January 18, 2021: Part 2: Saying Yes and Taking the Leap of Faith
After graduating with a degree in Apparel Design at the University of Minnesota, two of my closest friends and myself decided to move to New York City to pursue our design careers. We packed our bags in November 2012 and set off for the city of endless possibilities.
It felt like FOREVER, but I eventually landed a job in apparel design, and, over the next 8 years, learned the ins and outs of product development. Establishing one's self in NYC is no small feat, but I was determined to make this my life.
In 2016, my mom visited me in Brooklyn. We went shopping at the DUMBO Flea Market, where I purchased a sterling silver & fuchite ring. The vendor told me the ring was made by an artisan in Taxco, Mexico, a silver mining town outside of Mexico City...I knew I had to go.
A year and a half later, I ventured down to Taxco, where I felt an immediate emotional connection to the city. It felt like I had been there before, that I belonged there. I made a connection with an artisan, and a year later I went back to Taxco with my own stones. The artisan crafted my custom designs by hand, and I left Mexico with the first collection of silver jewelry I had developed since high school.
Again, I had those feelings of elation. Seeing my jewelry designs come to life, I had the strong intuition that this is what I was meant to do in life.
Fast forward to the summer of 2019. I was feeling defeated that I had these custom pieces for myself, but I wanted to do more. I wanted to put it out into the world for others, but where to begin?!
In July 2019, an investor approached me, and thus began the concept of Heather King Designs. My friends and family rallied behind me to get the line created, the branding developed, and the photoshoot accomplished. By February 2020, Heather King Designs was a reality, and I was ready to show it to the world.
In March 2020, plans shifted as New York City shut down for the Covid-19 global pandemic. Retail stores closed their doors, and the thought of launching a brand during this time felt impossible. I made the decision to continue on with my brand as a solo entity, ending my business partnership with the investor.
In June 2020, I finally launched www.heatherkingdesigns.com, as a woman-owned, self-funded, small business. I was proud, I was scared, I was excited.
The startup process has been both fulfilling and challenging. But, no matter what, the time that passed was highlighted with days of absolute elation. Of knowing my dream of starting a jewelry line was coming to life.
I believe this journey was a product of trusting my intuition, and knowing when to say "yes". Of wanting more career options, and moving to NYC. Of being curious about Taxco, and going to the source to see where this jewelry is made. Of wanting custom pieces, and having them developed by an artisan. Of saying yes when asked "well, are you ready to start a business?"
I'd love to hear from you! Are you pursuing a startup? Do you have art you're ready to put out into the world? DM me on Instagram @heatherkingdesigns