Today we’d like to introduce you to Amelia Deren Steppacher.
Amelia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Amelia Rose has never been a ‘hobby’ to me. It’s been a symbol of empowerment. It’s been my way back home. It’s been the thing that feeds my soul (and my family)….but never just a hobby.
At first, though, that’s what people constantly referred to it as. That, or “your little jewelry thing.” But from the very first moment I dreamt up this business, I knew it would go way beyond that. I refer to that time in my life as my “is this it?” moment—that crossroad where you either decide to go for it or you don’t.
For me, the same voice that said GO FOR IT, was the same voice that down the road said DON’T STOP.
And I wouldn’t change a thing. The beginnings were humble, of course. I was working in law at the time—overworked to the bone, stressed beyond belief. I would sit at my desk during my lunch hour, ordering jewelry supplies and learning new techniques, bit by bit—with every skill opening new doors to new designs. Then, one afternoon, I found myself incorporating the name Amelia Rose (my first name + my mom’s middle) for the business and I knew I was done for (in the very best way.) By the time I decided to leave my legal career behind, almost everyone in my life told me it was a bad idea; that lawyers don’t just quit law and start jewelry companies.
I’m so glad I didn’t listen to them.
Then came the real drudge work. In the beginning I would literally go door-to-door asking boutiques to carry my line; meekly following up every month or so to ask if there were any sales. In the meantime, I would take private design lessons, hold trunk shows; try to land wholesale accounts. At this point, I was making every single piece myself; with two missions in mind: 1) to make stunning, fresh pieces that women can wear from day to night, and 2) to find a way to give back.
And then something wild happened: Amelia Rose was featured by Tory Johnson on Good Morning America. That turned out to be the tipping point that overnight turned my started-from-scratch-dream into a legitimate, thriving business.
Today, we have both international and domestic manufacturing. I have a full team of people I adore. We are approaching 100 stores around the world (ahem, Japan and Australia and Mexico) and growing every day. Our pieces have been in several movies, and featured in Vogue, O Magazine, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, and on The View.
Coming from a family of lawyers and doctors, I was always afraid I had let them down by pursuing something creative. But Amelia Rose taught me something priceless: if you believe in something, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says.
The Amelia Rose story is also my own story; but here are a few other things about me personally:
Those in my life would describe me as determined, feisty, sensitive, and kind.
I LOVE the challenge of running a business; of finding the right formula for a successful collection. To be profitable at something that I love so much is the best thing in the world.
When I close my eyes I usually see new designs and colors. It’s less an occupational hazard and more a creative fascination I can’t turn off.
When I’m not testing out a new recipe, walking my dog or playing with my kids (whom almost always have chocolate on their face), I love getting dressed up and feeling polished and pretty (who doesn’t?)
An enormous part of Amelia Rose involves collaborations rooted in give back—and not just 10%. The organizations we partner with get 100% of the proceeds. You can find out more information about the specific organizations and projects here.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not, but since I’m doing something I love the issues I’ve encountered feel more like challenges I love to tackle and overcome.
Believing in myself when no one else did and believing I could actually “make it” in an industry with no barriers to entry. That was probably the biggest challenge I’ve overcome and have proved to myself repeatedly.
Another struggle was finding wholesale suppliers and manufacturing. To say I’ve kissed a lot of frogs along the way is an understatement.
Please tell us about Amelia Rose Jewelry.
Amelia Rose is known for colorful, wearable and classic jewelry; we are not the trend du jour type jewelry company. We are most proud of our non-profit collaborations with MSPCA, The Sam Fund, Good Sports and Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. Taking something purely aesthetic and ornamental and turning it into something symbolic that gives that back. When we work with a non-profit 100% of all proceeds go directly to the organization and NOT to our company. We donate our time and experience to get these custom designs marketed and produced. Most companies that do similar projects only donate a portion of profits.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Tried more trade shows in other parts of the country.
- Online pricing starts at $25-$250
- Website: www.ameliarosejewelry.com
- Phone: 707-595-0811
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @ameliarosejewel or https://www.instagram.com/ameliarosejewel/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ameliarosejewel/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ameliarosejewel