So much more than jewelry.... Here's the story of how Pretty Perfect Style was born and how the most trying times reignited my creativity and love for designing jewelry.
As a handmade jewelry designer, I've been at this for a while. After 13 years designing I am considered an expert at this point. When you look at my designs, you see the beautiful color combinations, the unique beads and stones but what you don't see is that jewelry has taken me through some crazy life circumstances. Let's go on a journey of the winding road of jewelry design that turned into Pretty Perfect Style... (buckle up, this is going to be a bumpy ride).
Back in 2009, I took a free jewelry making class to do something fun outside of my boring desk job. I thought it would just be a fun thing to do, but it really turned out to be the motivation behind my first jewelry business M Renee Design. My first business was a great learning experience, but after 6 years , I stopped designing and took a pause because I had little direction and I was completely burnt out. Below you can see some local press I had for my fist business (say cheeese :)
After a three year pause from making jewelry, I moved from my hometown in 2019. Ohio is always home, but it was time for a change. I didn't move for a new job like everyone assumed, actually I didn't even have a job when I packed up my car and headed down south. I had put in my 2 weeks notice a month before at my previous position, sold all my large belongings, packed up my Honda and moved to rediscover a new life after a stressful period in my life.
On my way driving from Ohio to NC, my hope was a fresh start and a brighter perspective. I had no idea it would lead me to fall back in love with the thing I do best- creating jewelry.
I got to North Carolina, and although I was graciously staying with my parents, I needed a job ASAP. I happened to run into a job posting for a jewelry designer for a fashion corporation. It was strange because at the time, making jewelry was the last thing on my mind. I had taken a break from business because it was too much to "figure out" along with the current life circumstances. I also was more into fashion at the time & had dreams of being a famous wardrobe stylist.
I applied for the design job, interviewed, and started in less than 7 days. At the time, I just needed a job, and I knew one of my best skills was making jewelry so I knew I could excel at the company. Making jewelry had become that thing I always knew I could do, but it had been a skill I tucked in the back of my closet after my first jewelry business wasn't as successful as I had planned.
My attitude when starting this new job was "Why not?"... I was open to where this new opportunity would take me because new experiences is what I moved for, right?
My first month on the job was a lot. I had previously made jewelry for my first jewelry business, but I had never created jewelry for an actual corporation. The above picture is from my staff "photoshoot" working as the new jewelry designer in 2020. Along with learning new policies, new co workers, new staff, and company culture, I now had to get my designs approved by my boss(talk about intimidating). She ended up always loving anything I created, which helped build my confidence in my design skills. The confidence I got from this job would further solidify my skills and give me the push I needed to pursue my second business, Pretty Perfect Style.
While adjusting to a new city, a new job, and living with my parents for the first time in 18 years, the pandemic happened and shocked all of us. My "fresh start" was disturbed by a global crisis and it made my transition so much harder.
During lockdown, unemployment, and trying to figure out what and how I was going to get the life glow up I was searching for, one thing brought me a sense of peace- making jewelry. Some days it became the main thing I had to look forward to.
This is how Pretty Perfect Style was birthed. Sometimes pretty, fancy things like jewelry look like they came out of a well lit studio with fancy decor and mimosa breaks every hour. My jewelry with Pretty Perfect Style started with creating on the floor of my bedroom, no room for a studio, no money for mimosas. From one of the ugliest times in my life came the beautiful creations of Pretty Perfect Style.
Owning and running a business is hard some days. It can often be an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows and great surprises and unplanned set backs. But for me, it's bigger than jewelry. I was made to create. I was made to start Pretty Perfect Style; and the story of it's creation will forever be something I'll remember.
I've created some of the prettiest and joyful pieces of jewelry after and during some of the most trying periods of my life so far. Sometimes, I feel it's escapism. When life is hard, I feel creating something beautiful takes my mind off of the current circumstances. When there's something trying going on, my brain has to find some beauty, and I often find that in creating jewelry.
As I write this, my three year anniversary for Pretty Perfect Style is coming up. What a ride it's been! I've learned so much and realized that jewelry has often been my lifeline to the happy endorphins in my brain. Designing has brought me peace, calm, and a happy hobby that turned into an amazing business. I'm so grateful for each and every person that gets to wear the jewelry that brings me happiness. I get comments from customers all the time that lets me know that they feel the happiness in the jewelry they buy as well.
And just when I feel like my jewelry is not making an impact, I look at this note from a customer that brought me to tears.