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Being an entrepreneur and small business owner, I love to hear success stories of talented people who started companies, with the goal to make a difference and to to bring something new to the market; people driven by a vision, a passion, a curiosity, and a determination; people with a mission.
I also like to give a hand and some visibility to some well-deserving individuals who turned a hobby into a job and who live by the motto “Do more of what you love”.
Eva-Lotta Dahl is one of them. The California-based Swedish expat founded ForUjewelry after moving to the United States. She makes one of a kind and unique jewelry that are affordable and designed for everyday wear. Everything is handmade with care and love from her home, and she likes experimenting with different styles and materials: semiprecious and precious stones, freshwater pearls, silver, gold, waxed linen cord and leather. She has lovely collections of necklaces, earrings and bracelets that make great gift ideas.
I was curious as to find out more about Eva-Lotta, ForUjewelry and the story behind the brand. She kindly agreed to answer my questions.
Q: Who are you, and what do you do?
A: “I’m a Swedish Jewelry designer and I moved to the United States with my family in 2007. I started designing and making jewelry whilst living in Sweden, but at that time it was mostly a hobby which eventually became something more. I have always been creative and interested in crafts, but making jewelry is what I was meant to do. It’s a meditative and energizing feeling to work with quality materials and beautiful stones and pearls, and to create something with your hands. Its my happy moment.
I went to a couple of jewelry classes in Sweden and when we moved to Greenwich in Connecticut, I continued taking jewelry classes at Silvermine in New Canaan. My friends were showing more and more interest in my pieces and they encouraged me to start selling my jewelry. It took a while for me to gather enough courage to actually sell a piece. I was used to giving away whatever I made, but I got a lot of positive feedback and I realized that there actually was a market out there for Swedish designed jewelry in the US.
Q: What inspired you to start your shop?
A: This was the starting point and the inspiration I needed to start my own business back in 2008. As it was important to me to make my jewelry available for my customers, not only in the US, but also in Sweden (for example), my priority was to set up a website for my business. Countless craft fairs, bead shows and trunk shows later, I have developed and learnt a lot along the way. Nowadays I also sell my jewelry in different kinds of shops here in Los Angeles, where I live since 2012.
Q: What sets your shop aside from it’s competitors?
A: Simplicity and clean lines has always been my goal when working with the layout of my web shop. I want it to be easy to access and to find your way around. This is also what Swedish Design is all about – simplicity – and the fact that it is the actual product that is supposed to be in focus.
Q: Who or what influences your style? To what do you attribute your wonderful aesthetic?
A: As you may have guessed I am deeply inspired by my Scandinavian heritage. Simplicity and clean lines are the undertone and backbone in my design. My time in the US has of course also influenced my style and especially the nature and the explosion of colors that meets my eye everyday here in LA. It’s a true source of inspiration and happiness.
Q: How do you find the pieces/products for your store?
A: I regularly attend the big whole sale jewelry shows in LA and in the surroundings, and I buy most of my material, stones and beads there. I occasionally buy freshwater pearls from whole sale contacts in China.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face with running your own store?
A: The biggest challenges with running my own store is that I am the sole responsible person for everything in my company. It takes time learning how to run a web shop from a technical point of view. At the same time it’s a challenge that I like. It’s also a challenge to find the best ways to reach out to all the potential customers out there and to learn how to go about it.
Q: What do you love most about having your own store?
A: I love the fact that I can reach out to my customers and also get feedback from them in an easy and in a relatively effortless way. Its fascinating how you can experiment with photos and design and I’m excited about the endless possibilities that my web shop offers.
Q: What are you proud of?
A: I am proud of being self made and that I have worked really hard to learn and develop as designer. My goal has always been to create good quality, but yet affordable jewelry. I’m proud to say that I design and make all my jewelry by hand. I want my customers to feel that the piece they are buying is unique and one of a kind. Many of my pieces could be worn in different ways, like the wraparound necklaces and bracelets, making my customers feel that they get real value for their money. I promised myself never to mass produce, a promise I have kept through the years. My goal is for my customers to feel that I put my heart into each and every piece of jewelry that I make.
Q: Do you have any special projects in the pipeline or exciting future plans?
A: I have always projects going on as well as new designs. The updating work with my web shop is also a never ending project. There is always more to learn and ways to improve.
Q: What are your favorite pieces/products at the moment?
A: My favorite pieces at the moment are the braided leather wraparound bracelets, in different colors, and the Buddha necklaces. I wear them all the time!
Make sure to visit ForUjewelry for beautiful jewelry and gift ideas, and don’t forget to bookmark this lovely shop!
For more online shopping destinations we recommend, check out the directory.