Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Minnie Philips, Owner and Designer of Minnie Lane, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
In 2017 I started Minnie Lane, a line of contemporary jewelry - striving to celebrate youthful playfulness in an elegant and timeless way. It is all about reviving art in the context of accessories. I want to bring the things that we love and inspire us close to our bodies as part of our everyday armor. I love collaborations and working with other creatives to recontextualize their work, reimagine their creations out of the gallery space and integrate them into a quotidian piece of art.
I strive to serve the fashion leaders, the curious, the inquisitive, the loud, the proud, the out-of-the-box thinkers, and those who encourage diversity. We want everyone to feel powerful wearing our jewels and to be free to be their most authentic selves. We are constantly blown away by the community Minnie Lane has cultivated and are always inspired by the fierce women (and men!) who wear our jewels. It always excites us to see everyone rock #MinnieLaneIRL!
Tell us about yourself
My background is in art direction and set design. Working as a stylist and art director is like a big scavenger hunt. Over time I started fantasizing about the perfect pieces of jewelry for clients and photoshoots. That was when Minnie Lane came to life. In 2017 I launched my first collection; it was everything that I looked for and dreamt of but could never find.
Within the industry, I saw a big gap in the market between serious investment items and fun mass-produced accessories that wouldn’t last a hand wash. My collection fills that void with fashion-forward pieces that are timeless in terms of design and quality at an accessible price point.
The feeling of my brand rescues that playfulness we had as children but in a sophisticated and classic way. I love playing with art history and pop culture references to create something wearable. I consider each piece an amulet to girl power, an homage to a legendary woman, and a celebration of art.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been continuing to design pieces that are out of the box, jewels that make people think, ask questions, and feel empowered! I am proud of the fact that I have continued to stay true to my style and design process and not conform to the masses. Additionally, seeing our jewels featured in Vogue and Who Wore What and on the likes of Dakota and Elle Fanning (to name a few) has been SO amazing to see!!!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The most challenging part of having my jewelry line is balancing creative and business time. At the end of the day, I am running my own company, and there is plenty of administrative work behind the sparkly scene: sales reports, inventory, follow-up with wholesalers, production, and marketing. I have to work diligently to set aside free time to get inspired for new collections. The work is endless, and I could easily fall into a rabbit hole of work, so it requires a lot of discipline to prioritize, delegate, and close up shop for the day to recharge.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I think one of my best pieces of advice would be to surround yourself with the right people. This does not have to be in your industry; even the more diverse, the better! Those people will end up being your biggest supporters, brand advocates, collaborators, focus groups, etc., etc. Collaborating with other creative forces is also what fuels me. I believe that we are so much stronger together, and when our minds come together, especially from different backgrounds and fields of work, that is when my creative juices really start flowing and how the most special and loved pieces come to be!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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