September 01, 2021
Garnet Hill’s commitment to quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and sustainability align perfectly with Kristen Mara’s brand values. As a loyal customer of the iconic national online and catalog brand, I felt connected to Garnet Hill long before they began carrying my jewelry. Garnet Hill’s design aesthetic, sensibility, and commitment to simplicity and a quality product are why I was interested in partnering with them. I felt it would be a good fit for both of us.
Unsure of how they would receive me, I bravely made the first move and forged ahead by simply calling the main number and asking for the name and contact information of the accessories buyer. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know, right?
Name in hand, I contacted the buyer and asked if I could send my wholesale catalog (called line sheets in the industry) and introduce my line. She seemed open to viewing my jewelry.
Then one late Sunday evening in January 2017, I received an email from the buyer, indicating that Garnet Hill wanted to carry two of my designs! Wahooo! I was so excited! Sitting in my living room, at my computer, I shouted upstairs to my two kids - who had just gone to bed - and told them that we got into Garnet Hill! I still remember their sleepy voices, “That's great, Mom!” Clearly, they weren’t as exuberant in the moment as I was : )
Learning the ropes.
It was new territory for me to transition from working on a few pieces at a time for small boutiques or individual customers to the large volumes required by a big retailer.
Since that first small order in 2017, we’ve developed a great working relationship.
Growing as a designer.
I’ve grown as a designer since working with Garnet Hill, primarily when creating exclusive designs. On any new designs, I work closely with the buyer, back-and-forth, until we develop something they know their customers will love while still staying true to my design aesthetics. I feel valued as an artist and designer, and I love creating something beautiful just for their customers. It’s a fun process.
My design skills and artistry have also evolved, giving me more confidence as an artist and business partner.
How wholesale usually works:
Once I’ve received my final purchase order and know how many of each design I need to make, my production kicks into high gear!
Mistakes don’t happen often, but we’re human, and sometimes they do. Like the samples I sent that had been photographed for the catalog, and the website, with a bright silver chain. But I mistakenly assembled 100+ necklaces with a dark oxidized chain! Yikes!
We had to unwrap all of the necklaces that were ready to ship and re-do the chains. My assistant and I cranked up the tunes and got to work in the studio for hours to correct the mistake.
It was definitely a bit stressful, but we also turned it into a good time, and most importantly, we delivered the necklaces that Garnet Hill was expecting – with a bit of extra TLC and on time! Boom!
To be sure that never happens again, you can believe that I immediately put additional systems in place, including meticulous notes, photos, and samples for every design I create for Garnet Hill.
It’s all in the relationships.
It’s exciting and fun to work with Garnet Hill. I’ve developed an easy and friendly rapport with the assistant buyer, the inventory manager, and the quality control managers. They care about me both as an artist and a person, and I care about them as well. There’s a genuine warmth and sense of mutual respect and support in all of our correspondence. This is not always the case with wholesale accounts. Some buyer/vendor relationships can be strained or just not a great fit. But with Garnet Hill, it feels like a perfect fit!
I wouldn’t change a thing!
I’m fortunate to have a mutually beneficial relationship with Garnet Hill that continues to grow and evolve over the years. Not every designer is so lucky with their retail partners, so I don’t take this lightly. Instead, I try to do my very best work because I know they value me as a designer and business partner. It doesn’t get any better than this!
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September 22, 2021
Do you love your earrings to match your necklace to a T? High fives! That’s a great way to accessorize any outfit, plus there’s no guesswork because everything matches, so you’ll never go wrong.
Or, do you prefer mixing and matching your pieces and are not a fan of being too matchy-matchy? You’re not alone! But maybe you’re a bit unsure how to mix and match, and you’re wondering where to begin.
We’ve got you covered, as always, with the definitive guide to mixing and matching jewelry just for fashionistas like you!
August 11, 2021
For starters, just wear it! Yep. The best way to lessen the chances for tarnish is to wear your jewelry. The more you wear it, the happier it is. Your body’s natural body oils will keep your silver and bronze jewelry looking clean and fresh.
Life happens, and your jewelry may darken or get dull over time. Do. Not. Stress. This darkening is natural oxidation, and it’s easy to remove with just a few easy steps...
June 23, 2021
Easy, carefree, unencumbered fun. Remember what summer felt like when you were a kid?
It was all about how much fun and adventure you could pack into a day, with no worries about curfews or homework.
With these 6-quick and easy styling tips, you and your jewelry will be ready for anything this summer!