No shoes, no shirt, no problem... My company's mission statement to take on Tiffany's. A company I bet never had to deal with angry seagulls or torrential downpours. All entrepreneurial landmines I successfully maneuvered around. All the while wondering (like most people) how does sand get in everything?
At the ripe age of 16, my parents told me it was time I get a summer job. Considering we spend our summers at the Jersey shore, the idea of working 6 hours a day was not appealing to me. I was not looking to do something boring; standing behind a counter was the last thing I wanted. Being an innovative and creative person, I tinkered with different ideas on how to earn money without taking away from my treasured beach time. After much thought, I decided Sunday mornings at the beach, I would sell my handmade jewelry. What started out as something small to satisfy my parents turned into my own lucrative beach side business, Blue Bone Jewelry.
I designed a 2 page business proposal and presented it to my parents, requesting almost $200 to get myself started. While they fully supported my ideas, we both had our reservations considering I had never made a piece of jewelry in my life. However, I soon learned the ropes of the trade, though it was no quick process. It was not right away that I had steady and successful techniques for creating my products. I faced many small battles at first, all bearable and able to be fixed. I went through multiple brands of string, and countless trips to craft stores until I found the perfect one; something sturdy and reliable, with just the right amount of flexibility. It took some time for me to get down the stringing process also. I went from creating one necklace in forty-five minutes, to the next in fifteen.
Selling outside is another battle... Fighting Mother Nature makes angry customers and long lines look easy. The wind is my worst enemy and there are times I find myself holding down my jewelry board for dear life. Ideal weather conditions are when it’s sunny and still out. Those are the best Sundays.
Designing my jewelry is a limitless adventure. It is something I genuinely love to do, and something I want to do forever. I find myself choosing beading time over beach time, something my 16 year old self could never have imagined. I wake up early just to bead, and stay up late “beading the night away” as I often say. I have become passionate about creating my jewelry and sharing it with others. It is something that makes me so incredibly and genuinely happy. I could not imagine where I would be without it, or what I would possibly be doing with all the time I spend beading.
I will admit that I sometimes get overwhelmed as my mind tends to think of new ideas faster than I can manually string beads. I have found myself up at 2AM, unable to sleep as my mind is fully awake and busy creating new patterns. Although, since I am forever coming up with new ideas, I’m able to launch new designs every week; something Gucci and Prada definitely can’t do.
Blue Bone is one of the most important things to me. I spend countless hours beading and photographing my work, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I happily finish each summer with money in the bank, and my social capital intact (I’ve earned myself the title of “jewelry girl” in my small mile-long beach town.) Every weekend brings a new adventure, meeting new people and creating new designs and posting them to my social media. I might not have the wallet of Versace, or the storefront of Tory Burch, but I have the passion and drive, with the world waiting for me. Only time will tell where Blue Bone Jewelry will end up. A company formed on the ideals of creativity and social enjoyment, founded in a small town with my feet in the sand, may just end up on the streets of New York City or Paris. Someday, when walking into my shop on Rodeo drive, I’ll never forget where it all started; no shoes, no shirt, no problem.