Sometimes in life we aren't thrown just a curve ball. Instead a pitching machine pelts us with thousands of balls and we can't escape. It can be a small incident that rocks us to our core or a significant disaster that changes us forever. While in my adult life I haven't had a significant disaster, I have had something that has forever changed me. It affects not only my business, but my every day life.
Luckily in the small business world I have meet other entrepreneurs who have helped me along the way. Whether it be in the form of a connection, motivation, inspiration, or a simple "I'm here for you," these people blow me away with their compassion. Today I have the honor of featuring the phenomenal Liz of Bent Fine Jewelry. The first time I met Liz, there was a warmth about her and I can feel it anytime we chat. She is truly a genuine soul I am blessed to know. Read about Liz and how her gorgeous shop came to be. It is quite extraordinary!
1. What motivated you to start your shop?
My husband’s near-fatal accident in 2014 showed me first-hand how fragile life can be. This life altering event changed me from the inside out. I had been a mortgage lender for 15 years and realized I figuratively (and literally) couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted to pursue a passion. Bent Fine Jewelry, BFJ, was launched in April of 2016!
2. Where does your inspiration come from?
The mountains and the beach: these are the two places I feel most at home. I live in Evergreen, Colorado, but also spend a lot of my time on the Sea of Cortez in La Paz, Mexico (the Mexican Baja). In fact, my latest collection, The Dunes Collection, is inspired by the sand dunes there. They remind me of women I’m inspired by as well as the ones I surround myself with. There are some strong women out there, and it’s an ode to them.
3. Is there a special meaning behind your shop name?
Since my married last name is Bent, I figured it would be a fun double entendres to have “bent” in the name of my jewelry line.
4. What is your mission with Bent Fine Jewelry?
The mission is two-fold. First, Bent Fine Jewelry has an ongoing relationship with Namaste Healing & Meditation in Evergreen, Colorado. BFJ sponsors a free meditation class once a week to ANY caregiver, professional or nonprofessional. Being a full-time caregiver can be exhausting, physically and mentally. Namaste and BFJ want to take care of those around us in our community.
Secondly, I truly believe jewelry is an extension of a person’s style and personality. It’s the icing on the cake! I had always seen a void in the market for chic designs made with meaningful, beautiful stones. Most jewelry was either cheaply manufactured overseas with lousy materials, or it was priced well above what I was willing to pay. The majority of BFJ pieces have a reasonable price point that’s accessible to everyone.
5. Are there any special events or new releases coming up?
Besides The Dunes Collection, I’m excited about my Fall/Winter 2019 Collection. Be on the lookout in September 2018. It has deep hues and golden tones, a perfect compliment for cozy sweaters and cute boots!
6. What do you like to do for fun?
I love being active: I am an avid yogi, before anything else but also like to hike, snowshoe, cross country ski and occasionally rock climb indoors in Golden. I love spending time with my family and friends.
7. Who is someone you consider to be a hero in your life?
My biggest hero is my husband. He is the youngest of 7 children, brought up in a home fractured by alcoholism and abuse. He overcame his past, put himself through college, became a self-made man and one of the most well-respected executives in his professional field. When he suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury in a horrific accident, I wasn’t sure if he’d even survive: he was in a coma and on life support. He ended up living and after 12 months in acute care as well as out-patient rehabilitation, the real work began. The journey he’s been on is a miracle and a blessing to us both. I am proud of him always, but these past four years have truly been inspirational.
8. What is a big lesson you have learned on this journey?
I have learned NOT to be afraid of failure. In the past, I didn’t want to even try something if I didn’t know the end result. When I got into this business, I didn’t know a thing about it and of course, I’m still learning every day. It’s liberating to get to a point in which I don’t care about making mistakes (I call them learning lessons) or judgement from others…yahoo!