This is a guest post by Tracy Matthews of Flourish & Thrive Academy. Tracy is a jeweller with 20 years in the industry, and she does AMAZING work. She and I met at the WDS in Portland, Oregon, last year, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. We’re both on a mission to help makers to grow successful businesses – Tracy and her F&TA partner Robin focus on helping jewellery designers specifically {Jess}.


There are SO many designers out there these days.

Why is it that some brands just stand out and sparkle, while others barely make an impact?

It’s an interesting phenomenon to observe. Designers often ask me: “How is it possible to start a jewellery business (or any creative business) NOW and actually succeed?”

Good question…

I’ve been designing jewellery for over 20 years and running a full time business in the industry for over 15 years. As an industry vet, I’ve been privileged to watch brands rise and succeed as well as witness other very talented designers hardly get their feet off the ground.

The other night, I went to the opening of my friend Melissa Joy Manning’s retail store in NYC. I’ve known Melissa for over 15 years as we started our wholesale businesses around the same time.

Melissa has so much talent and it’s been so fun watching her evolve as a designer over the years. Her collection is divine and her store completely “designed” in alignment with her signature style. As I’ve seen her grow her business intentionally, one thing that always has stood out to me was that she defined key elements of her BRAND very early on.

And the same holds true for other successful jewellery designers…

The question is: What do famous or successful designers like Melissa Joy Manning, Dana Kellin, Cathy Waterman, Pamela Love or even Dogeared jewellery have in common?


It all converges with the 7 Qualities that ALL Successful Jewellery Brands Have in Common.


1. They developed a signature style early on

Successful designers understand that getting caught up in bright, shiny object syndrome only does them a disservice. Instead of trying to do everything with their design, they hone in on the concepts that they are most skilled at.

Over the years, their style evolves. However, their evolution as a designer makes sense and stays true to their brand.


2. They have a well-defined brand story

Designers who make an impact do amazing jobs at communicating their brand story. Who they are as a designer and their purpose for bringing their art to the world comes front and centre.

In fact, a well-defined brand story, artist statement, bio, or purpose can serve as one of the main attractors of you DREAM clients and raving fans.


3. They communicate value and price accordingly

Communicating value is like second nature to successful brands. Their pricing model not only considers cost of materials and labour, but the types of materials they are using, their proprietary design process, artistic talent, and originality.


4. They partner with the RIGHT clients, not just any client

Successful designers aren’t afraid to say no to partners who are not in alignment with their brand. Taking time to find the right types of clients and remaining exclusive instead of selling to everyone bumps up the value of the brand.


5. They have a devoted base of raving fans

Because successful designers partner with the right people, they develop a raving fan base. Raving fans or DREAM clients are those that love and wear everything you design, become your biggest source of referrals, and are your best repeat clients.


6. They didn’t get there overnight

Brands that sustain long term success take their time! Successful designers commit to the process, grow at a comfortable pace, set up their business on a solid foundation of systems and practices and know that they can’t get there alone. Most overnight successes have been in business for many years (in most cases) before they “make it big.”


7. They are resilient, dedicated, and know when to move on

If I had to choose one thing that set the designers who have obtained a certain level of success apart from those who hardly build traction is that they are resilient and dedicated.

Famous designers have had doors slammed in their face a lot more than you would expect. However, they don’t let a NO hold them back from their vision. Instead, they adapt and adjust course.

Moving forward takes a commitment and dedication to a bigger vision. Being dedicated also takes a sense of confidence to know when it’s time to move on in a new direction or cut out the things that aren’t working.

Building a successful jewellery brand takes persistence and perseverance.

Those that rise from the pack and build an amazing brand all have these seven qualities. If you are new to the jewellery industry (or creative industry for that matter), emulate (but don’t copy) successful brands to launch and prosper in your business.


In the comments below, tell us the following:

1. Which of the 7 Qualities do you struggle with the most?
2. What is your favourite jewellery brand (or other creative superstar in your niche) that you would like to emulate?



Tracy Matthews is a bespoke fine jewellery designer and the founder of Flourish & Thrive Academy. She is on a mission to teach jewellery designers how to get their beautiful work into the hands of their DREAM clients and raving fans.

Along with her partner, Robin Kramer, Tracy leads online trainings and the powerful community over at FlourishThriveAcademy.com. Check out their FREE trainings and signature courses, and, if you’re ready to create your dream jewellery business, go here to learn more about their signature course, Laying the Foundation {aff}. (This site/resource is no longer available.)



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