Within hours of my arrival back to Tampa, I was contacted by a company to execute a marketing campaign that weekend. I loved the name of their company. It was direct and straight to the point. "A Marketing Company". That was what inspired me to dub my jewelry company "A Karat Company". Karat represents gold. Gold represents quality. A Karat Company is a company that will ONLY provide quality jewelry. I began working out other kinks such as what my brand's image will be, registering the company with the proper agencies, and reaching out to vendors.
Fairly quickly I realized many of the vendors out there just do not offer exactly what I am wanting to sell. When that happens it could mean one of two things: There is not a market for the product or There is a market for the product and you have discovered it. I can confidently go with the later as I saw this need not being met first hand while working in retail.
Come May, I was meeting with an order fulfillment company that heard about my idea. I knew I was onto something! I was referred to a jeweler who could potentially fabricate my prototypes, but then it dawned on me to just make the pieces myself. I just needed to find out how to make them. Now, fast forward to about 2 weeks ago: I was downtown St. Petersburg looking for an office and found myself passing a sign in the window announcing jewelry making classes.
My first class was last night and I did not want to leave. I could have stayed in the studio all night and would probably still be there now working away if I could. I learned a lot of basic tasks such as annealing, filing, and stamping. I enjoyed annealing because you get to torch the metal and see how it reacts to the high temperatures. Stamping was actually quite a bit more challenging than I originally thought it would be and I was not as creative as I would have liked to have been. I was more concerned with how to properly use the tools and didn't think to have any sort of design in mind. I did finally start making a heart about halfway through the class and stamped a message into it. Next time I am handed a blank canvass I will start with some direction!