top of page
  • Writer's pictureClouds and Colors Clothing

Chapter 3: East Coast Jewels

Updated: Jan 30

For our third interview we have another especially inspiring guest! I met Maddie during an event at Rowan and the first thing I noticed was how organized and professional her business looked. We exchanged ideas about entrepreneurship and even back then I knew her story was worth sharing. East Coast Jewels offers some of the most eye catching jewelry that I've ever seen and in this interview I'm hoping to get a behind the scenes glimpse of the one behind it all!

Maddie - East Coast Jewels


For starters, how did your journey begin? What made you want to decide to create East Coast Jewels and share it with the world?


Maddie:

After my first year of college, I found myself in a bit of a self-doubt and confusion phase. I had no clue about my major or interests, so I kinda became a bit of an introvert that summer, mostly chilling at home. Then, in August, I got this urge to create something. I was living at my Lala’s (she’s my godmother) house, and she had a bunch of jewelry-making stuff from some courses she took ages ago. (Funny story, she actually taught me how to wrap crystals on earrings when I was like 8!)


I decided to make a pair of earrings. Snagged some large silver hoops from my jewelry box and went to town wrapping crystals on them. After two full days, I posted my creation on social media, and boom, instant positive feedback. Friends and family started asking me to make them a pair, each with specific colors and styles.


Orders kept rolling in, and I thought, why not make a little business page for my newfound hobby? August 2019, I made an Instagram page. When I got back to school in September, I joined the Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University, and studied marketing for East Coast Jewels.


That's a very cool origin story! Sometimes we don't always need to know what's in store for the future but our past experiences help pave the way. So what is your creative process like when you design a new style?


Maddie:

When it comes to designing a new style, I kick off the creative process by settling into my favorite binge-watching show; it sets the mood! Sketching out my ideas is a crucial step for me, helping me visualize the design before bringing it to life. I often find inspiration in various sources—whether it's a chic outfit or a specific color combination that catches my eye. Lately, I've been diving into bridal-inspired pieces, exploring ways to translate that elegance into earrings.


Creativity has its own schedule. Some days, I'm in full swing, effortlessly crafting new styles for hours on end. Other days, I'm digging into my own archives, finding inspiration in my previous work and giving it a fresh twist. It's a dynamic process that keeps things exciting!



I agree, each day really can feel like a new experience! What advice would you give to someone who may be interested in sharing their art, jewelry, music etc. but is unsure about the business side of things?


Maddie:

My advice to anyone venturing into sharing their art, jewelry, music, or any creative pursuit is simple yet powerful: just go for it! Taking that leap can feel nerve-wracking, but imagine the missed opportunities if you keep your passion hidden. Embrace the trial-and-error journey; every mistake is a lesson, and I'm still learning new things every day.


The beauty of this experience is that it opens doors you couldn't have imagined. Networking becomes your ally, offering insights into the business side of things. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from others. I started with minimal business knowledge, almost backward in my approach, creating a social media page, taking orders, and building a website without a clear roadmap. I learned about finances, taxes, marketing, and the intricacies of running a business along the way.


There's a quote I find inspiring: "Failure is not to be feared. It is from failure that most growth comes" (Dee Hock). Each mistake has been a stepping stone to growth, and this journey has not only taught me about business but has been a profound self-discovery.


That is very true. Oftentimes that first step is the hardest but most important one. Now when it comes to your creations I see that part of your mission is to help people let their inner selves really shine! Can you share a story about a time when one of your pieces of jewelry really made its new owner feel empowered?


Maddie:

Absolutely, I love crafting pieces that stand out and allow people to express themselves. I've received heartwarming feedback from customers who share that, regardless of the day they're having, wearing East Coast Jewels gives them an immediate confidence boost. It's incredibly fulfilling to know that something I created can cause such positive emotions. Additionally, creating custom wedding jewelry is a special joy. For one beach wedding, I incorporated freshwater pearls and starfish charms, creating cherished heirloom pieces for the bride and bridal party. It's moments like these that make my work truly meaningful.




It is a really amazing feeling knowing that something you created has a lasting impact. Those moments are never forgotten. Even though this interview is about you, I wanted to give the opportunity to share about those who helped along the way. Is there anyone in your life or community who made an impact on your success that you want to give a shout out to?


Maddie:

Shoutout to my family, loved ones, and the incredible individuals at the RCIE program. Their support has been instrumental in my journey. Unlike the occasional skepticism some face when starting a business post-college, these mentors and entrepreneurial friends did the opposite. They didn't question, "When will you get a real job?" Instead, they challenged me, turning doubt into encouragement, providing insights, and pushing me beyond my comfort zone. Their impact has been invaluable to my success.


Yes! Having that support is very important. The RCIE program is a great one that I'm sure will continue in helping to develop the journeys of many more. My last question for you is one we always ask. Clouds and Colors is all about changing your mind and in turn changing your world. With any business there will be ups and downs. What is your mindset or approach to life when something doesn’t go as planned?


Maddie:

In the face of setbacks, I believe these challenges serve as opportunities to think smarter and grow stronger. Life, like any business, has its share of bumps in the road. These experiences help shape character and contribute to building a resilient brand. Each setback, though challenging, inspires innovation and resilience. It's not about avoiding failure but about bouncing back, coming back even stronger and more powerful the next time.


Thank you for sharing your story! Can you plug in your socials for anyone who wants to learn more? If you are working on any cool projects or ideas currently we'd love to hear about that too!


Maddie:




Thank you so much for hosting and for featuring East Coast Jewels. I am currently prepping for upcoming markets to vend at. I love meeting customers in person and looking forward to popping up in new areas! I have been using this time to also grow the business presence online!!





33 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page