Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Inman.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Amanda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
A handful of months after I started my career as a residential interior designer, I found myself only working part time and in need of another source of income. I had grown up with a bit of an entrepreneurial and independent spirit and had always been encouraged by my dad to do something for work that I could do anywhere. With time to spare and a desire to start a business of some kind, I started playing around with a bunch of different ideas and eventually landed on designing jewelry. I taught myself the skills I needed to start making earrings and necklaces, bought a few strands of beads and tools, and began creating things for friends and family. Coincidentally, around the same time, I had also been given a few vintage pieces of jewelry by my grandmother that were broken or she no longer wore.
One look into my grandmother’s jewelry box and I was hooked. This was what would set my business apart from others. I fell in love with the idea that each of her pieces had their own unique history – their own story to tell. I began to realize that these pieces were timeless and could be given new life by deconstructing them and combining their parts with new and fresh styles, colors, and textures. I began designing bold statement necklaces that featured vintage elements but had a modern yet timeless appeal.
Style is always evolving, but what we design and wear today continues to have roots in the past. Elements of the styles of my grandmother’s generation are still seen in our current trends; those timeless styles inspire me to find ways to further connect them to the present with my jewelry. I love finding inspiration in the details of life; nature and creation, art, architecture, music, history, and travel all shape my current style.
Though I started my business nine years ago, it has ebbed and flowed during that time as I have also pursued interior design and other creative endeavors at the same time.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting and maintaining a business on my own has not been a smooth journey at all. Some of my biggest challenges have been balancing creativity and time to design and make things with actually maintaining the business side. Though I studied a little business in college and tend to be 50/50 on my left and right brain strengths, I still struggle with things like inventory, accounting, and understanding my balance sheet. One of my other biggest challenges has been promotion and media. I’m not a consistent writer and struggle with what feels like self-promotion, and need a lot of help! But, when you’re a small business and starting out, you have to do all of it yourself. It’s exhausting. There isn’t money for an accountant or bookkeeper, photographer, or social media expert. One of the biggest things I’ve learned though is that as a business owner, you need this time to truly know the ins and outs of your business. Once there is money to do so, hire someone whose strength is your weakness and let them do what they do best. I feel like I can be a more knowledgeable business owner because I’ve been in the trenches of my own accounting and inventory and editing product photos.
Another huge struggle for me over the years has been fear of failure and it has kept me from knocking on doors I probably should have knocked on. My advice for young women starting out is to take the risk and put yourself out there and do it again when you get turned down. (I’m having to take my own advice as I am currently experiencing a renewed passion and excitement to take Amanda K. Jewelry to new markets and share what I do with more women.) Gather a tribe of people around you that love you and will cheer you on no matter what. You will need them when you don’t want to go on or start to question why you are doing this crazy business thing anyway. They will be your first and forever customers.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Amanda K. Jewelry – what should we know?
I specialize in big, bold jewelry that promotes confidence in women. Vintage hand-selected pieces collected over time become the focal point of each one-of-a-kind piece. My designs are unique and go against the current trend of dainty and petite jewelry. But, I believe they are bold and balanced classics that marry the past and present. It’s for the woman who isn’t afraid to make a statement…which I think can actually be any woman. Often, I’ve found some of my clientele is initially surprised that they CAN wear and look beautiful in my pieces. I love to invite women into conversations about who they are and build confidence in them to be who God created them to be and to live it out. And, I believe jewelry and fashion can often spark those conversations.
As an interior designer, I love to play with interesting combinations of texture and pattern in both my jewelry and residential design work, and I think each skill set sharpens the other. My interior design background also provides a unique influence on color and material choices, symmetry and balance in design, and a deeper understanding and sense of what is aesthetically beautiful.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
So many! But three come to mind with regards to business. First, another fellow small business owner and friend whom I’ve done a lot of design work for over the years, Ashley Astleford, owner and principal designer of Astleford Interiors. She has without a doubt inspired me creatively and had a huge influence on my design aesthetic. Her love of bold color, balance, and carefully selected details and materials make her a great designer, and she’s not afraid to specialize in something she loves, even when it goes against current trends.
Second, in college, Christi Proctor Hurst (formerly on Trading Spaces years ago!) came to speak to my class’s ASID chapter meeting, and I remember her talking with us about design being such a broad field. She encouraged us to investigate more than just interior design, and that our skill set would be applicable to a lot of different avenues. At the time, she also had a beautiful jewelry line at a local shop in Waco, which she spoke some about. Looking back, I was most definitely inspired by the broad spectrum of what had made up her career, but also remember uniquely thinking that I loved her bold jewelry.
Lastly, my mom has always inspired me to think creatively, to be resourceful with what I have, and to consider the hearts of others. She is infectiously outgoing and often my biggest salesperson! Growing up, her own artistic interests and projects created an environment where we were encouraged to make things and experiment. I am grateful for the way she taught me to observe my surroundings and the uniqueness of God’s creation, which has impacted how I design.
- Website: www.amandakjewelry.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/amandaparet
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandakjewelry
Susanna Simpson of Southern Pines Photography