Hello, hello, hello, loves! I’m baaaack! Boy, have I been absent lately. You can hear those crickets chirping loud and clear… and let’s clean those cobwebs out of here, please! Geez Louise, I have to dust off this keyboard, too…
Oh, but all jokes aside, I have been insanely busy lately. As a student, school is a huge priority for me, and junior year has been anything but a cakewalk, but I’ve gotten to a point where I can return to my pink Studded Collar throne and grace my bloggy kingdom with my presence once more. (:
Now, I’m very excited to return with this article. Late last year I met a sweetheart of a designer named Madison Patrylick.
Madison is the driving force, founder, and designer behind the company MadJewels. From designing safety-pin bracelets for her grandparents at the age of eight, to the launch of her vibrant jewelry company in 2011, Mrs. Patrylick has come a long way in her career. MadJewels specializes in hand crafted jewelry using gorgeous, high quality, natural materials and gemstones. I had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Patrylick about her company, her business advice, and some of her fashion must-haves. Keep reading to learn more about the face of MadJewels!
Kay B: How would you describe your brand? What sets your jewelry apart from others and makes it unique?
Madison Patrylick: Mad Jewels is bohemian chic and very bright. I think jewelry should bring out the brightness in your personality, and is really is a way of further expressing who you are as a person. Mad Jewels is unique compared to many other jewelry brands because it is BRIGHT. I am not afraid to use color, and I really love a good piece that pops.
Kay: Take me through a typical day in the life of a jewelry designer.
Madison: Oh gosh, every day is different! The to-do list is always a mile high; we are busy working on shipping out web orders, filling orders for our retail stores, heading to market to restock on supplies, designing new styles for upcoming collections, photographing new pieces, putting them into catalogs and lookbooks, marketing, social media, accounting, attending trade shows all over the country, and so much more. There are so many business aspects separate from actually designing and putting a piece together, and most people don’t realize that!
Kay: What do you prefer about working for yourself versus working under someone? What are the pros and cons?
Madison: PROS: Love being able to spend time with my husband and daughter on a regular basis. She is the most important thing I have done in my life and always my priority. Working for yourself also allows you to be able to work when you feel most inspired or most productive, rather than being chained to a desk 8 hours a day.
CONS: I 150% miss receiving a regular paycheck, a Christmas bonus, and healthcare benefits. It’s way more expensive to be self-employed. I am now in charge of employees, so I have to make sure they come to work on time and do what they’re supposed to, so that the company isn’t losing money.
Kay: What has it taken to develop your brand into what it is today?
Madison: Blood, sweat, and tears…literally. I have stayed up until 3 am some nights completing orders, and have ended up with bloody fingers at the end of some days after making so many pieces of jewelry. It is very trying at times, and I have to constantly find the tenacity and will to keep going – and not throw the towel in.
When I have to travel for trade shows, it’s really difficult being away from my family and young daughter, but it has allowed Mad Jewels to meet so many new buyers and grow our rapidly expanding boutique stores that carry our line.
I have also made a lot of mistakes, and you have to quickly learn from them, get up and keep moving forward. But, as the saying goes: “Nothing worth while ever comes easy.” I can honestly say that I am doing what I love, so most of the time, it doesn’t feel like “work.”
Kay: It must be nice to be your own boss and manage your company- what advice do you have for young women who want to follow that path and start their own business?
Madison: It is great to be your own boss, but you have to be very disciplined! I would say be extremely organized; this is something I still struggle with. I am constantly reorganizing each and every day and finding new ways to stay “put together” within our office. Time management is a MUST. I have a detailed calendar and tend to certain business aspects at specific times during the week, such as planning out our collections, etc.
I also would advise anyone who is interested in running their own business to research in depth what type of costs up front they should expect, as well as save up money or have something else on the side to be able to live off of. In new business ventures, the first few years are “startup” years, and most businesses put just about every dollar earned back into the business without paying themselves in order to continually grow.
Kay: How did you get the name for your company, Mad Jewels?
Madison: My dad called me “Mad,” short for Madison, growing up – so it fell right in. I do have to say though, when I am out or people say, “Oh, there’s Mad about Jewels,” it drives me craaaazy. It’s Mad Jewels, just like a first name and last name.
Kay: What is your favorite collection that you’ve created thus far, and which piece is your favorite overall?
