I recently interviewed the incredible jewelry designer, Joy Dravecky. Located in San Francisco, Joy began her Etsy shop in February of 2010 and is now being sold at many boutiques throughout Colorado and Denver! This talented mama of two creates timeless pieces that are the perfect combination of classic elegance and boho chic.
Raised in: Salem, Oregon
Line: Joy Dravecky Jewelry
Favorite Materials: Stones, High-Quality Metals, Vintage Chains
What prompted and inspired you to start making jewelry? Did you take any classes or did you teach yourself?
I have always been a do-it-yourself kind of a girl. I made my own tank tops one year and made a pillow and stained my bedside table another. Making jewelry was born in much the same way. I saw some necklaces in a magazine that I tough were cool and went straight to the local bead store to buy supplies.
I just taught myself step by step. I cringe over my poorly constructed original pieces but it was a great way to learn! I’d still love to take some classes in metal working and soldering.
What are you favorite kind of materials to use in your collections and has that changed over time?
I love stones! They are so gorgeous on their own! I like to simply wire wrap them for earrings or hang them from a single chain. I started out using more vintage supplies like cool chains or broaches , which I still love, but now use more stones and high quality metal.
Where did you grow up? Growing up were you interested in fashion, design (clothing or jewelry) or anything of the arts or were you involved in other things?
I grew up in Salem, Oregon. I have ALWAYS loved fashion, clothes and the arts. I wanted to be an actress for over a decade. At some point I decided it might be wiser to go for a reliable career in the sciences. My degree is in applied health with an emphasis on physician assistant. It’s kind of funny…how things come full circle. I’m back doing something creative and love it.
Has anyone helped you along the way?
Everyone! From friends that complimented a design, to fellow jewelry makers that shared wisdom and encouragement, to my husband that gave me time to make pieces until the middle of the night! It takes a long time to gain momentum and build a business and am grateful to all my supporters.
How would you describe your personal style? I think my personal style might be Urban boho? A cross between sporty, sexy and casual. I love celebrity and fashion blogger Ashley Madekwe. I would wear any outfit she puts on!
And how would you describe the aesthetic of your line?
Classic with a boho twist. There is a piece of jewelry for every woman at every age. I like minimal, clean lines that let the stones or metal stand out.
What are you hopes for Joy Dravecky Jewelry?
To grow and flourish. I am really proud of the line that I have created and I want to get it in front of people. I’m SO excited for this next month. My website launches and I will be at two big markets, California Gift Show and UniqueUSA.
On your About page it says that you’re line is carried in boutiques throughout California and Colorado – what was the process like of getting your jewelry in there?
It can be very difficult and time consuming! It takes a lot of man hours to draft emails, newsletters, and make phone calls in hopes of having a buyer look at your line. Denver is great because I lived there for 5 years and know the shopping districts well. It takes a level of confidence to walk in or cold call boutiques. However, it gets easier with each sale that I make. I know that I have something good and unique. And I’m excited to let others know that they should carry my line. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will.
How do you balance your business and everyday life? Is making jewelry your full time job?
Did you say balance? I’m still working on that. Some days are great when I feel like superwoman and can accomplish a ton. Other days, it’s tough. I have a 3 year old son and five year old son. Since my studio is out of my home, I try to structure my working day to fit the hours they are at school or out playing with a babysitter. There are some days with lots of interruptions but I am grateful to be down the hall if they really need me instead of working 10 hours/day away from home.
What are some of the most difficult things about running your own business? And also the most rewarding?
All the behind the scenes details! I love the hands on work of making jewelry and creating new pieces. But taking photos, listing items for sale, bookkeeping, emails, social media, etc can be overwhelming. I have recently hired an assistant which has been a huge help! She is the other half of my brain that makes sure emails are answered, IG and FB posts are made and things go according to schedule.
The most rewarding thing is that it is mine. Something built with blood, sweat and tears. That is actually accurate. I have shed blood with injury by jewelry tools. Sweat in a recent Joy Dravecky photoshoot in 100 degree weather. And tears! Over the hard times and uncertainty of creating a business.