Elizabeth In Pearls is a unique jewelry and accessories brand by designer, stylist and educator, Kimberly Turner, based in Oakland, CA. Elizabeth In Pearls is not only about jewelry and accessories, Kimberly also teaches young people jewelry making, facilitates project-based classes and works with girls. For Kimberly, the jewelry making is much deeper and is a good starting place to bring people in. It’s about finding beauty and happiness in the little things and in oneself, to manifest something that always could be. She shares more about her business. 

image (5)1. What led you to your journey to start Elizabeth in Pearls?

I’d been making jewelry for a number of years and started a business before. I wasn’t that serious about it and it fell to the wayside. Fast forward to a few years later and I decided that I wanted to get back into it. I did a name change to Elizabeth In Pearls, in honor of my two grandmothers (Elizabeth – Grandmommy and Pearl – Ma Pearl). I was still working full time, so it was more of a side hustle. A few years after that I had serious complications with Endometriosis and had to have some major surgery. Although I generally am a private person, I share my story and even talk about it on my Instagram page, as it is a huge part of my entrepreneurial journey. It’s one of the things that pushed me to really expand myself and walk in my purpose. I share it because there are other women and young girls out there suffering with endometriosis or other health challenges and I want them to know that they can still create a life they want; they can still walk in their purpose. In fact, their stories can help others.
2. What inspires your work?
My work is inspired by culture, form, color, nature and my ancestors. I’m really inspired by patterns and color, which is why I use a lot of fabric. Individuality and confidence also inspire me; not the desire to be noticed but that if one is noticed, she is comfortable in that because her individuality and confidence are speaking. I’m inspired by my ancestors and their continuous fight to survive. How does that translate to the jewelry? Their survival, despite all they went through, encompassed a sort of vibrancy and light. So I aim to create pieces that are vibrant and speak to people. There is a lot of eclecticism in the pieces, so that also speaks and shows my different inspiration points.
3. What challenges did you face while starting out?
Do we even have time for all of them? When I first started I really could have done more research about the market. I won’t say should have, because it’s already done and the lesson is learned. But the challenge was that I didn’t really see how saturated the jewelry market was/is to understand where I would sync into that. I’m not interested in “fitting in” but rather in having a spot where my art exists for those who appreciate and want it, as I stay true to myself when I create. I’d say that another challenge was seeing that I was in charge of everything and it all depended on me. That is a huge realization! As amazing as it is, it can also be very challenging. If I fire myself, it’s basically done. I have considered such, by the way!
4. What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
I love the freedom of being an entrepreneur, setting my own schedule and deciding what projects I want to do and when. I adore the sheer joy of creating.

5. What are the 3 most important lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

Gosh, I’m still learning….

  1. It’s always up to me. Being an entrepreneur can be so difficult at times. It can really eat at you when you are turned down, not paid on time or up against a lot of deadlines. But what I’ve learned is that it’s always up to me to choose how I feel despite these things. It’s up to me to keep my faith in God, keep my belief in myself, stay positive and be grateful. It’s also up to me to give myself space to have moments when I’m not feeling so sparkly and honor those too, knowing that they’re all a part of a larger picture. Growth takes trials and errors.
  2. There is always something to learn. I have learned so much on this journey. Things I thought I would never know how to do, I can do now. I was able to take advantage of webinars and workshops to help me expand my knowledge about various topics. I encourage others to do the same. There are a number of low cost or free webinars out there, so there is access.
  3. It takes time to get to where you want to be. I am not exactly where I want to be but my business has expanded and I have grown. That doesn’t mean sit around and don’t go for what you want. It just means that everything has its timing. If you are in a rush, entrepreneurship may not be for you.

Check out Elizabeth in Pearls on Etsy.

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