When this fashion industry girl boss became a stay-at-home mom, she wielded her creativity to turn her passion for jewelry making into a business and launch a blog! Between Darleen Meier Jewelry and Darling Darleen, she stays pretty busy. But, she still manages to keep a clean-and chic- space! Today, we’re virtually sitting down with Darleen, and her dog, in her glam contemporary office to chat about all things blogging, business running, and decorating. We think you’re going to love her as much as you do her home office!
You run both a jewelry line AND beautiful blog – tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started doing both!
After working in the NYC fashion industry for 7 years, I finally had my first child. I knew I wanted to stay at home with my daughter, but I was so torn because I loved my job so much. Having no family nearby and a husband that worked long hours, I decided it was best to be a stay-at-home mom and turn my jewelry hobby into a business. At the same time, mommy blogs started to become a big social platform. So, I started a blog as a way for my West Coast family to see my life on the East Coast and keep up with my growing family. Through the years, my blog has changed to a lifestyle website with tips on fashion, interiors, entertaining and DIY.
Your jewelry line is beautiful! What does the creative process look like? Did it begin as a hobby?
Yes, my jewelry making began as a hobby back when I was in high school. I used to visit a local bead shop, and the owner would travel all over the world to source out her stones and beads. I fell in love with so many of them and started collecting. She then taught me basic beading and wire wrapping techniques. I was hooked! After, I took silversmith classes in college. I’ve also been trained by silversmith jeweler Dana Ruth. As far as my creative process, it usually begins with a sketch or a beautiful stone from India. Then, I source materials to bring that sketch or stone alive and wearable. With handmade pieces, the creative process is more open and changeable.
Each one of your pieces is eclectic and so unique! What inspires your work most?
I love to be inspired by ancient jewelry at art museums! One of my favorites is all Egyptian jewelry at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It’s so inspiring and beautiful! Current trends and styles also inspire me as well as other jewelry artists.
Let’s chat about your beautiful and bright office! Where did you source your gorgeous pieces? Do you have a favorite?
Thank you! There is a lot of love put into this office studio. I wanted it to be my happy place that I get to work in every day. This office space is right off the front door entry, so it’s one of the first rooms you see when you enter the house. I wanted to create a feminine and chic office that has the design elements of my brand but is also inviting and cozy. We love this space and hang out here every day!
For some of the furniture pieces, I head to the outlets here in Atlanta. We have some great ones like Restoration Hardware, West Elm and Ballard Designs. So, I tend to always go there first to see what items they have discounted. I bought the white tufted sofa at the Ballard Designs outlet and the drum chandelier at Restoration Hardware outlet. I also like to support local shops and artists. The abstract art pillow is from a local ATL artist Britt Bass and the antler art piece I picked up from an artist at a local farmer’s market. But my favorite art piece is my grandma’s painting of the red barn. It is priceless, and I love to see it every day and have a little piece of her close to me.
What was your biggest challenge when designing a space that would work for your jewelry business as well as your blog?
One of the biggest challenges when designing my office studio was the lack of storage. There is no closet or built-ins in the space, so that was a major need. As a jeweler, I have raw materials of chain, metal and stones and then jewelry tools and packaging goods. It can get quite messy! So, a large cabinet was a definite need to store and hide the materials. Eventually, I found the mirrored white cabinet and fell in love with the contemporary, glamorous style. It’s large enough to hold the mess while still bringing a dramatic accent to the room. The height is perfect because I can lay out orders and current products.
We love the way that you display your jewelry line in your office! Did you take on any DIY projects when decorating the space?
Thank you! I also love the way the jewelry line is displayed! The blue glass curio cabinet was bought from a local wholesale furniture shop, and I fell in love with its shape and color. Having a glass cabinet is perfect for displaying the jewelry styles, and customers come over to “shop the case”.
Yes, I love to add DIY home projects to any of the spaces I decorate. It adds personal touch while helping save money. A few DIY projects that complete the space are the gold marble coffee table, marble tray, lacquer lamp, fabric-lined office tray, tassel pillow, and a few art pieces on the gallery wall.
Do you have a typical daily routine? How do you manage your time between Darleen Meier Jewelry and Darling Darleen?
My daily routine usually starts the night before. I prep and complete orders the night before to ship out that morning. My editorial calendar is roughly planned a month in advance, but weekly changes are frequent. I try to complete most of my photoshoots for a week’s worth of blog posts over the weekend, so by Monday I am focusing on editing photos and creating blog posts. After getting my children off to school and my morning workout done, I check emails and then plan for daily marketing posts and email blasts to customers. I have found constant daily marketing to be the key to success!
Be it to do with your blog or jewelry business, what’s next for you! What can we be on the lookout for?
Currently, we are moving the business back to the NYC area along with launching a new jewelry collection! I am so excited to be close to some of my vendors and the NYC fashion district.
Do you have a favorite piece of Darleen Meier Jewelry?
The personalized dog tag necklace. It’s my everyday piece!
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