Designer Spotlight: Michelle Swilley Mullman
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
I launched this business and work on all aspects including operations, marketing, finance, customer service and working closely with the jewelry manufacturers who produce the products. I designed the first set of pendants and earrings that we showcase. I outsourced the website development but was very close to all aspects of it from concept to design.
How did you get into jewelry design?
I really am not a designer but always have ideas for product and love to create. I did sketch out the first pendants and worked with a professional jeweler to make it happen. I am also currently working on custom engagement rings and sketching out all the details for the customer rather than using computer renderings.
What Makes Your Collection Unique?
I believe that our business model is the future of e-commerce and right now, this concept is still rather new to the market. What makes us different than most jewelers is that you can really create a custom product because we do provide a lot of options that most websites do not. We have tons of ideas for improving our builders and look forward to adding more designs and other products in 2013.
What are your Inspirations?
Simple. My children. They push me follow my ideas through and my pursue dreams. If I don't do this, how can I teach them to work hard and pursue their dreams?
How are you making a difference in your life?
While I just launched this business, it has been an amazing experience because I am able to be home with my children and still work passionately towards a career. I have encountered many new people that I would not have otherwise been exposed to in my old profession and I absolutely love the idea of working with customers to fulfill their jewelry dreams!
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I find that I am very good at re-invention and people that I have known for a long time are not surprised when my life takes a significant turn. I manage very well with change and probably, thrive on it while many others enjoy the steady.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business?
Right now my biggest issue is getting the word out. Because I am a small business and I do not have the financial ability to support a significant marketing budget, my challenge is how can I get the word out. I have started to get into SEO and take on PR, however, I would love ideas on how to get exposure.
While I have always loved art and the creative world, my studies lead me to the sciences and then towards the business world. I spent over 13 years in various corporate roles in the financial services industry. It gave me a very strong business foundation to be able to run a business, which was always my dream. After my second child was born, I returned to work in a new role and new company for a brief period of time. It was not meant to be and I found myself in a new place in my life. My father-in-law is in the jewelry industry and I had an idea for an e-commerce jewelry solution, so he introduced me to a few of his contacts and here we are. I love the way that I can blend my love for creativity with the world of business and apply science to this field.