Meet The Maker with Bailey
What did you want to be as a child?
A veterinarian. I actually worked for a vet in highschool. Obviously I loved working around animals, but the intricacies of medicine were fascinating to me. This is sort of nerdy/gross, but my favorite part was looking under the microscope for disease detection. I rediscovered my love for the microscope recently while studying diamond setting. I am hoping to one day add it to my toolkit and bring some micro-diamond sparkle to my work.
Was there a defining point when you decided you wanted to start making jewellery?
I actually studied sculpture in college. For each of our projects, SCAD pretty much gave us full control over what we made, as long as it fit into a pretty broad category. I kept finding myself being pulled into creating sculptures for the body, large necklaces and cast rings. I ended up pursuing my master’s in jewelry as I found I lacked certain skills to really make my vision for jewelry happen.
What have you found to be most rewarding and the most draining when starting your own business?
- The most rewarding part is the feedback I receive. I get emails and reviews daily with the most positive support. I rarely get below 5 stars, and it’s wonderful seeing people from all over the world raving about my work.
- The most draining would be keeping up with the million directions you are pulled each day. It’s probably only 25% making jewelry, and the rest is quite a bore… bookkeeping, sourcing materials, answering emails, etc. There is also 100 things I want to do to grow the business, and finding time to fit those things in can be quite draining as well.
Where do you find inspiration from for your pieces?
I think my background in sculpture played a huge role in me being drawn to organic shapes. The most stressful part of my life and jewelry career was designing luxury jewelry right out of college. The work involved long hours and the designs I made for that company were tedious and structured (Think 300 diamond pavé, beautiful, but tedious). I think my current organic work is sort of a rebellion from the structure and bureaucracy luxury jewelry industry.
What advice do you have to anyone starting up, or what do you wish you knew when starting?
Don’t be afraid to jump in, Just do it. Seriously, quit your job, abandon the kids, move to another country. Just kidding, but don’t be afraid to start. The hardest part for me was just pulling the trigger on posting items on social media.
Also, Listen to your customers. If someone is upset about your work, don’t let your ego prevent you from making your work better. It’s easy to call someone a demanding customer, but is hard to listen and figure out how to make your product better to make that customer happy.
Is there a specific woman who has inspired you on your business journey?
Yes! I read a case study about the early days of Kendra Scott, and as I was reading I thought, “wow, that’s me”. She went through the same struggles I am going through now, and if she was able to start in a spare bedroom in her house. I started in my garage, so not so far off.