Whew! After making it through Holiday Season 2021 with an 8 week old and a 2 year old, I needed a little break. My dear, sweet grandmother passed away on Christmas day, so we took a trip up to Richmond, VA for a “celebration of life” ceremony and some quality time with family and friends. (Thank you to all my clients who reached out and sent messages. I really felt the love!) While up in Richmond, the boys got to see their very first snow, and it was so magical.
As soon as we reopened the studio, Abby joined as our brand-new student intern. Little did she know how these ten months of training would come in handy when the holiday boot camp hit again! She’s been absolutely amazing, and I’m so grateful to have her here.
Restocks, inventory, and taxes, OH MY! February always brings the typical tasks of running a small business. They may not be as glamorous as holiday rush, but they sure are important.
I was also thrilled to be included as a “speaker/performer” at SCAD’s Women of Vision 2022 ceremony. I had to dust my public speaking hat off a little, but this mama was so happy to be a part of it! In true SCAD style, we were called in to practice, worked with a speech coach, and were required to attend dress rehearsals, fancy dinners, and networking events. It was quite the experience. Sometimes it's the things that make you most uncomfortable (like public speaking) that allow for the greatest growth. This really helped me to boost my confidence, so YAY!
In early March, we kicked off the month with Paxton’s first race - the Shamrock Run here in Savannah. What a blast! Then in the studio, the ideas for a TON of new mini stacking rings started percolating in the back of my mind. I did a few sketches, but it would take a few more months for something major to come out of this. (We all know how this turns out!)
As the old saying goes, March was in like a lion….and out like a lamb!
From the business side, April can be summed up like this: restocks, building new inventory, orders, and galleries! Hooray Spring!
We took the boys on a trip to Columbia to visit family and see the Gamecock spring football game. This was both thrilling and exhausting - our first official trip with the 4 of us. Memories were made and lots of smiles and laughs were had!
May kicked off with a splash with the start of pool and beach season! Preston started pulling himself up on everything. (Please slow down child!!)
Back in the studio, a few amazing commissions wrapped up including Matriarch Memento and Bezel Beauty. I also collaborated with Georgia Southern on some special corporate gifts. All throughout, the usual building up of inventory, restocking galleries and filling of online orders kept trucking along!
I also worked on a little studio cleaning in preparation for what I thought would be a slow summer. (Spoiler alert: I thought wrong!)
Paxton started summer camp, and Preston kept rocking along!
In the studio, we wrapped up a ton of rings and did a lot of internal planning. I also completed one of my most popular commissions, Alexandrite Graduation. This piece had me itching to embrace a new collection with a lighter, more dainty style. And I still couldn’t get those stacking rings out of my head! All of this activity led me to a realization: I needed more help around here!
Which brings us tooooo….
Emily Baroz joins the Kristen Baird® team! I was connected with Emily through an awesome agency for virtual assistants called VAUSA. Emily is a screenwriter (who wrote a Hallmark movie!) and loves telling stories and creating fun content. Hiring our first “on staff” writer helped me realize my own voice and get my story out to a wider audience. Suddenly, I had so much more to write about jewelry, business, and life! (Plus, the actual time to do it.)
As always, I was completing more rings. I also ordered new packaging… some of which didn’t arrive until November!
In August, we celebrated Paxton’s 3rd birthday and Preston started walking at 10 months! I still can’t get over just how fast they grow up. Time really flies.
By now, I could feel in my bones that it was time for a new collection. I started out very tentatively. I mean, I hadn’t done a new collection since 2018. So, I took a deep breath and JUMPED. Meanwhile, my fun new ring boxes arrived.
I also got a surprise call asking me to join the new GBG Gallery in Greenville, SC. They needed a whole collection overnighted for their grand opening. No pressure! Best call ever!
So much happened in the month of September! Paxton started preschool! It’s great to have more time to focus, but it’s hard not being with them!
We relaunched my newsletter on a new platform, Flodesk, and started sending out more fun, relevant and informative content than ever before. Some of you may have noticed that I seemed to resurface all of a sudden, but truly it had been in the works for awhile!
I also added another assistant from VAUSA, Jeana Hughes! (Obviously, I’ve been loving this agency.) Jeana is absolutely amazing and has really stepped up my visuals and social media game. I’m so happy with how beautiful everything looks while also being more authentic and personable. She even got me to start a TikTok! With Jeana on board, I feel like my dream team is complete.
September was also the month that I designed the signature pieces of my new collection: the Dandelion and Dandelion Bloom rings. They boast the honor of being the most itty-bitty ripple rings I’ve ever created, and they really epitomize the whole collection.
Last but not least, I brought Paprika Southern in for a photo shoot highlighting my soon-to-be-released collection. This dreamy shoot focused on a romantic, soft, and feminine vibe and I’m still obsessed with the photos - especially the ones of their cat Scout!
October went by in a blur! We had Preston’s first birthday and packed the whole family into the car for a Grand gallery tour, visiting all the places that carry my jewelry! I spoke with gallery owners, curators, clients, and anyone who would listen about my new collection and made some awesome connections along the way. Speaking of that new collection…
The Graceful Glimmer Collection launched! After months of dreaming, creating, and working, my new collection launched to much fanfare and so much support. I’m absolutely thrilled with how the pieces are being received and I’m having a great time sharing them with everyone!
A nice quiet month…. Just kidding! November kicked off with a stellar pop-up at Alair Homes as part of First Fridays in Starland District. I met even more amazing people, talked about Graceful Glimmer, and had an all-around great time.
Then came my big annual promotion: Sparkle Surprise Box! I absolutely adore this time of year, when I get to brighten everyone’s day by picking out the perfect gift for each order. Thank goodness Abby was there to help me wrap them all!
I received my own sparkle surprise when the Grand Bohemian Gallery at Plant Riverside invited me to join! I’ve had my eye on that gallery for years, and I was over-the-moon to be included just in time for the holidays. Truly, a fantastic Christmas gift for me!
The highlight of November was spending Thanksgiving with my incredible family (even if we did all get the flu… whoops!)
In December, I joined yet another gallery, Formia Design in Charlottesville! I’ve known Mia since I was an intern for her, and now we’re working together again! It’s truly such an honor.
I also gave a presentation at a Gracious Christmas, where I shared the history of Kristen Baird® Jewelry and how my style has evolved over the years. I’m truly grateful for the warm reception I received. (And so glad I honed my public speaking skills earlier this year!)
The holidays always bring an onslaught of orders, restocks, and shipping - but it’s the good kind of chaos that I love. As always, I’ll be taking some time off at the end of the month to help Santa make Christmas magic for my boys. I hope that your holidays are an absolute dream. I’ve received so much support from all of you this year, and I’m beyond grateful and optimistic for the year ahead.
As you can see, this business is my family and my family is in this business. It’s a package deal and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Thank you all for sharing your stories and your sparkle with me this year. It means the world to all of us (including my amazing team!!)
Wishing each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!