(Long Island, N.Y.) On a much needed mom’s-night-out recently, I spied the most beautiful necklace on my sister’s neck. “Oooh, where did you get that?” I asked, sizing it up to someday snag (I mean ‘borrow’) it. Turns out, my sister, Krissy got it for her birthday and not from Barneys, Bloomingdales or Nordstrom, either. Rather, a local jewelry designer, Jackie Viterbo.
Jackie is a New Jersey-based mom that runs her own jewelry business, Jacqueline V Designs. She creates unique handmade artisan jewelry, and about twice a year she has a huge jewelry trunk show out of her house where she does most of her sales. She has also sold to some of the local stores and has her own website on etsy.
These are the types of ladies I admire: You’ve got a talent, a passion, and a great idea and the guts to execute it. As they say, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Truly, I believe that, and I’m incredibly inspired by people who really do what they love. And considering I (very sadly) don’t have a crafty bone in my body, I am extra intrigued by artists who “create” for a living.
I caught up with Jackie to learn how she turned her love for jewelry into a home-based business.
Can you tell me a little about how you came up with idea of creating your own jewelry?
Jackie: I started my jewelry business a year ago February purely on a whim. I was a stay at home mom with 4 children whose ages range from 21 down to 7. I was looking for something to do to express my creative side and also keep me busy.
What I didn’t expect was a passion for creating one of a kind jewelry. I would go into Nordstrom and see these elaborate necklaces and decided I could do this. The rest is history as they say. I researched the tools and skills I would need to create jewelry and I taught myself how to make the designs that you see.
Being a mom, working from home, I know it gets so tough! Did you find it hard (at first) to strike a balance and find the time?
Jackie: I don’t find working from home too tough since my children are a little older and independent. When working on an intricate piece I may wait until my little guy is in bed or work on designs while they are in school.
What were some of the initial challenges, in general, starting your home-based business?
Jackie: Initially starting my business was just trying to learn my craft. Once that was done I researched what I would need to have my first show. I needed displays, sales pads, tags, business cards, jewelry tags, and packaging. The list was endless. Once I felt confident and organized I had my first show.
Where do you come up with the inspiration for your handmade artisan jewelry? Can you share a little about your creative process?
Jackie: My inspiration for my jewelry initially came from my love of jewelry. I am a jewelry addict. I design what I would wear and believe that everyone else will love. Sometimes I may see a particular stone and design around it or may see a necklace in the store I like and then I come home and add my own spin on the design.
What do you love most about what you do for a living?
Jackie: What I love most about what I am doing is that I truly enjoy what I am doing and that others love my jewelry too. I find it so rewarding when my friends beg me to design something for them. It is such a kick to walk into a room and see all my friends wearing my designs. I find it surreal.
For a mom who might be sitting on the sidelines, not sure if she should take the leap and profit from her talents…what advice would you give?
Jackie: Life is a leap of faith. Find something you are passionate about. Put your heart and soul into it and it will come back to you tenfold.
Jacqueline uses only the highest quality in semi precious stones, sterling silver and swarovski crystal. And all jewelry is shipped with care to you via USPS Priority mail. If you’re looking for artisan jewelry that’s truly unique, check out www.JacquelineVDesigns.etsy.com