Today, I'm super excited to announce my new series called #GirlBoss. Each week I'll be interviewing a fellow #GirlBoss. As women, we should inspire and empower each other to follow their dreams. I'm so fascinated to hear how other people got their business started, learn from their failures and successes, etc.. I hope you can take away and learn something new each week by these inspiring women and that you too can follow your passions.
First up, is Robyn Rhodes, an LA based jewelry designer that celebrities and our favorite Bachelorette's like Jojo Fletcher and Emily Maynard have been spotted wearing. Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted and supports local artisans in Los Angeles.
Here is what Robyn had to say (plus a discount code at the bottom)...
Name: Roby Rhodes
Current Title/Company: Owner/CEO Robyn Rhodes, Inc.
Education: BA Film and Art History, UCSB
What was your first job out of college? Working as an executive assistant to actor, Enriq La Salle
Tell us more about Robyn Rhodes.
I established my namesake company in 2002 with the intention of creating accessible luxury with the heart of community. Each and every piece is handcrafted within the greater Los Angeles area, helping to support local artisans while maintaining the highest level of quality in craftsmanship, materials, and style. Since its creation, my line has been sold in some of the most beautiful places and worn by many of the world's most glamorous women, but I will never lose the company's sense of community, personality, and accessibility.
What inspired you to start your own company?
Always knew I was an artist, but did not know what medium it was going to be in. I was working in film/TV production when September 11th happened and production just stopped. I was working freelance at the time and was making jewelry whilst waiting for the phone to ring for a film job. I found so much more creativity and personal satisfaction by making jewelry, that I had to give this jewelry thing a shot, so I threw my hat over the fence and have not looked back - that was 14 years ago!
What advice would you give others thinking about starting their own business?
There is always room for people with passion... do not give up and know that owning your own business is a 24/7 job... if that does not make you run... you are half way there!
What was your biggest fear in starting your own business?
Not being able to pay my bills... I paid my own way through college and I had a ton of school loans and a lot of financial responsibilities and I did not want to be delinquent on any of them.
What inspired the pieces you design?
The stones. I do not sketch before I choose the stones/color schemes for my upcoming line, I let the stones do my designing. I seek the stones first and once I see the ones I want to use; I can instantly design around them.
What designers or brands do you look to for inspiration?
I really like to look at vintage jewelry. I go to a lot of flea markets and second hand shops.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Never a typical day but what is standard is exercise in the morning, get ready for work and then off to the office. The phone can ring at any time for a pull from a TV show, jewelry emergency from production, downtown to get supplies, photo shoots for social media, meetings with my staff, etc.
If you could pick one or two Robyn Rhodes essentials that you couldn’t live without, what would they be?
That’s a hard question, that's like saying 'what 2 children do you like the best!' Haha! But if I had to choose, I would probably say my CHLOE nameplate necklace and my JONELL ring. Both can be worn everyday with everything!
What’s your most proud moment since launching Robyn Rhodes?
There are too many to mention... most recently, I would say the PEOPLE magazine article that came out a few weeks ago.
I’ve seen some of your pieces on The Bachelorettes like Emily Maynard and Jojo Fletcher. How did that come about? What’s it like to see your jewelry on TV? Do you see a spike in sales after?
I had a friend on the executive side at the show and they gave the costume designer pieces from my line...that was 5 seasons ago and I am so grateful that they keep asking for my line for the show! I get giddy like school girl every time I see my line on any TV/Film. So honored and humbled!!
I do see a spike in sales for most of the appearances on the shows. I think it is so much easier now for people to find out who is wearing what, which is so amazing for brands.
(Find all the jewelry seen on The Bachelorettes here)
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t sweat the small stuff and trust that you are going to succeed, even in the darkest of hours. Successful people take risks and keep going.
If you could have drinks with four women who would it be?
Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and my grandmother that I never met.
What’s next for Robyn Rhodes? Any collaborations? Stores we can find you in?
We have been in talks with QVC for a FALL launch for our line. Also, and an AMAZING line coming out for Fall/Winter 16.17!
A big thank you to Robyn for answering these questions! Make sure to stop by Robyn's online store by clicking here. Robyn has been kind enough to offer you a 20% off discount using code “GIRLBOSS20” at checkout!
Make sure to tune into next week's #GIRLBOSS interview series!