Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Meg Shackleton, the designer and founder of Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry. A firm believer that life is too short not to be doing what you love, Meg decided to take the leap from employee to entrepreneur. She left her job at Google and began designing jewelry.
Tell us a little about yourself and your company.
I’m the founder and designer of San Francisco based Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry. We make classic pieces for the modern woman and seek to bring out the vibrancy in everyone who wears our jewelry.
Were you nervous to leave Google and start your own business? What was the pivotal moment that inspired you to make that leap?
I was really nervous to leave Google! I was very comfortable there and enjoyed the company and my co-workers so much. It was definitely a major change in environment to go from a corporate setting to working on my own- and not getting a steady paycheck was certainly a huge difference! Once a few large retailers expressed interest in the line, I decided it was time to pursue Margaret Elizabeth full time. It’s been so much fun and so exciting- I haven’t looked back since!
Is it hard to balance designing the jewelry with the every day business & marketing aspects of Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry?
It can definitely be challenging balancing the two sides of the business. Realistically, the ‘business/marketing’ aspects involved with running the company occupy much more of my time than designing does. That said, my team is so amazing and they do so much to keep the business running. Having a great team in place is allowing me to focus more on growing the line and designing new pieces.
What is your brand’s most successful form of marketing?
Social Media! I think that sharing our pieces on social media allows people to visualize how they would wear them in their own wardrobes and how they can style the jewelry. Social media provides an extra lens that a simple website doesn’t.
What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Travel! Every time I’m in a new place and encountering new cultures and people I get so inspired.
What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
If you have an idea or product that you’re passionate about- go for it! Surround yourself with great advisers and talk to as many people as you can before you take the plunge.
Just for fun…
Who is a woman in business who inspires you?
I admire and look up to Diane Von Furstenberg so much. She’s a true boss lady!
What blogs do you love to read?
Love Garance Doré, Gadabout, Elements of Style, Piece of Toast, Sacramento Street, Glitter Guide, Everygirl…the list goes on and on!
Favorite piece in your jewelry collection?
Our teardrop bangles!
(photo credit: bess friday)