Today we’d like to introduce you to Hadley Weinzierl.
Hadley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I founded Halcyon & Hadley last summer because I’ve always been passionate about fashion, interior design, creating (I love making things!), and helping women feel even more fabulous than they already are. This stems from my retail days in high school and college – I was often one of the top part-time salespeople, not because I was competitive (well, maybe a little) but because I genuinely enjoyed helping women look their best.
I also saw the same trendy/mass-produced statement earrings everywhere I looked, so after an A-HA! Moment, I set out to create a brand that my customers will wear my earrings for years to come because they’re timeless, feminine and fun.
That A-HA! Moment was the culmination of a few things last summer:
While working for software startup SmashFly Technologies, I was part of a special culture of intelligent, fun, scrappy people. This is where truly embraced the entrepreneurial spirit by believing anything is possible. Several people there had passion projects outside of work. For example, my former coworker Danny LeBlanc, a super cool photographer whom you featured earlier this summer, helped me with product photography.
In July 2017 I stopped by my sister’s house while her interior designer, Lisa Tharp, whom you featured in June 2018, happened to be there on a photo shoot. I asked Lisa when she started her interior design business and was blown away by the fact that she hadn’t been doing this her whole life!
Lastly, a good friend was getting married, and I couldn’t find the perfect pair of statement earrings to wear with the dress I purchased, so I set out to make my own.
I’ve worked in high-tech public relations/communications since graduating from Boston University. I’m fortunate that I equally love what I do in the tech world. It’s intellectually and professionally rewarding and has allowed me to travel the world and meet so many wonderful people – many of whom are my best friends today.
It’s a special community I’m proud to be a part of. Starting Halcyon & Hadley is a bonus because it’s opened my life up to even more special experiences and creative people.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The easiest part of this journey has been that I’ve always believed in my designs and vision. Some of the challenges, or rather, “character building opportunities,” include:
–From day one I had a vision for my Swarovski Sunburst and Swarovski Midnight Statement Earrings (https://www.halcyonandhadley.com/collections/gildedpraha), but it took me three months and to figure out how to actually make them. They were a labor of love, so it’s been incredibly exciting to see them become a bestseller.
–Before I launched I did an exhaustive amount of research to determine how to best price my products. I use the same high-quality metals and high-grade gemstones as the earrings available on luxury retail websites, so I believe people will find that they’re getting incredible value with Halcyon & Hadley, and the added bonus is that what they’re buying is unique, handmade in small batches, and they’re supporting a small business.
–H&H is a side hustle for me, so I have to maximize my time and focus my efforts on what I think will result in the biggest return, whether it’s sales (website, retail, pop-ups, etc.), organically grow my social following, getting more website views, etc.
My priorities change from day to day, and week to week. In addition to designing and making the earrings, I also manage all marketing, social media, graphic design, product photography, the Shopify website, so I’m looking forward to the day when I’ll actually have the staff to support these efforts.
–Fashion PR is quite a bit different than technology PR, so I’ve been learning the ropes – right now I’m working on getting H&H products placed with stylists, bloggers, content creation companies, etc.
I told myself in the beginning that I will never look at any aspect of this business as a failure. Everything will be a learning opportunity and tomorrow is another day.
Halcyon & Hadley – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Halcyon & Hadley was founded on the belief that making a statement should be a lifestyle, because, let’s face it…. basic is boring! Also, how great does it feel when you discover a piece of jewelry that’s beautiful, timeless, well-made and you’re the only one in the room wearing it?
Trends come and go, but I believe designs inspired by memorable experiences, people, places, and things will never go out of style. My tagline is, “Standout Earrings for Standout Women,” and one of my hashtags is #setyourselfapart. A few people have suggested I should sell trendy items to help boost brand visibility.
Instead, I’m going to stay the course – which is to stay true to my brand, my customers, and continue creating a mix of classical edgy, modern, and fun accessories that will endure the test of time. Halcyon not only means happy, serene, golden, but it’s also a mythical bird – known as the kingfisher – said by ancient writers to nest at sea at the winter solstice, charming the wind and waves into calm.
The Halcyon & Hadley collections, La Plage, Le Petit Jardín, Sakura, Gilded Praha, and Astronomie, were inspired by just a few of the many things in life that embody “halcyon” for me: coastal living, florals, Art Deco, Chinoiserie and Hollywood Regency interior design styles, the moon and stars, and that wanderlust feeling I get when I think about some of the special places around the world to which I’ve been fortunate to visit.
I’ve always had close ties to “coastal living” – I have endless fond memories of when I was little spending time on the boardwalks of Virginia and Rehoboth Beaches, jetting around Lake Ontario on my Grandmother’s boat, fishing Minnesota lakes where my dad is from. I came to Boston for college years ago, and now live close to the harbor, and my parents retired to Charleston, SC.
So all of these experiences have influenced my love of the water, Mother of Pearl, sunsets, and everything beautiful that goes along with coastal living. I love interior design – I incorporate a lot of the same colors and textures with which I’ve decorated my condo into my earring designs.
The Gilded Praha Collection was inspired by the Hotel Paris in Prague. Built in 1904, this gorgeous Art Deco hotel is one of a kind – it’s been nearly ten years since I visited, and I still remember every detail of it.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Equal parts confidence and resilience.
- Price Range: $20 – $230 (and a wide range of sizes to suit whatever fashion mood you may be in!) I often run special coupon codes for my newsletter and social followers, so it’s definitely worth signing up/following H&H to get the inside scoop.
- Website: www.halcyonandhadley.com
- Phone: 617-334-5867
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/halcyonandhadley/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HalcyonandHadley
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Halcyon_Hadley
- Yelp: https://www.pinterest.com/halcyonandhadley/
Valerie Sarron of VS Photography | http://www.jocelynmariahmakeup.com; Shannon Grant Photography | Makeup by Betsie Kamm of Tryst Studio Hingham