Elena is looking to fund three stamping & bending tools and an initial production order of 80 pairs of her Fireworks earrings.
I was 6 years old when I announced to my family that I wanted to become a “jewelry maker”. At that time I lived in Winklpoint, a very small village in Austria. While at school I started my first business making jewelry from silver plated wire and beads for my class mates and neighbors.
At 15 I passed the entry exam to a renown European jewelry design school where I studied the design and craftsmanship to become a gold smith, four years I graduated as an accredited Gold and Silversmith. I then continued my studies for an additional two years and received my Masters Degree as a Goldsmith.
I started my own successful jewelry business in Austria and created one-of-a-kind signature pieces for private clients for the next 14 years. During this time, to advance my skills I traveled to South Africa where I worked with a gem stone cutter, taught jewelry classes in Greece, took gemstone setting classes and traveled to New York on a regular basis to experience international style and fashion.
In 2002 I moved onto a sailboat, bringing my jewelry tools with me with the intention of sailing around the world. Cruising from Italy through the Mediterranean, crossing the Atlantic, exploring the Caribbean and then paralleling the Eastern Seaboard eventually arriving in New York where I set up a land-based workshop in Manhattan. I now had the opportunity to create my unique design pieces for an elite group of clients. I participated in my first jewelry trade show in 2008, made the decision to retire from sailing and remain in NYC full time to continue building my growing business in the US. I set up my studio in Chelsea where I have been busy building my jewelry brand.
Until recently I have been hand creating my pieces manually. However, my wholesale customer base has grown (mostly through the participation in trade shows) which made me decide to start outsourcing some of the manufacturing to local firms.
My decision has been to manufacture all of my pieces in the US, which allows me to monitor each step of the process ensuring that the quality of each finished piece is up to my standard. This way I also know where the materials are coming from, who actually works on my pieces, and what the working conditions are at the factory, rather than sending my designs overseas and taking business away from the US economy.
Over the last four years I have worked with an awesome model maker, outstanding gemstone suppliers, trustworthy precious metals dealers, and several local jewelry manufacturers (hard to believe that these sources are still all conveniently located in NYC!).
My KICKSTARTER Project
The Fireworks Earrings have become a popular item among my wholesale clients. Originally, I hand made each pair, as you can see in the video. I tried having the pattern laser cut by a specialized company and only doing the finishing process myself but the problem being this is neither cost nor time effective, since I still have to use a thicker material to ensure stability and tension to hold the stones in place, pay the laser cutter, and spend several hours to finish the earrings. The solution is to "stamp" the forms and bend them by machine. This requires the one-time investment in three custom built stamping & bending tools. In addition the manufacturing of at least 80 pairs of earrings per order would be required to cover the high set-up costs. The production of the stamping & bending tool and the manufacturing of the first 80 pairs of Fireworks earrings will cost $14,500. This is where I need backing. If my KICKSTARTER project succeeds I can replace many hours of production time. This will enable me to devote more time to creativity: design new pieces; meet and spend time with clients, participate in additional trade shows, and grow my business to the next level. The production hours will not be lost, they will go to a manufacturer in Long Island City and support the local economy.
Here is the break-down of the total costs:
$4,500: tooling costs (three stamping & bending tools)
$7,000: material costs (special tarnish-free sterling silver and 160 cut gem stones for 80 pairs of earrings)
$3,000: labor costs (stamping & bending process, soldering hangers, finishing process, polishing)
I will complete the last crucial step myself which is setting the gem stones.
This way I can personally select each stone and perform the final quality control.
Exclusive and generous rewards will be available for your support.
I'm very passionate about my work. I'm also committed to making this project a huge success by creating an unique experience and an outstanding jewelry piece for my package reward backers.
Thank you for backing my KICKSTARTER project!
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