Do you wear jewelry? What does fine jewelry mean to you? If a piece of costume or fashion jewelry gives you the same level of joy as a 14k gold and diamond pendant, this post may not be of interest to you.
But, if you appreciate timeless pieces that won’t tarnish and that you can wear every day, I’d like to share my story of why jewelry is my passion which led me to start my online jewelry boutique a few months ago.
In South Korea, when I was 4 and 5, I’d visit my parents’ jewelry store and marvel for hours at the pieces in the case.
My grandfather was also a jeweler, so our family was fully immersed in the industry.
When I was 6, my parents left their jewelry business behind so we could immigrate to the US. Things took a sharp turn not long after we arrived. My father suffered a massive heart attack when I was 7 and died in his sleep from his illness when I was 9 years old.
In my mom’s room, tucked away in a dresser drawer, there was a large, black velvet, 3 tiered jewelry box. In it were all the special pieces she’d kept from our jewelry store in Korea.
With her being gone so often after my dad died, whether working at her minimum wage job or away to escape her life as a widow with 3 kids, that box of jewelry was my connection to my parents.
It was a ritual for me. I’d enter her empty room, take out the velvet box and slowly open it to find the glistening diamonds, colored stones, and gold. Each time I opened the box, I felt a rush of joy from the shiny jewels staring back at me. One by one I’d try them on, inspecting each piece before placing them on my finger, ear, wrist or neckline.
During the moments I admired each piece in the mirror, I was transported to years before when my dad was strong and my mom laughed. The jewelry made me feel safe. It made me feel loved.
Problem with the jewelry industry
My love for jewelry stayed with me throughout adulthood. My mom tells me that I am obsessed with diamonds because she was in gemology school while pregnant with me!
Over the years as I have accumulated my own collection of jewelry, I noticed a problem in this industry. It was hard to shop for jewelry!
- When I went online, I’d find ads from the high-end designers with products that I wanted. But I didn’t need their brand name and wasn’t willing to pay their designer prices. And with non-designer sites, I didn’t know who to trust.
- The malls were filled with low-end retailers mass marketing with cookie-cutter pieces that didn’t appeal to me.
- But then when I went to the jewelry district, I was overwhelmed with the hundreds of tiny stalls and thousands of choices, I didn’t know which way to turn. Plus, although they would say they were charging “wholesale,” they charged individual customers like me closer to retail than they led on. They were still less than traditional retailers, but definitely not wholesale pricing.
So I dealt with the limitations of the industry and through the process of building my jewelry collection, I formed relationships with wholesale vendors in the Los Angeles jewelry district from whom I purchased. And through these relationships, I met the best Los Angeles jewelry setters too!
And now, with my Ounce of Salt readership numbers and through these wholesale contacts, I am able to obtain the same wholesale pricing they give to large retailers in order to pass the savings on to you! I can also design premium pieces myself and cut out the middle men altogether.
Today, I am excited to offer a new way to shop for jewelry. For my jewelry shop collection, I hand-select beautiful pieces I myself would want to own from the Los Angeles jewelry district. I evaluate each piece for its quality, beauty and price point. And for pieces I design myself, I am proud to use the finest materials and the fine jewelry craftsman (based in Los Angeles) to put them together.
Did you know the standard retail stores (designers are even higher) mark up the product an average of 2.5 times the wholesale price? This means that something they buy for $100 wholesale, they will charge $350 to their customers ($100 cost plus $250 mark up). But with their rent, employees and other overhead, can you blame them?
Without the overhead related to having retail stores, I am able to pass the savings on to my customers. How awesome is that? With my background in accounting and finance, I may get overly excited about the numbers.
So imagine, with all the different styles and quality in the jewelry market, having someone you trust to do the shopping for you and narrow down your choices to the best selection of jewelry at the most competitive prices. Or to create a custom piece, just for you. That’s me!
Jewelry is an investment. It is timeless and can be passed down. I look at my pieces as extensions of me which will shine on long after I’m gone. I believe they make perfect group gifts to give a special meaning to a present. I think you’ll love my curation of pieces in the Ounce of Salt Jewelry Shop.
The jewelry store is lagging in technology and online purchasing efficiency. It’s a world filled with artisans and small businesses trying to hold their stake. My goal is to bridge the gap to make the jewelry shopping experience easier and more efficient.
I love that so many of our customers wear our pieces as their accessory staple every day!
Gift month is coming up – Mother’s Day and Graduation!
Mother’s Day and Graduation are around the corner. Why not pick out a few pieces for yourself AND someone you love? Don’t you feel good that you wouldn’t be overpaying?
I’m excited to offer you free shipping, complimentary gift wrapping, and a 30-day free (I pay for shipping) return policy. Shop with confidence that through Ounce of Salt, you’ll receive exquisite, quality pieces to last a lifetime. Thanks for letting me share my story. Now you know why, of all things I could have chosen to sell through my blog, I picked jewelry!
Cheers to following our dreams. Cheers to telling our stories. Cheers to you sparkling each day! Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you can get blog posts like these delivered to your inbox!