Aug 30 2015
“I’ll literally dream about something,” said designer Ellen Crockarell, “and wake up and make it the next morning. ”Ellen began making jewelry as a hobby while in college selling it to just family, friends, and those in her church. “I never dreamed of doing it for a full time business,” she said.
Then as she sold clothes on the road, her manager allowed her to display her jewelry, too. That was 13 years ago and the rest is, as they say, history.
“The stores wanted it and I kept developing it on a bigger scale, but it looks so different from what it was when I started until now.”
She said her design goals are to create pieces to last a lifetime.
“My design and style is really classic. I can wear it now, but 20 years from now my child can wear it or somebody else.”
Ellen said she usually just thinks up her designs while she’s working, sitting down to work in the morning and “making new stuff all day.”
“Of course, you get stumped every once in a while,” and when that happens she turns to magazines for inspiration. Though she’ll borrow trendy ideas from fashion, she’s careful to maintain a high standard for classic design.
Doing You, Be Original
When asked what the best part of her career is she quickly answered “people are” then proclaimed herself a people person.
“I love people and it’s so nice to know I can meet new people and different artists from shows.” The next best thing is simply creating saying she loves to create.
Along those lines, her advice to artists is to continue doing their own thing. “You have to realize there are a lot of different artists out there, but you have to do exactly what you do best, your style.” Her advice to artists building businesses is to be on top of your work. As a jewelry maker, she requires a lot of stock so she said she’ll finish specific orders first then continue creating to keep her inventory high.
“Work hard at what you do and it will pay off.”
“I think one of the most important aspects in business is to keep your customers happy,” she said, “and having good loyal friendships [with them] is important to me.”