Erika Rosenbaum combines her background as a gallery director and her artistic talents to run a successful jewelry design business.
ABI: How did you become interested in designing jewelry in the first place? What inspires you?
ER: Jewelry has been a part of my life from a young age. During childhood trips to Maine I was attracted to hand crafted silver jewelry and cherished family gifts of jewelry that continue to have sentimental meaning and hold important memories for me. Many years later, while working in Human Resources, jewelry design started as a hobby through evening classes in metalsmithing, wax design, and stone setting, ultimately leading to a career and life transition.
I am strongly inspired by architecture and nature, interpreting shapes in a minimalist fashion, incorporating vibrant color. My work is a diverse collection of contemporary fine jewelry in mixed metals (gold, sterling silver, bronze) and gemstones.
ABI: You have a background in the gallery world. How does that affect your approach to business?
ER: As a former Gallery Director, I was active in marketing, merchandising, coordinating with artists, and launching gallery exhibitions. This helps me tremendously in understanding the business challenges from the retailer’s perspective, and being able to sell your product to their specific customer base.
It’s important to try and build a relationship – hopefully partnership- so that you can aid them in this process. This can include: offering quality images for their website, re-evaluating price points when necessary, supplying product on a timely basis, and helping to drive/promote purchases through their establishment and to be open to constructive feedback.
ABI: What have you learned about finding the right market?
ER: I’ve learned how important it is to do research as to products and price points for whatever venue you are pursuing to see if they are in line with yours. Also, it’s important to take calculated risks in that no one can guarantee that an event will be successful for you, so it can be some trial and error, and you need to manage expectations and be willing to fail and then re-evaluate your next steps. I expanded my events from retail to wholesale and am excited to participate in the upcoming Buyer’s Market in Philadelphia.