San Francisco International Gift Fair

While I feel like I’m still cutting my teeth on the trade show circuit, I’m pretty proud of how my booth display has come along! August 2-5th I exhibited at the San Francisco International Gift Fair. I was happy to unveil a number of the new exhibiting assets I researched and acquired as of late: handsome flooring, a compact display system with freshly cut, stained and varnished wood panels, and a handful of linen displays for the brand new bridal collection. Everything went off without a hitch, and we’re adding some great new retailers to the roster this fall. Stay tuned!

SFIGF 1
A 5×10′ booth came with pipe and draped walls and lighting. In this photo I have hung banners, installed the first section of my new floors, assembled the framework for the display cases, and begun to add in the wooden paneling.

SFIGF 2
After 3 hours of load in and assembly, the booth is finally ready for jewelry on opening day.

SFIGF 3
I stained the wood panels for my display system a deep ebony color. I’m pleased that the woodgrain texture still shows through. The wood and linen displays “pop” nicely off of the ebony.

SFIGF 4
It’s opening day! Here’s a view of my booth filled with jewelry from across the aisle. Show-goers rarely stop to see the booth head on like in this photo, so  I made sure to hang my banners with enticing product photos where they would make the most impact to passers by.

SFIGF 5

SFIGF 6
Bridal Collection on display

SFIGF 7
Thank you, San Francisco Gift Fair… It was wonderful!

Studio Buildout

Studio_Buildout 20

This spring I teamed up with fellow designers Luana Coonen and Sharon Zimmerman to open a shared jewelry studio in the heart of downtown San Francisco. The 750 square foot shop is a major upgrade from my former place in the Mission district, which was a single room less than 1/7 the size. This new two-room workshop and office felt like a dream. Getting it into working order, however, was no easy task.

The two office rooms had been used primarily for storage over the last decade. Upon our first look, the shop was filled floor to ceiling with clunky office furniture, file boxes and broken printers. A few windows were cracked and the ceiling had developed a slow leak. We were determined to not let these cosmetic things deter us, so the first few weeks were dedicated to getting the shop ready for move in. Walls and ceilings were patched and painted. Carpeting was removed and laminate floors installed. We hired a plumber to pull in the necessary pipes and install a sink so we could have running water.

Then came time to move in. The shop quickly filled with our tools and workbenches. We built additional desks, shelves, and surfaces to maximize storage and give us plenty of working space.  This part of the transformation was exhausting, but so exciting. The images below show that transformation over the first few weeks. Although they’re already a few months late — opening receptions have come and gone, more shelving and personal touches have been added — this collection of photos remains a solid benchmark in the evolution of our businesses and the creation of this special environment. I hope you enjoy your peek inside.

View all 20 images by clicking the link below.

Continue reading

SF Made features Goldlight Jewelers

Creating a productive shared studio space is not as easy as throwing a handful of jewelers into a room to see what shakes out. We knew our mission was not an easy one, so I take some serious pride in the shop that Luana, Sharon, and I have created together. The buildout took lots of communication, patience and a healthy dose of elbow grease before she was up and running.

Last month SF Made visited our new studio, Goldlight Jewelers, to see how we three local manufacturers were making it happen. SF Made is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to stimulate our local economy by fostering the growth of the manufacturing sector in San Francisco. Their recent blog article gives a great rundown of our advice to fellow makers who are thinking of co-leasing a new studio space.

 

2014-07-24_SF-Made-sm

Five Years in San Francisco

This beginning of April was a bit of a milestone for me: It’s been five years since my move to San Francisco. My mid-twenties have brought so many new experiences my way. It’s been the most focused span of my life. I’m reminded each day why I moved to the Bay Area, and am thankful that what I set out to accomplish is steadily coming to fruition.

When I left Michigan, I packed up whatever essentials would fit into my tiny Mazda sedan. I filled it floor to ceiling and strapped a car top carrier on the roof, ready to set out for San Francisco. My head was filled with idyllic notions of life in a new state. I wanted to immerse myself in the jewelry industry and I had scored a job with a couture jewelry designer. I was moving to find a sense of community, as well as romance and adventure. But mostly, I was moving away because I had never done it before. I had yet to experience the feeling of a clean slate.

In truth though, those first few months were incredibly difficult. It was a struggle to settle in and to get by. I had a hard time scraping together $650 each month to rent a room from a complete stranger. I owned no furniture because I sold everything that didn’t fit in my car and used the profits for cross-country gas money. I found it was difficult as an adult to land in a new city and make new friends. I had always met new people through school and work, and now my coworkers were all 20 years my senior (thankfully, they were amazing to me anyway). I spent the first year wondering how and where I would be able to create jewelry again. I was out of my element and out of practice.

After those first few months, things began to change. One by one, everything clicked into place. One good friend led me to meet more. I was introduced to the man who would later become my husband. We explored the city. We camped. We travelled. I wound up with a 2 bedroom apartment in an awesome central neighborhood. More friends moved to San Francisco. Sadly, some moved away.

My first great jewelry job led me onto the next. I gained incredible insight into launching, expanding, and maintaining my own business. I sold diamonds, worked trade shows, filled wholesale orders, sold jewelry, launched websites and managed marketing. I began making jewelry again, at first in the basement of my apartment building before moving to my first studio in the mission. I wrote a business plan and when the demand for my collection grew, I left my day job. All the while I continued to make jewelry. Hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of jewelry.

