Im pleased to announce that for 2019, Small Business Spotlights become more interactive! Instead of me just sharing a brand with you that I love, I will take it a step further and interview the founder. Together, we’ll get to know a little more about what goes into different businesses, each entrepreneur’s journey, and discover new people to support.
For this post, I interviewed Christina Auriemma, the founder and creator of Stone and Hinge jewelry. I became aware of her brand when she was tagged in one of my Instagram posts as a follower’s favorite small business. Let’s see what she has to say.
Hello! My name is Christina and I am the owner and designer behind Stone and Hinge LLC. I have been working for the past few years to get this business up and running and it became official in March 2018. My business is focused on creating handmade jewelry inspired by the ocean and the earth. I use metals, stones, and sea glass to create delicate pieces to be worn and cherished. While I love being an artist and designer, I work full time as an Art Therapist using art in sessions with clients as a means of self-expression. Creating art is a powerful experience and the artwork becomes an extension of the self. I find that my jewelry designs reflect my experiences with mother nature, often reflections of the ocean as it meets the earth, the way the light shines down on the waves casting twinkles across the sea, or the beauty of warmth of the sun as it rises or sets.
How did you know it was time to turn your idea into a tangible business?
When I was a little girl I was ALWAYS creating. I always knew that I wanted to create this business but it took some time to feel confident enough to become an entrepreneur and took some saving up money to afford the tools and supplies to get the ball rolling. I decided to start an Instagram account in 2016 for Stone and Hinge for others to follow my jewelry-making journey. I began to receive a lot of support from family and friends and also from others in the jewelry-making field. I began to make the initial plans for starting this business and had one of my best friends create my logo from a sketch I created and she came up with this amazing design, (shout out to Kerry McNulty!). I looked into creating a website domain and a sales channel to make this idea come to life, looked into my states regulation for creating an LLC, networked with others who started their own LLC and did A LOT of research. Everyone I spoke to kept saying, ‘You are way ahead of the game, just go for it.’ It seemed daunting and I honestly didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I filled out the application and officially became Stone and Hinge LLC in March of 2018. It was the best thing I ever did and although it remains a side business as I work full time as an Art Therapist, I have hopes that I can grow my brand and see this business really take-off.
Out of all of your products/services, which is your favorite that you offer?
This is a tough one because there is something special about each of the jewelry pieces featured on my website. If I had to choose one I would say The Path Collection means the most to me. I created this collection as a response to life stressors and rocky paths that everyone finds themselves on at one point or another in their lives. This collection is to remind us of the power that lies within and that strength that we carry: A reminder to be hopeful on life’s path, wherever it may lead. The purpose of each piece is to wear with confidence and feel empowered each day. Often I need a reminder of my own inner strength. This collection of pieces, which include The Path, The Way, and The Core, are to remind each of us of the resiliency that lies within which leads us to seek beauty if we fill our minds with positivity and hope.
Can you share a piece of advice for anyone looking to turn their ideas into a business?
Go for it! Like I said before, I didn’t know a thing about running my own business but there are so many resources out there, online and through your local libraries or schools. I could have made up so many excuses for why I shouldn’t or couldn’t start this business. Things like, ‘I have a full time job, I don’t have time for this, I don’t know what I’m doing, I have no experience….’ I turned this negative thoughts into, I can SO do this, I will talk with people and find supports, I will make this happen.’ The positive self-talk was so important during this process. And, shout out to all my friends and family who have been spreading the word about Stone and Hinge!
How can we stay in touch?
You can follow me on instagram @stoneandhinge and feel free to DM with questions, comments and inquiries! I also have a facebook page Stone and Hinge LLC, and I also stay in touch through email firstname.lastname@example.org. I always look forward to connecting with new people who share an interest in small business, entrepreneurship, or simply a love for jewelry!
Visit my website www.stoneandhinge.com to view my jewelry collections and shop your favorite looks!