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Rising Stars: Meet Jenn Goldberg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenn Goldberg.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’m a Southern girl turned devoted California mama. Many people are often surprised to learn that I was born and raised a Georgia peach. I earned my Advertising Degree from The University of Georgia in Athens, GA, and then later moved back to Atlanta until 2011 when my husband and I decided to embark on an adventurous cross-country expedition after the economy fell apart following the 2009 global financial crisis. They say, ‘all things happen for a reason,’ and thankfully that brave decision to move across the country with our two rescue dogs landed us in the beautiful Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Our new home is where I found my paradise. Cardiff is truly what California dreams are made of, and it’s been the driving force that has fueled my life’s creative passions.

Initially following our move, I was lucky enough to work full-time for four years at a startup company in Solana Beach, which allowed me to wear many hats and temporarily satisfied my deeply ingrained desire for innovation, both personally and professionally. Then, in 2015, after years of infertility obstacles, my longstanding dream of becoming a mom finally came true with the birth of my son, Keegan Jules. Our family was so fortunate again in 2016 when our daughter, Lyla Grey, was born. They are hands-down my constant reason for being the best version of myself, my daily motivation to pursue my dreams with passion and purpose, and my eternal reminder to soak in all the good vibes around me. Hence, the basis of the name of my jewelry business, jules grey jewels.

I have always been very active, outgoing, and determined to succeed on my own. I started babysitting at what is now probably considered way too young by most parents and then got my first “real” job at 15 as soon as I was legally allowed to do so. I took great pride in being able to support myself from then on, and I continued to work through college and up until days before my first child was born. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved all things creating, designing, and inspiring. Even as a little girl, my entrepreneurial spirit manifested itself in attempts to promote my own craft sales, host neighborhood art and dance camps, help people with decorating and organizing, and creating jewelry which I have done now for over 20 years.

Starting in 2019, and as soon as my three- and four-year-old started preschool a few mornings a week, I found myself craving a creative outlet again on a regular basis. So, I began searching for the perfect opportunity to make use of my small window of solo time. . . something to give me more purpose, fulfillment, and a sense of growth beyond the daily (and seemingly unending) responsibilities I had come to know as a dedicated full-time mom and wife. While exploring options and doing some design work on the side, I also started selling a limited number of one-of-a-kind necklaces at a local retailer. Every time I’d brainstorm ideas about the foundation of my future endeavors (and what would truly make me happy for many years to come), I kept coming back to the same few principles: designing and creating things that make people happy, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and honoring where I came from because it’s what has made me the woman/wife/mom/person I am today. Once I honed in on these tenets, and after waking up one morning from a dream where I started my own jewelry business, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I set out to create a minimalistic, everyday jewelry brand for “busy babes and mamas” just like myself that could truly be lived in. I knew it had to have an uplifting aesthetic that evoked contentment and good vibes, and it would be inspired by the laid-back beach culture in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. My Southern roots as well as my Italian and German heritage also played a role in some design ideas.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
This small business journey of mine certainly hasn’t been easy, but I absolutely believe that strength grows from struggle, and I know I’ve grown the most when I’ve had to face my biggest obstacles and fears. I had thoughtfully and confidently made my decision to start jules grey jewels at the end of February 2020, so I immediately applied for my Seller’s Permit, started networking, picking brains of fellow artisans, found a supplier I trusted, and invested all the money and time I could to get things going. Then, only a couple of weeks into my new venture, our world was unexpectedly turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, and my already limited solo time (that I had been planning everything around) no longer existed, with no return in sight. Many months later as our community began to adopt our “new normal”, including hybrid homeschooling, I would have to juggle putting on my mom/teacher hat for online learning while hustling upstairs to my makeshift office so that I could also put on my artist/creator hat for 20-30 minute increments. To say it has been a struggle is definitely putting it lightly, but it cemented in me how badly I wanted success. With help from my husband, who is an extremely hands-on Dad, we worked tirelessly to lead our family and respective businesses through this pandemic storm. Without any family nearby, I had very little to no childcare help for the majority of 2020, making the launch of jules grey jewels slower trudging than initially anticipated.

