Today we’d like to introduce you to Elle Sharifpour.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Elle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My name is Elnaz (Elle) Sharifpour. I am originally from Tehran, Iran. I moved to the United States in July of 2002 and attended the Community College of San Francisco till 2006. I received my BA in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts from the University of California San Diego in 2008. After working two years in Graphic design as a freelancer, I decided to move back to San Francisco and take a few jewelry fabrication classes just for fun. Only after a few hours, I realized I have found my true passion and carrier path.
Shortly after I received my Jewelry Technician Diploma in 2011 from the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, I got a work studio and began my journey as a goldsmith. Since then I have been following my passion, designing and fabricating jewelry. I officially launched “Elle Naz Jewelry” in 2013 in San Francisco and moved back to San Diego in April 2017. It has been a challenging, yet amazing ride so far.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think all businesses have their challenges, especially in the beginning. For me, when I first started, I had a hard time pricing my work (just like any artist I know). I knew the cost of the materials, and the hours spent on each piece, but I was always too scared to price too high or too low, so I lost a lot of money not wanting to accept how much my work really cost!
After taking a few jewelry business classes, reading books and many many articles, listening to podcasts, and most importantly following my mentor’s guidelines, I gained a little bit of confidence in my work’s worth. That was and still is the biggest challenge that I had to face. The financial aspect of it has always been really tricky for me.
Another struggle I think in the beginning is to find jewelry stores or galleries who are interested in your work. The competition is so high and there are so many amazing jewelry artists out there that it could be challenging for a new Goldsmiths to get the exposure they need. A lot of galleries or storeowners prefer consignment instead of wholesale, which is not the best option for the artist.
I was lucky enough to meet some amazing people through Revere Academy who were interested in my work. But finding connections can be quite difficult if you are new to the field.
Elle Naz Jewelry – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am the founder and owner of ‘Elle Naz Jewelry’. I specialize in jewelry design and fabrication, mainly with silver, gold, semiprecious and precious stones. Almost everything is either hand fabricated or hand carved. I launched my business in June 2013 and have been making pretty things ever since. I mainly sell through stores or by word of mouth. I do have most of my production line on Etsy at ‘ElleNazJewelry’. I have trunk shows from time to time but usually in the Bay Area. I think what I’m known for mostly is the simplicity in my designs. They are simple, clean, yet unique; easy to wear everyday and everywhere.
I think what I’m really proud of, as a company, is my honesty. I built my company from zero. I started with brass and copper and now I work exclusively with silver, gold and diamonds. I never lie or try to oversell my work. My company was built on trust and I will keep it that way. As a small business owner, I think it’s important to maintain your connection with all your clients and treat them the way they deserve to be treated; with absolute respect. So all my clients trust me and keep coming back. And that is one of my biggest accomplishments.
What sets me apart from others, I think, is my work aesthetics. My pieces are all simple and easy to wear at all times. They are very reasonably priced and most importantly handmade. That means each piece is unique in its own way. Everything is made to order so nothing is exactly 100% like the other. The beautiful thing about handmade jewelry is that you know your piece was made specifically for you; which makes the work one of a kind in a way.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think, to me, success is knowing that you have a job that you are absolutely passionate about. Every day when I get out of bed, I cannot wait to get to my studio, sit at my bench, and start hammering. Hearing the sound of the metal as the hammer hits its surface, seeing the flames moving around the metal and changing its form and color, really brings joy to my day. But I would say nothing makes me happier than to see a smile on my client’s face, or receiving a beautiful note/review from them. When they are happy, I am extremely happy. And that to me is a real success.
- Address: 861 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
- Website: www.etsy.com/shop/ElleNazJewelry
- Phone: (415)602-3562
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/elle_naz/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellenazsf/
- Other: http://elle-naz.tumblr.com/