How to Pitch Your Handmade Jewelry to the Sundance Catalog
Business Saturday: An interview with Naomi Herndon, Proprietor of Herndon Heald (with partners Mark Herndon and Jeri Lynn Heald)
Q: How would you describe your jewelry?
A: We make delicate, hand-fabricated jewelry that is high quality and extremely labor intensive. Each piece of jewelry, even the cast pieces, is hammered and formed afterward to create our signature hand-fabricated look, and that is why our logo is a tiny anvil, signifying this attention to detail. Some of our strongest influences come from antique Indian jewelry done in high-karat gold.
Q: How did you get your work into the Sundance Catalog?
A: We approached them. We have a rep who already has a relationship with the buyers at Sundance. Also, Jeri Lynn and I both worked for another jewelry manufacturer who did a lot of designs for them, so when we approached them, they already knew us.
Q: What does being featured in the Sundance Catalog involve?
A: I would say make sure you have your production covered and are able to reorder your materials easily. Don’t use materials that are hard to reorder or that, when reordered, vary a lot in color and shape.
Q: What’s your best advice for pitching jewelry to a major catalog?
A: I think it is important to really know who you are as a company and have your specific look established. Also, you must know who the catalog is as a company and its market. Do your research. Because we currently make everything in the United States, our prices are higher and we can’t compete with companies that do their manufacturing overseas. We need to find catalogs and stores that appreciate that. Sundance is a great fit because they are very supportive of designers like us.
Portrait and earring photos by Mark Herndon; Necklace photos courtesy of the Sundance Catalog.
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