school?
I graduated college with a split focus in Psychology and Early Childhood Education.
3. What was the first job you landed out of college?
After I picked up my first account, I continued to seek new stores and find ways to grow Bloom Jewelry. In Bloom's infancy stage, I worked other jobs centered around children and families in order to support myself while building Bloom.
4. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?
That it wouldn't be easy, and that there wasn't one clear path. That once you thought you figured it out, things would inevitably change as the fashion world, is such a fast paced industry. I would tell myself to trust my instincts, follow my gut, try my best and it will all work out as it's meant to.
5. What was your biggest fear when starting your own line?
My biggest fear was "will I run out of ideas over time?" Fortunately in 15 years this has yet to happen. This is because I find inspiration in the new materials we work with collection after collection. There is always something new and exciting to fuel my creativity. I love that it is always a new adventure season after season.
6. Where do you go for inspiration when designing a new collection?
At the start of each year we head to the world's largest gem show in Tucson AZ. We do our research ahead of time and go down with a color story in mind that matches the pantone story of the fashion world. And the hunt is on for rare, new, unusual textures, cuts, and shapes of gemstones within our color story that we've never worked with or that we can reinvent in a new way. The inspiration lies in the gemstones we discover.
7. What is your favorite part about being a designer?
Designing of course! I love the process from start to finish, researching color stories and trends, hunting for and hand selecting new and unusual gemstones, and then the hands on building of the line. Even though we have a production team, I still love physically making the jewelry too!
8. What would you tell a young girl who wants to grow up to be a jewelry designer?
Jewelry Design is a competitive field but finding your niche and what separates and differentiates you will be most important.
9. What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
I think social media is a great tool in fashion today. It lets your audience get to know your brand, your beliefs, your vision and connects in a visual way that words sometimes cannot. I was intimidated and overwhelmed by it at first but am finding that it's just another place within our business to be creative and share our overall vision. I feel it gives a company a visual voice.
10. What do you look for when hiring an employee?
Our company is small and intimate and like a second family. Our core values are respect, honesty, dependability, hard work, and flexibility. As a small company of 6 women we know that what's happening with one team member greatly affects the whole, however we are there to support one another and help each other both personally and professionally.
Thank you so much for answering our questions, Lindsay!