Two years ago I met Monica on Twitter, and again briefly last year during the Couture show. Although I was acquainted with her blog and read it on a regular basis, I eventually found out that she was familiar with our brand having worked at Fox’s Gem Shop in her hometown of Seattle. Interesting how social media has changed the fabric of life….
When I wrote my post on Jewelry blogs, I reached out to Monica who graciously helped me. Thank you again Monica. This post is dedicated to you!
1-Having worked in jewelry stores, you bring designers and consumers together. You have perfected your knowledge by studying gems and traveling as far as Africa, while blogging about an industry that can be archaic and luxurious at the same time. You have been through quite a journey that has lead you to finally owning your own showroom. Can you tell us how you got started and what inspired you?
I have been in love with jewelry for as long as I can remember. While I was in college, I worked in a gallery that focused on jewelry as art, and as a Fine Arts and Art History major, I was officially hooked. I’ve worked in fine jewelry ever since, first in independent guild stores and then bridging technology and jewelry—which is as challenging as it sounds!
I started the blog www.idazzle.com about six years ago, when my children were very young. I thought it would be a way for me to stay connected to the industry I love, in a way that would be more flexible than a retail or tech job. I found that writing really resonated with me, and I love to tell the stories of jewelry and the talented artisans who make it.
Now I’m exploring new ways to work with jewelry and designers. I have a beautiful showroom in Seattle where I can connect consumers with my favorite designers. I am also inspired by my recent travel to the gemstone mines of East Africa with the upcoming jewelry documentary Sharing the Rough (http://www.sharingtherough.com). I am working on a way that we can get the beautiful, fair-mined gemstones of Kenya and Tanzania into the hands of designers in the US and put that money back into education and the gem trade in Africa.
2-You write in-depth articles about various subjects. There is a lot of feeling in your writing and I get the sense that you want to bring the consumer closer to the product. How do you choose your subjects?
Thank you for the kind words! I’m not sure I really choose subjects to write about—they choose me! I have the luxury of being totally independent, so no one tells me what I have to write about.
Of course, I love to tell the stories of jewelry designers, so I mainly write about designers I have seen somewhere and admired. I am also struck sometimes by trends that I see, or an idea will come to me as I read about fashion, the jewelry industry, or news in general. For instance, an idea hit me when I read an article in JCK online (http://www.jckonline.com) about a survey that found most Americans do not want to pay more than $2000 for an engagement ring. I thought it would be a good idea to write an article featuring truly beautiful, hand-made designer engagement rings that are under $2000 (http://idazzle.com/2014/03/24/engagement-ring-trends-beautiful-designer-engagement-rings-under-2000) . I try to choose subjects that I hope readers will connect with, and that will add value to their lives somehow.
3-How did the name idazzle.com come about?
Ah, the name came about a long time ago. I bought the domain name idazzle.com back in the late 1990’s just as the Internet was taking off. It was relatively short, memorable, and could be protected with a Registered Trademark. I loved the idea of dazzle regarding jewelry, since I feel dazzled by it, and the “i” was for the internet, since I envisioned an online business. This was before the iMac, iPhone, etc. I sometimes joke that it’s probably the most valuable part of my brand!
Thank you, Josette! I can’t wait to see you and say hello at Couture!
And thank you Monica! I look forward to catching up to you at Couture!