Shop Talk is a weekly column featuring locally owned and operated businesses. This week, we talk to Jen Guzman of Violet & Blue, a jewelry business in Downsville.
How long have you lived in the area?
Almost a year. I left (New York City) and moved up to Downsville in May of 2010.
Tell me about your business:
My business is Violet & Blue, named after the Stevie Nicks song “Violet and Blue.” I sell my collection of one-of-a-kind, handcrafted jewelry that has been inspired by two things I am most passionate about: nature and rock ’n’ roll. My specialties include designing earrings, necklaces and bracelets from new materials but I also create designs by taking pieces of vintage jewelry and adding new pieces to it, sometimes called “jewelry upcycle.” My pieces have been worn by celebrities and rock stars.
Describe a typical day in your business:
If it’s a creating day, then my studio looks like a craft store exploded! I have all of my beads and materials spread out everywhere. I put on some classic rock, turn up the volume and go to work on my designs. I create custom orders by appointment, so I also have clients that visit me in the studio and we discuss the custom design I am making for them and go over options. If it’s an inventory day, I spend it taking photos of my latest designs, adding them to my catalog and listing them on my online shop.
How did you get started in this line of work?
I used to create jewelry with my mother when I was young, it was a hobby of hers that I thought was cool. We used to go to gem and mineral shows where we would buy beads and materials and then go home and create.
As I grew older, my interests changed, but my mom kept up with it. She passed away almost six years ago and it wasn’t until a couple of years after that I found her huge container of jewelry supplies. I made a necklace that day and have been designing regularly ever since.