Today we’d like to introduce you to Trudi Bell.
Trudi, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Well, it’s sort of a two part story that amazes me a bit. It was just over 9 years ago that I was working for a major telecommunications company, when a co-worker shared with me and idea of his. He was doing some party promotions and discussed the idea of giving away jewelry to women to boost popularity. And for some strange reason (fate I presume), I thought aloud “I can make some earrings.”
Never having even made jewelry before, this idea is now in my head and I go to the store and I buy all the supplies that I thought would equate to complete jewelry pieces and began putting jewelry together. Long story short, the vision I had in mind didn’t work out. They were not quite party promotion material, however, they did manage to intrigue a few friends. I continued to dabble in making more and would sell a few pieces here and there. It was easy and fun enough that I thought and expressed to my husband that I could be rich from making jewelry. So, I named my collections Jewelriaire (Jewelri-Aire). The thought behind it was to become a millionaire from jewelry (LOL)!
Fast forward a bit, and the story changes for me. It was about 2 years in of making jewelry pieces. I had done a few shows, photo shoots and gained some attraction to my jewelry. I even competed in a jewelry competition presented by A.I.N. (Accessories In the Nude).
One day, I was visiting with my mom and we were chatting about my jewelry and she said to me, “you should take your dad’s old jewelry making kit and materials and see if there’s anything you can do with it.” It was at that moment, after hearing her say this, that the feeling of shock and amazement ran through me. I got chills. I had completely forgotten about the stories of my dad making jewelry during the 70’s.
It was a moment in time that is truly special to me. I realized that my gift is innate. My father passed away in 1993, in a tragic accident. He had long before retired his artisan craft. I was 10 years old when he passed and I have no visual memory of him making jewelry. There were only stories that my mom had mentioned while growing up.
The value of my craft immensely increased in sentiment. I changed the name of business, as fate would have it, to Jewelry-Heir. It made so much sense now and there was no change in pronunciation (what are the odds)! It’s just mind blowing and I’ve been practicing and improving my craft every since.
Has it been a smooth road?
As a business, it definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. Struggles for me are definitely time, money, and managing all the working parts of a business. I guess I should just say everything. LOL!
Being an artisan, I like to focus on the art of designing and making my jewelry. But as a business there are so many aspects of managing transactions. From coming up with an idea to creating a piece, then to marketing the piece, managing a website, taking pictures, following up with customers, finding the right help. There are just so many fine details that you have to work on if you don’t want to be the “starving artist” as they say.
I use to focus on creative pieces that showed as art in photographs, but I found that those are not always sellable pieces. It’s a niche market and without the immediate access to the resources to find that market, there’s a bit of a monetary struggle. So, finding the balance to keep my creative side and stay trendy with pieces women can wear with their everyday wardrobe was a struggle.
Being self-taught, I care about staying close to the quality and to my customer. However, I also focus on selling more. Learning to move away for one-of-a-kind pieces to collections has also been a bumpy transition.
Not to forget about the whole transitioning from full-time corporate work life to full-time entrepreneur. It takes a big leap and a lot of faith. My husband, mother, brothers, family and friends are the most awesome of supporters.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Well I’m definitely known for my over the top, show pieces. I think for the most part, if you want something that is artful and beautiful, you can count on me.
Although I now focus on trendy everyday jewelry, I still take custom jewelry orders that accomodate bridal parties, art showcases, costumes, body jewelry, and more.
I think what sets me apart from others is that my signature look is bold, classy, with a touch of edge. I love keeping my jewelry classy and timeless but with a modern twist. There’s a quote that I often use that I think describes my jewelry mantra – “Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered.” by Giorgio Armani
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I definitely believe that the Dallas/Ft.Worth area is a good place for my business. And I would definitely recommend it as a starting place to others. It’s where I got my start and there’s no denying it.
Networking is everything. You can meet and learn so many things about business in our city.
And with that being said, I also have to say that there can me a limit to the growth as well. Meaning, you can reach a plateau and will need to venture out. Especially for a business like mine or for those in the creative arts category of business. I’ve had much success venturing into the West Coast and East Coast markets. I’ve gained incredible customers and invaluable working partnerships.
But, by all means, our city is a representative of wide open arms ready to embrace what you have to offer…
- Website: jewelryheir.com
- Phone: 214-838-8469
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/jewelryheir
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JewelryHeir/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/JewelryHeir
Calvin Coolidge Avent, Professional photography by Evelyn Murphy, K. Rish Photography, Julian Race, Clothing by Lucy Dang, Fun & Trendy Bracelets