Hi. I'm Rebecca, the person behind the company Jay + Renae. I want to take a moment to introduce myself in case I haven't had the privilege of meeting you in person. It's been a whirlwind since Jay + Renae was launched just over a year ago. What began as an idle thought as I searched for ways to make my home based creative business more successful has evolved into the very company I had long fantasized about creating. I never thought it would really be possible, especially as a full time stay-at-home mom.
Of course these things never happen without the generous help of others. From the kind words of encouragement from family and friends, to the unexpected offer from a neighbor to host my very first trunk show, to the unsolicited sharing of trade secrets from a fellow designer...I have been privileged to have the assistance of those near and dear, and from those I have met along the way.
OOAK Vanilla Agate Geode Druzy Ring
by Sandra Ducheneaux of Etsy Shop FriedaSophie
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing one of the very individuals who assisted me on my path. Meet our Featured Designer Sandra Ducheneaux, of Etsy Shop FriedaSophie. Not only is Sandra a talented jewelry designer and crafter, she is an incredible person and a dear friend. We met during a gem show where I had the privilege of watching Sandra work, diligently and systematically shifting through a mountain of gem trays in search of that perfect stone for her next One-Of-A-Kind creation. It was clear from a mere glance at our individual gem trays that I was a complete newbie, and she was a seasoned vet. She invited me to tea, took me under her wing, and without hesitation divulged every single one of her trade secrets.
Unique Peach Aragonite Mineral Gemstone Necklace
by Sandra Ducheneaux of FriedaSophie
There are encounters that can significantly shape the outcome of our lives, often in ways we don't expect. It's no exaggeration to say that my chance meeting with Sandra helped shape the very foundation of Jay + Renae and gave me the extra incentive to make my dream a reality.
So meet Sandra, and discover her shop FriedaSophie, a perennial Etsy favorite since she opened it's virtual doors in 2009.
How did you get into jewelry designing?
I was days away from completing my training as an acupuncturist when I fell severely ill with a heart condition. I was bedridden and physically unable to continue with my training. To entertain myself while I was on bed rest, I made myself a pair of earrings. Then while out for some fresh air, a store owner noticed them and asked me if I could make a dozen of them. They sold out within 1 month and a friend mentioned that I should open an Etsy store. The following week I signed up and named my shop FriedaSophie after my late grandmother. After just 3 months my shop became my full time business.
Looking back, I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't found jewelry crafting when I did. I have always done artwork since I was a child but never thought that I could support myself as an artist. It has been a joyful time since I opened FriedaSophie in 2009.
FriedaSophie is a true Etsy success story and your work has been highlighted by Etsy many time. What do you think distinguishes your work from your peers?
My focus has always been on quality and uniqueness. I'm very detail oriented and I'm constantly creating new pieces so that I can offer new designs all year round. So I think my One-Of-A-Kind and Limited Edition collections are what really distinguishes my work from others. I also believe in offering my best work at reasonable prices...I set my pieces at a price that I would want to pay for them.
Your Collection has a wonderful raw beauty to it.
How do you find your stones?
I make a trip to the desert for the yearly gem show to meet miners from all over the world. It can be an overwhelming experience but I like being there to discover new treasures and to handpick each of my stones...it's the best way to ensure quality and uniqueness. But I also like meeting the people who mine the stones and get to know their stories. Knowing that I'm helping to support their family businesses and ensuring eco friendly practices adds a deeper level of meaning to the stones I carry back home with me. I hope that comes through in each of the pieces I create.
Moroccan Blue Turquoise Earrings
Hand forged by Sandra Ducheneaux of FriedaSophie
I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such incredible and talented women like Sandra. The open sharing and trust within our community has helped make Jay + Renae possible and gives special meaning to these collaborations. On a more personal level, being in such great company has helped me flourish as a jewelry designer and inspires me to do better and be more to ensure Jay + Renae's success.
It's true that nothing great is ever accomplished alone. I met Rebecca at her very first trunk show. It was hosted by a personal friend of mine who also happended to be Rebecca's neighbor. It's incredible how a series of small events and the desire to lend a helping hand can be so powerful. I joined Jay + Renae because there is something fantastic about being part of something that truly gets better and better as more women get involved.
We're really looking forward to receiving Sandra's collection in the next few days! The pieces are stunning in pictures which means that they will be even more beautiful in person. I personally love learning a bit about Sandra's history because it adds a whole new dimension to her work. They're not just rings or necklaces, but a beautiful token of a much larger story...now to be cherished as part of your own personal story! Let's view Sandra's collection together. Email us and book your own private party! Remember that you get up to 40% off all the collections at your private trunk show.
And as a reminder, we are extending Alana Little's feature into the month of April. So if you love her collection but haven't booked your trunk show yet, here's your chance! I will have her collection along with Sandra's until the end of April. So contact us today at info at JayAndRenae dot com. We're looking forward to sharing the latest from all the collections with you!