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_MG_34001Welcome to Anne Carson Design online. The virtual shop is new, although I’m not. I’ve been in business for more than nine years, but I am what my friends have jokingly referred to as, “the reluctant entrepreneur.”

Although I love designing jewellery, the evolution of my business has been slow because I’m not comfortable being a self-promoter. So my clientele has grown entirely by word of mouth and largely due to the kindness of my friends and their friends who wear my work and hand out my business cards.

RELUCTANT ENTREPRENEUR

I never planned to go into business. I just began designing necklaces because I could never find quite what I wanted in the marketplace. I wanted real stones, not glass or crystal. I prefer silver to gold. I’m influenced by vintage jewellery, particularly from the Edwardian era, but I don’t want to wear a costume. I wanted my jewellery to have a fresh, modern feel.

Eventually I decided to make my own. As the results got better, friends began requesting I make them pieces. Then their friends asked if I could make up another one like that in chocolate pearls? Or did I have anything in aquamarine? Or peridot?

They told me people tried to buy the jewellery right off their necks, which I didn’t quite believe until it happened to me. Eventually one pal decided to throw a party and invite her friends and colleagues to see some of my creations. That happy event became the main method for marketing my work. These days, I often fly to visit friends in other cities and call it a business trip because I show my work over wine and appies.

MEDIEVAL ARTISAN SYNDROME

About four years ago one of my bracelets found its way onto the arm of a morning TV fashionista and an investor approached me about expanding my business. She just shook her head when she heard about my sales techniques.

“It’s like you’re some medieval artisan dragging a cart from town to town,” she said. She was a skilled businesswoman and told me there were more efficient ways to do this. She proposed a plan that would involve offshore factories and wider profit margins, for jewellery of reduced quality.

I suddenly realized that she wanted to me to start making exactly the sort of necklace I had rejected more than a decade ago.

“But I make these for my friends,” I protested. “I make every necklace as if I were going to wear it myself.”

“You realize that friends-of-Anne is not actually a demographic,” she replied. “Well, at least not one that’s big enough to expand your business.”

And that’s when I realized I was never going to be any sort of mass producer. So I planned another party.

GEMS FOR MY FRIENDS

While my customers are not all my friends in the true sense of the word, they are women like me who wear a lot of classic clothes and want jewellery to give the outfit some interest. They don’t want to see carbon copies of what they’re wearing on everyone else in the office or at a party.

With that in mind, I make all the pieces myself because I need to see how the stones work together. That’s what my customers value about these pieces: they’re handcrafted with care, and with an eye to pleasing the wearer.

Which brings me to why I’ve launched a website. The same friends who pushed me to go into business in the first place, also convinced me that having an online shop was a matter of good customer service. Many of my pieces are limited designs and some are one-of-a-kind, so customers who couldn’t always make time for showings felt they were missing out. The website just makes it easier for people to find what they’re looking for.

LIMITED EDITION JEWELLERY

If you’re interested in hearing about the new pieces first, we have an occasional newsletter and you can sign up here. New pieces will make their public debut a week or two later in the “Featured Products” part of the shop. The necklaces, earrings, and bracelets currently in stock are found in the obvious categories. And I have a wing of the store devoted to my portfolio of previous designs, for anyone looking for inspiration.

The nature of designing with natural stones is that when they’re gone, they’re gone. But if you like something you see, or would like it in a different coloured gem, I can check with my suppliers and see if there’s something comparable that might work for you.

Thanks for visiting Anne Carson Design. I hope you enjoy browsing.

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