I had once agonized over the fear of meeting new friends and peers. Now, I’m blown away by the jewelry community I’m entrenched in. San Francisco’s industry scene is everything I’d dreamed of. It’s talented, personal, and youthful. I feel connected to and supported by my fellow jewelers.

As this five-year anniversary approached things leveled up again, as if right on cue. I moved from a tiny studio in the mission to a spacious shop in downtown San Francisco. My studio originally shipped to San Francisco on a 200lb palette. Now I was filling a U-Haul van to the brim.  At the same time my husband and I were purchasing our first home in Oakland. We moved in this week, leaving behind that quaint 2-bedroom in SF for a place so awesome and huge that it hardly feels like real life.

With each box I packed and lifted this month I’ve been reminded of my simple start five years ago. I’m humbled by what I’ve acquired and experienced. Some opportunities we get through a stroke of luck. Most we have to make for ourselves. All of which I am very, very thankful for.

SF-Wish-You-Were-Here

[January 2010- Sending my love back home from cold and windy San Francisco]

 

Introducing the New Studio!

Here we are, ten weeks into the new year and I find myself dreadfully behind on updates. Apologies! I promise the news is well worth the wait.

The last few months have been chock full of opportunity, growth, and travels. A highlight reel of these new developments is in the works, but in the meantime I’d like to announce one of the larger developments with you: a new studio!

new-studio

Here’s a peek at our new space in all of its rustic glory. The 750sq ft space in downtown San Francisco is transforming into a stellar workshop, office and showroom before our very eyes. I’m so grateful to have joined forces with my two new shop mates, Sharon Zimmerman and Luana Coonen, in order to make this dream space a reality. These incredible women are hard working and so creative, I’m beyond lucky to rub elbows with them daily.

To celebrate the new move, introduce ourselves, and give my old shop it’s “last hurrah”, we’re hosting a Trunk Show and Sample Sale this Sunday from 12-4pm. We’ll be pouring mimosas and showcasing a great variety of work…Come say ‘hello!’

postcard

 

Two Holiday Gift Fairs

It may be crunch time in my studio this month, but make no mistake: this is the very best time of the year. Gift fairs and trunk shows give me the opportunity to get out in the world and meet great people like you! Consider shopping with me one-on-one at either of the following events this weekend.

WBWF2013_Poster

 

The first is the White Barn Winter Fair in St Helena, California. The fifth annual fair is held in the historic carriage house in the heart of wine country. Join us by the heat of a wood burning fire at this intimate shopping event featuring just a 20 artists from around the Bay Area. Ceramics, textiles, prints, home goods, and *ahem* jewelry are all up for sale in this laid back three-day event.

Friday 5pm-8:30pm – Preview Night ($15 suggested donation for the White Barn Arts foundation)
Saturday & Sunday – 11am-4pm
open to public

HolidayFAIR_2013

Next is the SF Made Holiday Gift Fair in the Fort Mason’s Fleet Room in San Francisco. SF Made is a non-profit organization which promotes the manufacturing sector in San Francisco. Their organization has helped to support the creation and innovation of hundreds of small businesses that foster local employment opportunities. Their roster of members features some of the best handmade goods around. Due to the large number of vendors, their Saturday & Sunday show will feature a different selection of businesses -so consider dropping by both days!

You will find me at this show on Sunday, December 8th 10am-5pm

If you can’t make it to the shows in person, you can still shop my collection online and treat yourself to 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20.

Happy Holidays!

 

A Rarity: Studio Visit & Interview

Kate Ellen, owner and curator of Crown Nine in Oakland, CA, believes that an appreciation for handmade goods is forged when consumers can meet the people behind the products. This connection is deepened when they see how their favorite things are made. So naturally, catching the artist in their studio is the most insightful place to look. From sketches, to tools, to the very surfaces they work on, a peek behind the curtain shows us not only their expertise but the muse for each covetable item.

Kate is such a strong believer that she has set out to bring this story to you. Each of Crown Nine’s artists have created a limited edition of exclusive jewelry for the shop known as A Rarity. As these designs were underway, she ventured into the shops each jeweler to give you a glimpse into who we are and what we do. Each month a new exclusive design is released paired with an  interview with Kate and a visual studio visit by photographer Eva Kolenko (whose handiwork you’re seeing below)
The result is truly something special.

Catch my Rarity AVAILABLE NOW at Crown Nine’s website along with a stellar interview and photo tour of myself in action.

For more on the Aspen Bounty Earrings created for this project, check out this blog post!

Rarity by Corey Egan for Crown Nine Photos by Eva Kolenko 10801262815

Rarity by Corey Egan for Crown Nine Photos by Eva Kolenko 10801418934

Rarity by Corey Egan for Crown Nine Photos by Eva Kolenko 10801510603

Rarity by Corey Egan for Crown Nine Photos by Eva Kolenko 10801295206

Rarity by Corey Egan for Crown Nine Photos by Eva Kolenko 10801509223

Rarity by Corey Egan for Crown Nine Photos by Eva Kolenko 10801263215

Like what you see? Hop on over to Eva Kolenko’s site for more photo magic.