Designer Spotlight: Marlene Chiasson
A brief story of what you do and why you do it:
I create one-of-a-kind designs to help women find the piece of accessory that will boost their confidence, make them feel beautiful and unique when they are out on the town, feel comfortable in a networking or meeting setting, have the right item to match a wedding attire or just feel great that they can wear a beautiful pair of earrings or a gorgeous necklace on a casual day. Every design reflects the modern woman and she can easily wear her earrings or necklace with any attire. I truly believe that if you have a few original accessories, you can make a lot of mileage with it. I'm all about helping women make a lasting (and positive) impression on others.
How did you get into jewelry design?
After spending years working as a Human Resources Advisor and Career Advisor, I became a Stay-at-Home-Mom at the age of 40. I married, had a child, and moved to the United States (where my husband is from) all in one year. After my son's toddler years, I needed to find my artsy side and find jewelry and clothing that made me feel beautiful again. I had a harder time finding jewelry that I loved and started making my own accessories. I quickly learned that I love creating and I decided to turn it into a small business to help other woman find the beauty in original pieces. I also missed being in a professional setting, exchanging with like-minded people, and creating my small business has definitely responded to that need (in a virtual outlet).
What makes your collection unique?
I don't reproduce my pieces once they are sold. Women can feel confident that they are wearing something unique and they won't see it on every other person out there. I really take the time to think through my designs, who will wear it, what she likes, what makes her feel beautiful, what her personality is like. It's all about her.
What are your inspirations?
The women who wear my designs and the environment they live in. There are so many personalities and tastes to think of, but I try to concentrate on what they like to wear. Some of my customers prefer bold, statement earrings, others prefer a more classic look. Since I love nature and find inspiration in it, I make some pieces that are designed for the nature loving ladies in mind. My Fall & Winter collection reflects those two seasons with leaves, snowflakes, and colors for the season. I also listen to my customers, what they want, e.g., more earrings with ear posts, gemstone preferences, etc.
How are you making a difference in your life?
Allowing myself to take a leap of faith in creating this small business and making great connections with customers, other like-minded entrepreneurs, and learning the nuts and bolts about starting and growing my own business. I am amazed at how much I have grown in the last year as a jewelry designer and business owner and I'm glad that I have touched so many people by my designs and blog posts. Trust is a very important thing to have on your side when you are leading your business. I've learned that and it has made a world of difference in my life and others.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I don't think it makes me unusual, but I'm not someone who has one specific style. In a week, I can go from a boho style, to an elegant outfit, to very artsy, to sporty. I like to wear things that I want to wear on any given day.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
My business is turned 1 in November and I have seen a steady growth in the last few months with a great portion of my customers returning to my shop to make purchases. I am grateful and humbled by their interest in supporting my small business and finding designs that they truly connect with. It is so crucial to a business plan to create lasting relationships and customer satisfaction to build upon. These ladies have spread the word about my shop, brought people to purchase or follow me and engage on social media. They are my inspiration.
Marlene Chiasson is the Jewelry Designer & Owner of MDC Artistic Designs. She creates one-of-a-kind pieces that are not reproduced once they are sold. Her customers have the opportunity to wear a unique piece that is created just for them. Feminine, artistic, bold, delicate, unique define her handmade jewelry best. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her family exploring the country side of Loudoun County, travel to unbeaten paths and the world, enjoys great food and wine, and is looking forward to running in her first 5k race in October.