Everyone loves a good origin story, and ours is nothing short of magical. I didn’t set out to create a national jewelry brand. In fact, my degree is in English, which does explain my love of the written word, but turns out, I did not love teaching. *Gold stars for all the amazing teachers out there* So I picked up my camera and turned a hobby into a side hustle. A few years later, I was photographing over 40 weddings a year and feeling a bit burned out. Did I mention by this time I had a 12 year old daughter, a 5 year old daughter, and a newborn son? Life was chaotic in the best way possible! One busy morning, while I was nursing a newborn and blow-drying my daughters hair, I reflected on how much my life had changed over the years…how each new chapter brought new adventures, wins & losses, highs & lows…and I thought, “How special would it be to have a piece of jewelry that could inspire and grow with you?”
I didn’t know what I was doing, but Google is a friend of mine, and she helped me figure it all out. I only had three requirements: It had to be inspirational, it had to be interchangeable, and it had to be made in the good ol’ USA. In the beginning, I created rubber stamps and stamped my favorite quotes onto metal plates. I had a die made to cut out the leather, and I “smashed” all the rivets by hand. I went to my first trade show in January of 2010 and barely wrote enough orders to pay for my booth. It wasn’t the volume I wanted, but the response I received from those who did love it was just what I needed to keep going.
Here’s where many founders might insert, “and the rest was history” but this is where things get really interesting. Orders started coming in faster than I could get them out the door, so I called up a couple of my favorite cousins to give me a part-time hand. Part-time quickly turned into full time, and we called in a few more friends and family to help us out. And there we were…8 strong, working out of my spare room and garage, me taking orders with my flip phone, all of us trying to potty-train my son who was toddling around. Oh, and we were making A LOT of jewelry.
In 2013 we bought an old garage in our little downtown of Baxter, Tennessee (population 1300) and renovated it to be the best headquarters that ever lived. A few times a week the train rolls through the middle of town, on warm days we open the back door and listen to the laughter of the kids on the playground at the nearby elementary school, and at 5:00 every day, the church bells across the street chime, “How Great Thou Art.” Like I said, it’s magical.
Over the years, just like in life, we’ve had some wins and some losses. We’ve celebrated and savored every chapter of our brand’s story. But one thing has remained a constant, and that’s our gratitude for YOU. Those of you who love what we do, who wear our inspiring jewelry, who gift it to your friends…you’re what keeps us going, keeps us creating. We hope you find just what you’re looking for as you browse our 2020 collection, and we can’t wait to start this next chapter with you.
Kellie & The Lenny & Eva Family