Business Jewel | Emily McPhee
An entrepreneur is one filled with great amounts of creativity and ambition. For Emily McPhee starting her own business was a no brainer and jewelry making runs in her blood. I always knew that I wanted to work for myself. I really enjoy taking on a leadership role so it felt natural to start my own thing…My dad is a gem carver, so I grew up surrounded by the jewelry world. I’ve been making jewelry since I was 12. It had always been a hobby of mine, and then a couple years ago I decided it was something I wanted to pursue. I took a weekend soldering course and then I was hooked! I worked really hard to be able to do it full time. It’s been such a rewarding experience,” Emily says. Emily jumped into the field with no hesitation. Within weeks of starting, she accumulated 5 accounts. From there she quit her day job and pursed her passion full time.
HART + STONE
Emily started her business Hart + Stone out of a room while living with her parents. Each piece she created was hand crafted and still is to this day. “HART + STONE is manufactured almost all from scratch and by soldering. There are a couple pieces that have parts that are manufactured elsewhere, but the bulk of the work is done by me in my studio. I start off with gold or silver wire, and work with the metal from there. It’s a process of cutting, sanding, soldering and polishing,” Emily says. Her handcrafted pieces makes her brand unique. The time and dedication she puts into her works definitely shows in the quality. “I spend as much time as I can on perfecting my jewelry. If you’re selling and making your product you must make sure that product is of the highest quality. You don’t want someone buying something and it break the next week. The people you sell to are going to tell their friends, and then their friends,” Emily says.
Beyond taking the time to produce high quality jewelry, Emily company also represents a piece of herself. Each piece of jewelry is an extension of her. She creates the concepts. She handcrafts the pieces. And she markets her own brand. Everything even down to the name of the company extends as a piece of Emily’s life. “My middle name is Hartwell, so I shortened it – I always did like the name Hart. I started making jewelry with a lot of quartz crystals and stones, so I thought it fit nicely into the name. Plus my Dad is a gem carver, so I grew up learning about gemstones. It’s both personal and stems from the beginnings of making jewelry,” Emily explains.
LOVE YOUR BUSINESS
Of course starting up and business for anyone is not easy. But the fruits from the seeds of labor is so sweet when done right. Emily offers advice for anyone who wants to follow their passion and pursue their own business. “Never give up! If you’re starting a creative small business make sure that you love what you are making. You will honestly eat, live and breathe your company. In the beginning you will be making a lot of product, so you can’t get bored of doing it. I’m not going to lie, starting and owning a business is hard. But it’s so worth it in the end!”
Emily loves her business and plans to continue to expand in the future. “I hope to be doing what I’m doing now, but maybe a bit less of the manufacturing myself. I really want to get into some finer jewelry making myself, so if I could hire a couple jewelers to help me with processing wholesale orders that would be ideal. I always want to keep manufacturing close to home. But for the moment being, I just want to keep up with what we have going on right now. I’ve had a bit of help in the studio lately, and it’s so nice to share the business with someone. Next year I’d like to bring someone on full time,” Emily says.
Emily has a new collection coming out in the spring. So she certainly has her hands full. “ I like to release two collections a year. It’s fun to make some new pieces every now and again. It’s a great way to test out some new ideas and see how they do,’ Emily says. Along with that, Emily plans to teach some workshops in my studio on Salt Spring Island this upcoming summer. “Our little island has been getting world recognition and each summer is getting busier and busier. It’s such a lively and beautiful place. I love making jewelry, and want others to as well!”
How would you describe your personal fashion style? What does it say about you?
My style is very minimalistic, with a pacific west coast vibe. Think layers, flannels, and booties. I’m outdoors a lot! I go for a hike or a walk with my dog almost everyday, so my clothes have to put up with my lifestyle. My minimalist approach is seen throughout my jewelry. I also love to make jewelry for the girl that can go hiking and wear it every day. The simplicity of the design lets the wearer do just that.
What does accessory / jewelry choices say about a person’s personal style?
I love that our jewelry can be worn every day. Some of them you don’t even need to take off to shower or sleep. It’s for the girl who cares about style, but doesn’t need to change that style everyday.
What style/fashion accessory is your favorite?
A simple necklace! As well as, I’ve been loving the chokers, and layering them with a couple gold necklaces. I feel like it can transform any outfit.
If you can/could consider yourself an expert in one area of style/fashion, what would it be?
Maybe, west coast style. How to look stylish while hiking in the woods. 😉
Can you give me a tutorial on how people can best incorporate that style/fashion advice in their life?
Comfort and layering are key! Layering up on flannels, sweaters and scarves. And layering up those jewels. If you’re going to wear a scarf go for multiple studs, or an ear climber. I’ve been wearing at least one short necklace everyday, that way if I forget to put something on I’m still sporting some HART + STONE jewels.