Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Indie jewelry designer Meredith Piccin, who started Honey Rose & K, which combines and repurposes vintage finds with modern elements to create unique, hand-made jewelry designs.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, your career and your history with jewelry-making.
I began my career out of college with Target where I was workign in visual merchandising. When I moved to Columbus, OH I started working for Limited Brands HQ where I was on the visual team for Express. After several years in the corporate world I started to want my own creative outlets. I stumbled upon jewelry design when I was playing with my Grandmother’s costume jewelry pieces. I had so much fun repurposing and soon friends began to inquire on purchasing. Ladybird Boutique in the Short North was the first shop to carry our line and from there, Honey Rose & K began. I named the company after my Grandmother, Honey Rosenkranz.
I’m self-taught and I’ve learned many techniques from other jewelry designers.
2. What prompted you to create Honey Rose and K?
At first it was just a fun, creative outlet for me but I loved it so much that it quickly became a business. If I have a passion and a vision for something I just go for it! There’s a need for more eco-friendly fashion and I feel very passionate about what we stand for as a company. That’s been with me from the beginning.
3. What is your most successful form of marketing?
Social media is the most amazing form of marketing for any business. It allows you to get in front of people all around the world and has connected me with stylists, makeup artists, photographers and amazing customers. It’s also a great way for boutiques around the world to see our work and what we stand for.
4. How do you make your jewelry stand out among competitors?
Our pieces have a story which makes them unique. We can tell you every component and where it came from and how we repurposed it into its design. We make every piece with our hands and people love knowing that each piece is special and has a story.
5. How did you and your co-designer, Sarah Trueman, begin working together?
I met Sarah long ago in North Canton, OH and we both ended up at Express many years ago! We became fast friends and never lost touch. Sarah asked me if I needed help a few years ago and I was looking to hire. Sarah has a background in Art and Marketing and can create anything! She’s a born designer.
Sarah’s husband relocated to Philadelphia for work and we decided it was the perfect opportunity to share the brand on the East coast as well.
6. Sarah lives in Philadelphia and you live in Ohio. How do you make the distance work?
We have clear roles and responsibilities and we easily work well in different cities. We are in constant touch and communicate everything that’s going on daily. Having Sarah in Philadelphia has grown our business and reach.
7. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
I’m inspired by pieces of yesterday with a modern point of view. Like many designers, I find inspiration in travels, nature, and color. I love every aspect of the design process from finding the perfect pieces to the very end of shooting them for the website layout. Every season and collection brings a new inspiration.
8. Where do you hope to see the business in 5 years?
I hope we continue to grown our boutique locations in the US and expand outside of the US. We’ve started to do more trunk shows and we will be traveling more to bring the line to other cities. We are launching our Honey Girl line shortly and I’m excited to see how that grows over the years.
Our team will continue to grow as well.
9. What is your favorite vintage item you own?
My Grandmother Honey’s diamond ring and my vintage Chanel bag.
10. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Be prepared to work hard and KEEP GOING. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard no or had huge disappointments but get back up, improve and keep going. You have to have the mentality that you’ll never give up. I think my background in gymnastics and my parents always telling me I could achieve anything I set my mind to, has prepared me for being an entrepreneur. At the end of the day, stay focused on your dreams, be kind to everyone you meet and give it your all.
Just for fun…
More on Meredith