BB: When did you start your business?
CS: August 2013
BB: You are mothers, musicians, and now jewelry artists. Why did you decide to start this business?
CS: We actually decided to start the business while on a play date. We thought it would be a great way to turn a hobby into a business and have some fun while doing it! We have been friends for over 20 years and include our families in most of our hunts!
BB: Tell us about your band, Carrie and the Catapults? Does it influence your business or your creative process?
CS: Carrie and The Catapults is a St. Louis based blues/rock band that consists of some of the area’s best musicians. We frequent blues clubs such as the legendary Beale on Broadway, Broadway Oyster Bar, and 1860’s Soulard. Singing and performing has always been my passion and being that it is usually a nighttime gig, I can stay at home during the day with my kids and pursue our jewelry business simultaneously. Being on stage has influenced our jewelry aesthetic and creative process by giving us the motivation to be a little bolder with our statement pieces. My hope is that it is influential to others because I think everyone should dare to be different!
BB: The vintage pieces of your collection are made from items scoured from estate sales, flea markets and yard sales. Which flea markets do you recommend in the area and what is your shopping strategy?
CS: The best flea markets that we have found are the monthly flea markets such as those in Belleville and Springfield. Going on the hunt is our favorite part of the business. We love meeting new people and digging for treasures. It is 100% true that, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” We experience that on almost every buying trip. We have also developed some good negotiating skills to get our fans the best prices.
BB: How is your business environmentally conscious?
CS: We try to make our jewelry from all reusable parts. We try to reuse ALL parts of a necklace such as the chain, pendant, clasp, and jump rings. We sometimes even take them apart and use the parts on many different pieces.
BB: What is your selling strategy? Why do you keep your prices so low?
CS: We keep our prices so low because we want to be affordable to everyone! Our flash sales on Facebook are a lot of fun and we want everyone to be able to join in. All of the pieces in our monthly Facebook snap sale are under $15. We sell pieces that are over $15 on our Etsy site.
|A beautiful vintage piece from CS Gems|
CS: We keep up to date on all of the modern trends. We try to take apart vintage pieces and reassemble them into modern ones. Our next snap sale will have many pieces that are in line with jewelry trends for the spring such as bangles, fringe, bright colors, and pendants. When starting our business our slogan was “Make Vintage Modern”. We think this is what sets us apart from other vintage jewelry dealers. We love pairing our pieces with modern trends from area boutiques and showing women how they too can make vintage modern.
BB: What do you hope your children learn from your foray into creative entrepreneurship?
CS: It is our hope that our children learn do what they love and love what they do. We have taken something we really enjoy doing and worked very hard to turn it into a business that has been beneficial to both of our families. We hope that our children are influenced to go out and do the same and never settle into something that they are not passionate about.