The company has been in business since 2015 and with a recent new collection and exciting collaborations, there's no stopping the momentum for 2020.
Q:You have a new collection, SILK ROAD. It's so different from your other two collections, how did this idea for SILK ROAD emerge? A:I love to cook and I especially love to eat foods from around the globe. Growing up, my best friend's family was from India and her parents loved serving up home-cooked Indian meals. They introduced me to cardamom and it became my MOST favorite spice.
One night I thought, how cool would it be to dip cardamom in pure gold and make it into a pendant necklace?! So, I looked into working with metal, but it was overwhelming to me. Instead, I let the concept sit.
A few years later, I started working with resin. This material provided a medium through which I could suspend a material in time, view it from various perspectives, and make it cost-effective. What better way to showcase my favorite spices!
Over a year of success and failures, we finally had a product. Every piece comes with a snapshot description of the spice's history, spiritual and medicinal characteristics and culinary uses.
Q:Harvest on the Harbor, an annual food & spirits festival in Portland, Maine, just invited you to showcase your SILK ROAD collection. What do you find so exciting about this event? A:I just love introducing our work to people. Our Silk Road Spice Collection customers come from a range of backgrounds from ages 7-70 years old! Time and again, we see a sense of wonder, joy and curiosity on people's faces when they look closely at the spices. Then they share their experience with the spices they are drawn to. It's pretty magical.
Harvest on the Harbor will be our very first food focused event and I am incredibly excited to meet people who love food, work in the food industry and/or attendees who support local businesses.
Q:When was the moment that you knew would become a jeweler and small business owner? A: The moment was in 2014 when I was making some jewelry for gifts and friends said, "You are really good at this, why don't you sell your work?". Considering the fact that I was burning out of public health but still had an entrepreneurial spirit, combining the two felt like a natural progression.
Q:What's the single, most important thing to you as a small business owner? A: Belief. I could NEVER have embarked on this journey as deeply as I have without the full-support of my husband Peter and son Davis. In addition, I am blessed to have many business mentors, colleagues and friends cheering me along the way.
Q:What's next for 2020? A: With spices at its core, *think* home decor, personal care items, cards and more!!
Illuminated Me offers three collections: Silk Road | On The Nile | Homage
Hand made in Maine
Necklaces | Earrings | Rings
Choose from 24KT gold plate or .999 fine silver plate, prices start at $30