Luckily our family stayed healthy, and throughout the stressful and unprecedented time experiencing a global pandemic, I fortunately found relief and sanity in this creative outlet and business venture. I remained extremely dedicated to my craft and made time when there often seemed to be none. I spent many late nights and early mornings learning everything possible about starting a business on my own. . . from branding and marketing, product photography and building an e-commerce website, bookkeeping, to expanding upon my previously self-taught skills as a jewelry designer. Sometimes it seemed all too much, but in hindsight, my strength and determination grew from these struggles, and I accomplished so much more than I anticipated during COVID. It’s still a daily balancing act trying to wear my mom and wife hats while running a handmade jewelry business as a one-woman show, but I’ve learned to embrace the struggle and keep looking onward and upward!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Boho, glam + everyday, chic jewelry, jules grey is handcrafted + inspired by good vibes in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA.

My designs have always been a mix of bohemian and glam, and since becoming a mom, they’ve also evolved into more functional, lightweight, and minimalistic pieces that are comfortable, effortlessly chic, and meant to be lived in every day. Drawing upon such design principles, my first and most popular collection was born: LIVE in LINKS (TM) for the busy babes + mamas who never have enough time. Cute, comfortable, lightweight pieces in high quality 14K gold fill + sterling silver so you can live in your links and feel put together day in, day out. Because I insist on making jewelry that lasts and valuing my clients’ investments, I always use the best possible precious metals (nickel-free 14K gold fill + .925 sterling silver) so the jewelry can be worn every day, all day. All stones used are semi-precious gemstones, and I purposely choose materials that will ensure both beauty as well as durability, so they may one day become heirloom pieces to hand down. I also have other collections, such as: CARDIFF SEA + SOL (20% of sales will be donated to Cardiff Schools Education Association), GAL PALS (share the love when you purchase a set and get one 25% off for gifting), and MAMA + MINI (sold as a pair so little ones can sport their own jules grey jewels just like mommy; one for MAMA + one 15% OFF for mini). My collections have a continuity to them but also have their own personalities to appeal to each individual.

While a handful of pieces were designed with my family’s origins and our heirloom jewels in mind, most of the jewelry I’ve created is simply a tribute to historical Cardiff and inspired by our quaint little beach town. In particular, with the worldwide events of the last two years, I feel incredibly fortunate to call Cardiff-by-the-Sea home, and I’ve always found myself influenced by the alluring colors and serene beach vibes along our gorgeous coastline. For this reason, most pieces are uniquely named after all the special streets in this beautiful beach town (like Mackinnon, Edinburg, Birmingham, and Oxford). My COMPOSER DISTRICT collection is also significantly inspired by mesmerizing strolls through that specific area in Cardiff, adorned with fantastic ocean views and charming streets named after famous musical composers.

I absolutely love and appreciate getting honest insightful feedback, whether it’s when I’m working closely with people on custom orders or at maker’s markets and private pop-up events. With that said. . . please contact me if you’d like to have jules grey jewels at your next girls’ night, birthday, shower, school, or business event! We’ll customize a perfect selection of beautifully displayed jewelry for you and your guests (depending on your preference and event size) so that guests can browse and shop at their convenience.

How do you define success?
Of all my goals with jules grey jewels, the biggest and most important to me is creating happiness and confidence for both myself and other women every day, from the inside out. Starting this small business and creative outlet for my future has been quite a journey with no shortage of obstacles, but I already feel an overwhelming amount of achievement, and I’m proud of everything I’ve learned along the way. It really is a dream come true, and there’s a feeling of accomplishment when I just think about all the growing pains and gains. Designing beautiful and meaningful jewelry with an ocean view in Cardiff while also spending time with my family and friends allows me the opportunity to create and be present in my happiness. I truly love producing jewelry that makes me just as happy as it does those who receive it.

Bottom line, the success and rewards aren’t just materialistic. . . it’s been my resilience, self-discipline, confidence, and learning to believe I can do anything I put my heart and soul into. It’s felt like a rollercoaster ride at times with the ups and downs, but the most exciting part is that I’m just getting started and still have bigger goals to chase, so it feels really great to be where I am at this moment!

Pricing:

  • Anklets, bracelets, earrings, necklaces || prices range from about $40-$200

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Jenn Goldberg

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