Madison: Honestly, I would say our upcoming Summer Collection is probably my favorite. The La Dulce Vida collection for summer has neons and brights, paired with neutrals and everyday gems – so it really does have something for every occasion. Oftentimes, to get through working nonstop, I keep my head always “at the beach,” so I associate this collection very much with me being on a beach in my cute baubles and a bikini — rather than stuck in the office working. 🙂 My favorite pieces are the Serenity bracelets; they’re bone, freshwater pearls, hematite and quartz. Quartz is a great healing stone, and these are just neutral enough you can wear with a t-shirt and jeans or paired with brighter bracelets and a fun outfit.
Kay: Do you have any fashion, style, or beauty trends that you’re really liking right now?
Madison: I LOVE FRINGE! Leather, suede, lace – all of the textures done in more feminine ways are so hot right now. I am also loving the combat boots look for cooler temps. I own several pairs of gladiator sandals, too; I bought my first pair when I lived in Spain in 2006 before they were a “thing” in the States. To me, gladiators can take your typical sundress into something amazing.
As for beauty trends, I’ve been rocking purple lips lately! Its a very bright purple, and so fun for summer; I feel like it makes my blue eyes really pop!
Kay: If you could only keep 3 items in your purse, what would they be and why?
Madison: Burt’s Bees Chapstick (because I’m always chewing my lips when I’m deep in thought), my wallet (duh, I might need to buy stuff!), and a camera to snap pics of my cute little nugget…. I would love to not have to carry my phone around and be able to “disconnect” more, actually!
Kay: What is your favorite item in your closet, and what staple item do you believe every girl needs to have in her closet?
Madison: I recently purchased a vegan leather jacket that has a slightly wider shoulders, which balances out my hips! I am really loving pairing it with just about everything for an edgier look. I think every girl needs a cozy white and black v-neck, a well fitting pair of jeans, and a pair of killer gladiator sandals. AND OF COURSE, TONS OF MAD JEWELS!
Kay: From where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
Madison: I find inspiration all over the place! My daughter inspires me quite often; she’s so young that she makes me really take a step back sometimes to enjoy my surroundings and notice the little things in life a bit more than I ever have.
I also love getting color inspiration from my travels all over the world. Japan (and Asia) is probably where I’ve drawn most inspiration from, because they are a very vibrant culture and even their landscapes seem to have so much more color to me than many other places in the world. For example, our Belissima Hoops were inspired by the cherry blossoms that are a specific shade of pink; the labradorite ovals pick up so many hues of blue and iridescence that can be seen in the ever changing sky.
Kay: What do you hope for the future of Mad Jewels?
Madison: My long term goal is to be a household name! Ultimately, I want to have retail storefronts where anyone can come in and dress themselves up in our jewels, or send their man (or woman) in for sweet little gifts from the heart!
Kay: Have you faced any hurdles as a female business/company owner, and how have you overcome these obstacles?
Madison: Honestly, off the top of my head, I cannot think of any obstacles I have encountered just from being a woman. There are a lot of powerful women out there today, and so much of the fashion industry is run by strong women, I think I would be surprised if I did. My biggest obstacle in general as a business owner, is people underestimating all the things it takes to run our company; I don’t just sit at my desk and make jewelry to sell…it’s so much more than that.
Kay: What are the most important lessons you have learned in business and do you think these are applicable in everyday situations?
Madison: What a great question! Always listen to your gut, always. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. On the contrary, if you feel like its right, then don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
Don’t get caught up in the bigger picture, and work on everything a little bit at a time — Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I also need to learn how to not be so hard on myself. I am my biggest critic, so sometimes I get caught up in things that maybe I haven’t been able to accomplish yet, and have to sometimes take a step back to regroup and say “Wow, I did that!” I think absolutely any “life lesson” overflows into a good business model and vice versa. At the end of the day, YOU are your business when it comes down to it. So how you treat your customers, employees and how you handle everyday situations is basically the same for your business.
I don’t know about you guys, but I think Mrs. Patrylick seems like a pretty remarkable and fun lady! Her personality definitely shines through in her accessories and designs. Her current spring 2015 collection of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and hair accessories are so fun and vibrant- there’s a great style for everyone! Go ahead- click here to feast your eyes upon some her amazing pieces!
If you’re already hooked on MadJewels, head over to the website to check out more of Mrs. Patrylick’s accessories! I’m sure you won’t want to leave emptyhanded.
I hope you guys are all doing well, and are enjoying some warmer months! Don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe, follow my social media, you know the drill. (: Also, if you want to ask me some questions or share something with me, hit up my email on my contact page! Until next time, darlings…
Kay B xx