Nothing makes me happier than creating a present for the people I love, whether that's something from my kitchen or one of my jewelry designs. My greatest joy is making someone feel loved in a personal way. So when I discovered a way to embed a personalized and inspirational message into a jewelry design, I was thrilled by the prospects! Who knew the alphabet of Morse code could so beautifully hide a secret message in a necklace people love to give and get?
This was something I believed in but would anyone else care? Sitting in the parking lot outside my favorite local gift shop, I had four prototype necklaces, butterflies in my stomach and very sweaty palms. Finally, I mustered up the courage to walk into the store to introduce this idea and myself. The actual experience was a blur, and I just remember walking out and calling my husband, “They just ordered 80 of them!”
So much has happened since that first moment of validation. With a little confidence to rely upon, I approached a handful of Austin area gift shops and was treated so well by their owners and buyers. With their five orders in hand, I learned how to buy components in volume, make a few hundred necklaces, and create packaging that made these gifts feel really special.
As demand continued to grow, “I” became “we”, and a real company was born. My family jumped in, offering both encouragement and countless hours to help this idea take flight. Two women who represent products to high-end boutiques noticed our necklaces in stores and asked to help carry Dot & Dash across the state of Texas. We now have a wonderful network of retail partners in 33 states who bring this gift to life for their customers. And I was just as excited about our 400th store as I was for our very first one. (If you are a retailer interested in selling our line, I’d love to hear from you.)
As we wrap up our 5th year in business, we’ve sold over 100,000 pieces but we still make them all by hand here in Austin. That is so important to me. I have to know and trust that each woman who is on my beading team loves this idea, and the idea of you wearing their creation, as much as I do.
But the real story behind Dot and Dash isn’t mine – it’s yours. Because behind every item is the story of why it matters to you or the woman you’re giving it to. Your stories are sweet and inspiring and funny and sad – and full of special people -- just like mine. I still melt every time I hear the story behind the purchase of our jewelry – so please, please, please share them with me here.
I don’t know where Dot & Dash Design is going. But I know I still love doing this for you and doing it with people whom I truly love. So I’m just going to hold it all loosely -- knowing it wasn’t really mine to begin with.
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