Friends & Business Partners
Tracy Matthews and Robin Kramer met in January of 2006 at the ENK Accessories Circuit show. Robin was the Director of Sales for Dogeared Jewels & Gifts. Tracy was representing her own collection of contemporary jewelry under her eponymous label, Tracy Matthews Designs, Inc. They quickly became fast friends.
Of course, personal success often leads to change.
Robin helped Dogeared grow from a small company into a well-known jewelry brand. Sales grew over 800% in just a few short years. The line went from being sold in specialty boutiques to include major department stores and chains like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus Direct, CUSP, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Von Maur and South Moon Under. In 2010, Robin left Dogeared to start RedBoot Consulting. She works with designers to elevate their brand and strategically increase their sales.
Tracy’s career took a new direction as well. In December of 2009, after a little soul-searching, Tracy made the bold decision to close Tracy Matthews Design. She began designing eco-luxury bespoke pieces of jewelry and mentoring other designers.
“I wish someone would teach me everything I need to know about starting and running a jewelry design business so I can be creative and focus on the big picture.”
This was the cry of Tracy’s heart back in 1998 as she started her first design business. Unfortunately, no one was willing to teach her what she needed to know. You see, jewelry designers are naturally tight-lipped people. It’s hard to find mentors or people willing to share information with other designers.
Tracy’s experience of building a business through trial and error never left her mind. While having coffee with Robin in NYC, Tracy proposed the idea of an online “school” to teach designers everything they need to start their business and make it fun. Robin was instantly hooked.