Grow Your Handmade Jewelry Business with Susan Rifkin

Business Saturday: Outsourcing Production

With Susan Rifkin, Handmade Jewelry Designer, Susan Rifkin Designs

Q: What kind of jewelry business do you have?

A: My jewelry is all handcrafted, made from sterling silver, gold, semiprecious stones, and freshwater pearls. Most of my customers buy from me at wholesale trade shows and through my road reps. I sell to all kinds of stores, boutiques, museum shops, and gift shops, most of whom feature handcrafted work.


Some of Susan’s Handmade Jewelry Designs

Handmade jewelry designer Susan Rifkin shares her path to business success. Handmade jewelry designer Susan Rifkin shares her path to business success.
Handmade jewelry designer Susan Rifkin shares her path to business success. Handmade jewelry designer Susan Rifkin shares her path to business success.

Q: When did you decide that you needed production help?

A: I’m going on my fourteenth year in business! It was around my fifth year that I realized I needed help with some of my production in order to fill my orders on time as well as grow my business in the future. There comes a point where you just can’t do it all anymore.

Growth, Production, Outsourcing


Q: How did you decide who you wanted to outsource to?

A: It was one of the hardest decisions to make to outsource some of my production work to someone else. So in looking for help I knew I wanted to find someone who cared about my designs and craftsmanship as much as I did. Once I started working with Melindesign I felt such a sense of relief, and I knew my work was in good hands. Melindesign is very reliable, helps me meet deadlines, and their workmanship is wonderful. This is what help is all about. Knowing that they are local and all work is done in the USA is a must for me, too.

Handmade jewelry designer Susan Rifkin shares her path to business success.

Melinda O’Keefe and her staff at Melindesign help produce Susan’s jewelry designs.


Q: What was most important to you in choosing production help?

A: Many, many companies use in-house and out-of-house help—it’s really the only way to grow and do better for your customers. I use a combination of both, but when you’re using out-of-house help, it’s so important to have someone who has the same vision as you do. I feel like Melindesign is as much my in-house help as the girls who are in my studio with me.
Q: How has outsourcing some of your production improved your business?

A: Outsourcing some of my production has made it possible for me to grow my business faster and stronger than I would just trying to do it all on my own. I now have the time to focus on other aspects of the business. Being able to spend more of my time creating and designing my line each season has been great. I can also do more wholesale shows and know I have help when I need it. This is very reassuring.
Handmade jewelry designer Susan Rifkin shares her path to business success.

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