Today, in the Spotlight: Dawn Levesque, the talented artisan behind Modern Vintage Studio! She loves vintage and discovering discarded treasures, especially vintage components.
As a child, she was not only surrounded by vintage and antique finds, but also arts and crafts. Her family had a studio so that they could create everything from jewelry to paintings.
Nothing has changed since then. Dawn passed her creativity down to her young daughter who began selling her jewelry at age 10. Eventually, Dawn found herself sitting right beside her daughter making her own jewelry pieces.
As an author, writer and jewelry designer, Dawn Levesque repurposes vintage and antique components into one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. Earlier eras determine her materials, but modern nuances infuse her pieces.
What’s the story behind your company?
I have been creative in some capacity since I was young. Two years ago, I was helping my daughter with jewelry techniques and designs so that she could sell at craft shows. Since I love vintage, I found myself piecing together reclaimed vintage finds. Soon after, I was selling my own upcycled jewelry designs beside her. I knew it was time to merge my creative outlets – writing, photography and art — into one passion, and I launched Modern Vintage Studio. I created my business with the aim of leaving as small a footprint on the planet as possible – one-of-kind pieces using reclaimed vintage and antique components, eco-friendly website and business cards, even packaging.
What inspires you?
For me, inspiration comes from a fusion of life travels, architecture and eras such as Art Deco, Victorian and Mod. The salvaged pieces themselves also inspire me because each has a story behind it. Vintage costume pieces and mixed media materials inspire my designs.
What is your favorite product to make?
I love to create pendants most of all. I enjoy sketching out the idea and rearranging components until I discover what I believe is the perfect combinations of vintage for a harmonious design.
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Vintage finds recreated.
In your opinion, what’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
I love the fact that I can share my passion from idea to finished product with the customer. I set my own hours, control my own destiny, and determine the direction of my business. Moreover, since I depend solely on myself, when I succeed, there is a greater sense of accomplishment.
If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
When I decided to launch my jewelry business, I jumped right in with both feet. If I were to start over, I would formulate a more effective business plan, narrow my scope and further develop my vision before going public.
Any advice for other crafters who are just starting?
Take time to discover what type of artisan or crafter you are. Before starting your business, do research on your craft and the business of your craft. Develop a comprehensive business plan, allocate start-up costs and take small business classes. Most importantly, brand yourself.
What’s next? Any plans for the future?
My jewelry will include more intricate designs and metalwork. I plan to sell my jewelry in local San Diego boutiques. My ultimate goal is to work with bigger retailers and really get my brand into the brick and mortar market.