How does a talented fine jewelry designer go from working in the jewelry industry to starting her own jewelry design business? Well, this week’s special guest tells us it sort of started when her work became the mascot for a close-knit community…
Meet our Bestie Julie Lamb of Julie Lamb NY. She is a career designer who received a Metalsmithing BFA from Syracuse University. For Julie it was always all jewelry, all the time – pretty much her whole life.
Be sure to listen to this episode wherever you get your podcasts or at https://apple.co/2XXKHfC.
After starting her business nearly 7 years ago, Julie Lamb has just been named the “Rising Star” in the jewelry category, winning a prestigious award from Fashion Group International.
THIS. IS. A. BFD! And Holly was there to witness it all in person at the event!
Julie Lamb NY now has several jewelry designs, but one of her very first items incorporated her namesake: The Lamb.
According to her website, the “Be Ewe line encourages individuality in the most playful way with a lovable Lamb logo lets the ewe shine through. Make sure to ‘stand out’ & ‘be herd’ wherever you may roam. Or just revel in your badass Black Sheep status, in black diamonds!” How fun is that???
How It Started:
Julie tells us a hilarious story of learning how to navigate her new business on social media – specifically Instagram – and did not know the power of hashtags.
After posting her first few “Be Ewe” designs using the hashtags “lamb jewelry and “sheep jewelry,” she started getting knitters and quilters – and even some sheep farmers – responding!
This New York City girl now found herself talking to sheep farmers and knitters, and even had one little customer from Future Farmers of America. They were sweet girls from Texas and other places who wanted Julie’s lamb jewelry for their graduations and events. As odd as it was, it was a great learning lesson: she quickly learned how hashtags work!
This led into a direction she never could have imagined – a group of knitters invited her to their industry events like the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival. She feels she was listening to her customers and was happy to go wherever they encouraged her to go to grow her business.
It is hard to sell a new jewelry line (or any new product), but she was fortunate to find a separate audience that no other jewelers could play with. She found a community of lovely knitters who were very passionate and supportive. It was a different facet of the business, and one that helped her grow.
But all knitting aside (just kidding, she does not knit), Julie is now known for her fine CITY, Metropolis and Bespoke jewelry designs. She uses 18K yellow gold, 14K white gold and 14K rose gold for her designs – preferring the stronger yellow tone of 18K. You can see all her work at www.julielambny.com.
How to Start a Business:
As an art major, Julie is a bit mad that art schools do not teach basic business skills. Math is not her thing – not that there is anything wrong with that! – but a little accounting and a little Excel spreadsheet work would have been helpful.
She recommends that no matter what your product is, or how talented you are, you need to learn basic business skills early on to be successful. Some lessons are learned the hard way, avoid this one.
How to Style Jewelry:
We all know Holly loves to mix metals, and literally tells us that every week on these episodes. Julie’s rule for wearing jewelry is ‘the more the merrier!” If she goes out, she piles it on.
Julie’s Style Tip: for the summer, mix your metals with beads. It’s a lighter look, and definitely more comfortable on your skin. Perfect for summer!
Got a Turkey Neck? Julie recommends layering longer necklaces to draw the eye down from the neck area. And then add her hoops or statement earrings to draw the eye up to your face, away from your neck. It’s a miracle!
Julie has so many more fabulous nuggets and insights to share with us that are funny, smart and heartfelt. Be sure to listen to this episode wherever you get your podcasts or at https://apple.co/2XXKHfC.
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