Today we are delighted to have Vanessa Painter of DesignMe Jewelry as a featured artisan.
DesignMe Jewelry was born from a love of personalized jewelry. Vanessa loves to create pieces that are made specifically for someone ad has special meaning. She loves working with customers to create the perfect piece for them. Her business is her passion and she cannot wait to see what the future brings.
We caught up with Vanessa and asked her a few questions so you get to know her better.
What’s the story behind your company?
I have always loved jewelry with a story or a message, jewelry that is very personal and meaningful for the wearer. I have always been a creative person and as a choir director, music was always my outlet. I’ve been teaching for 15 years, and was needing something that was more for me. I wanted to create and give to others. Making custom jewelry has filled that need perfectly. I am always driven by inspiring others and being able to create personal and inspirational jewelry has become very fulfilling for me. I came up with the name ‘DesignMe Jewelry’ because I want my customers to feel like they play a part in designing their perfect piece. Anything can be altered or added with any designs, and I love being able to accommodate special requests. It’s been a labor of love, as I believe most small businesses are, and I am enjoying every second of it.
What inspires you?
My customers have been my biggest inspiration. I love when someone comes to me and says “Here is what I’m looking for”, and I can design something that is exactly what they were looking for. I also love inspirational sayings, and I have an entire list that I want to incorporate into designs. It is a very rewarding job.
What is your favorite product to make?
I love making mother necklaces, as I know just how special those are because of my own wonderful children. My memory necklaces are also very meaningful and I know they will be treasured by the wearer. Also, my leather cuff bracelets are a lot of fun.
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Simple, elegant, classic.
In your opinion, what’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
I love being the only one involved in the process. I make all of the final decisions, and only have to please myself and my customers. It is very rewarding to hear positive feedback about my designs. I also am glad that I can work on designs and orders whenever I am able. I’m not tied to a schedule other than my own deadlines.
If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
The biggest frustration I have faced is product photography. Being an online venue, this is probably the most important aspect of marketing. I probably would have taken some photography classes before I began listing product. But it has been something I have been able to work on and improve. Learning has been part of the process and its very exciting to see how everything has evolved.
Any advice for other entrepreneurs who are just starting?
Do your research! You can’t just create something and sell it online and expect to build a business. You have to understand copyright and trademarks, business requirements for your state, and tax laws. Find suppliers and talk to other business owners. Be serious about your venture, and be confident in your product. If you are selling products you make, do not treat it like it is just a hobby.
What’s next? Any plans for the future?
I have many new design ideas I need to find time to make. I have some classes lined up to expand my metal and beading techniques. I am working with The Artisan Group to provide some gifted products for celebrities, and I will just keep designing to expand my business! I hope to be doing this for a very long time.
Name: Vanessa Painter
*** If you are a successful artisan with an online store and fabulous products and would like to be “In the Spotlight”, feel free to submit your info. ***