Happy birthday Natalie Borton!! (The jewelry line, not myself in the third person…obviously.) This weekend is our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of being in business, and to celebrate I wanted to reflect a bit, announce something new we’ll be doing, which gives every purchase you make a little bit more meaning, and share about a special promotion we’re doing through the weekend ;)
It’s sort of wild to think back to May 2015, which is really when it all began. Brian and I were driving in a massive rain storm from Galveston to Austin and while Jack slept peacefully in the backseat, we got to chatting about blogging, life and business. I had just bought a tassel bracelet that I loved and it sparked an idea in Brian. He asked if I’d ever thought about making jewelry myself—I had a good eye and good taste and people enjoyed my style choices, so why not? I, of course, laughed because I am typically a DIY joke (everything I make ends up in the trash, haha), but it was fun to dream and so we started to imagine a business.
Taken an hour before our first conversation about starting the business!
Right when we got back from Texas, I went to Michael’s to get a few jewelry-making supplies and start practicing on inexpensive materials. Every night after Jack went to bed, we’d turn on Netflix and I’d experiment with bracelets and necklaces, making tassels using different techniques I learned from YouTube and experimenting with a variety of materials. It was fun, creative, energizing. And I realized I actually could make decent-looking things.
A few early designs when I was still figuring out my style.
So I started wearing the pieces I made in my Instagram posts, but not making too big of a deal about it. Eventually people asked where I got my bracelet or necklace, and I happily told them, “I made it myself!!” One thing led to another, and we decided to make it a real business and launch it on October 1, 2015.
This is the first experimental piece I made that I really LOVED. I wore it for the whole summer!
People have asked me so many questions this year about how I got started, and the reality is, I just decided to start. I have no professional training (in jewelry making or anything style-related, for that matter), and had no skills in general to start with other than being fairly tech savvy and highly resourceful. Over the year my design style has evolved and I feel like I’ve hit my groove in terms of the “look” of my pieces. I love wood and bone beads and metallic elements. Everything I design feels natural and minimal and perhaps a little bohemian, in a very neutral and toned down way. I have loved every minute of it and can’t wait to see what the next year brings!
Speaking of which, I do have a few things planned for year two…
I am currently seeking out a manufacturing partner to help me produce fully customized metal pieces to use on my pendant necklaces. That means you can expect to see more pieces like the best-selling Dylan Necklace and the Marisa Necklace, but with gold-plated pendants I’ve fully designed myself. I also plan to have gold-plated logo tags made and have them on every piece by the end of the second year.
Though we haven’t done much wholesale this first year, I hope to add more of it in year two and partner with shops and boutiques that want to carry my jewelry in their store. I already have had a few requests and can’t wait to tell you places where you can shop for my jewelry in person. Yay! If you are a shop owner who is interested, feel free to get in touch ;)
Lastly (and most importantly!), I’m adding a giving back element to the business. Starting today, I’ll be donating a portion of every sale to The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which is the leading 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Reaching millions every year, they campaign for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders. They work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance.
As many of you know, I had an eating disorder in college, so this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I also have so many friends who have struggled with disordered eating and distorted body image over the years and it’s my desire to use business for good and contribute to a world where women can fully thrive, living healthy, confident lives of true beauty and worth. And I hope that by giving back to this organization, the jewelry I make can be an outward representation of health and healing and true beauty that radiates from within.
To everyone who has supported this business over the past year THANK YOU!!! Every message and kind comment you send truly means the world to me. It’s so vulnerable to create something and put it out there for the world to judge, but you all have made it a fun and enjoyable experience. I feel so honored to be creating handmade pieces for you that you love, wear and cherish. Just thinking about all of you out there wearing things I made for you makes me so happy!
As a thank you, I’m including the brand new (launched this morning!) Isobel Necklace in every order over $75 while supplies last. Shop everything currently available at natalieborton.com. (UPDATE: This special promotion is now over. Thanks to all who placed an order!)
P.S. If you have any Natalie Borton jewelry and you share a photo of it, be sure to use the hashtag #shopnatalieborton (and if your account is public I can see it and leave you a nice comment!), as well as tag me, @natalieborton. You guys are the best!