Araceli Concordia is the founder of Aracheli Studio, a jewellery brand where being sustainable, conscious and designing with a purpose is at the forefront of everything that she does.
We spent some time with her to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launch your brand, Aracheli?…
I have always been a creative ever since I could remember but a designer/creative as a career path has never crossed my mind, for many reasons. But I also feel that this path also waited for the right chapter to be written in my life.
The pandemic in 2020 brought out this chapter. In March 2020, I was pregnant at 5 months with 2 little boys and homeschooling. And when I was almost 7 months pregnant my husband had to go back to work and was alone at home with kids most of the days. There was a point where I couldn’t move much anymore and so big activities was out of the question. But I needed a distraction, I needed to pour my energy to something positive. I needed something to help me coup, distract me from what was happening in the world. I needed to be OK, for myself and for my family.
It just so happened that a few months prior to the pandemic my mom brought my boxes of arts and craft things from 15-20 years ago where in there was my jewelry making supplies and collections of trinkets, beads, yarns and fabrics. Before you know it, I was creating and creating helped me stay sane.
My amazing supportive husband, I thank him for seeing my talent and my unrealized dream. He would see my finished creations and he constantly would tell me my work was beautiful and that people would love it. After talking about the possibilities for months, I finally gave in. No, not to him but to my unrealized dream. I knew I would love to have my designs, my creations out in the world.
So, in June we decided to hire for help at home. Also really lucky that it’s a relative. The best decision my husband and I have made. I was going to give birth to my daughter in July and we also have 2 little boys at home plus I have just decided to take on a big project. God really helped things align for us. I decided on a niche, I was able to create a website, then launched in September 2020. I was lucky enough to have been accepted to sell on a couple marketplace by December 2020 and that’s how it all started. I am truly so happy to have found myself in this path.
Like so many, it was a tough, challenging, scary, crazy times. For me it was also busy, productive and the most fulfilling times in my life. I am so grateful. My family was complete, healthy together and I was able to create my dream job.
Where did your love and interest for vintage come from?
My love for vintage goes back from when I was in middle school. I would tag along to vintage stores with my cousin. We would walk for miles all over LA, particularly Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Melrose. Those days were so much fun!!
I love vintage/antiques for the feeling of nostalgia that it gives me. As a kid and till now, I find them so intriguing; different from what I would see at the mall and I loved that. It also meant that it’s now one of kind or rare and I love that even more. In addition, vintage items are also made well. The art of crafting and labor that went on a vintage/antique piece are very visible and I appreciate that so much.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your jewellery?
I want people to feel distinctive and intriguing.
Do you have plans to expand your range in the future and if so, what will you expand in to?
Yes, I do. I plan on adding a fine jewelry line. Also, other accessories such as belts, hair accessories and the list goes on.
Looking back since launching the business, is there anything you would do differently?
Getting a system together from the very beginning is important. It will organize and streamline everything and you will save a lot of time. I didn’t start putting a system together and now it’s taking some time to put one together, to get organized and to streamline everything.
Who’s involved in the business and what are their roles?
It is mostly just me at this time. But I have been very lucky to have been able to call a few of my cousins to help me when I’m swamped. When I do get help, their role is usually organizing inventory, admin and photography.
For anyone interested in launching a jewellery brand, what advice would you offer them?
There are many great talents out there and so I feel it’s important to constantly tell yourself that you too is talented. To stay true and not lose sight of why you started in the first place.
To delegate task when possible to avoid any burn out. To accept that you can’t do everything yourself if you want your business to grow.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
I have 3 children and my schedule is worked around their schedule.
We have to be out of the house at about 8:00am for school. I’m back home by 8:45am. I spend some time with my little girl for at least an hour. I’ll squeeze in a work out, 2-3X a week in the morning depending on how busy things are. I’ll be in the studio till 12pm. I’ll have lunch and feed my little girl and hang out with her for a bit. My studio right now is at my home so it’s very convenient but can also be really difficult at times.
I’m back in the studio at about 12:30pm or when my little girl takes her nap, again this is depending on how busy things are . I’ll work till about 2:30pm when I have to pick up my boys from school. Sometimes my husband is able to pick up the boys which is great as I get more studio time.
At about 3:15pm my boys are home and at this time, my girl has just woken up from her nap. Will kiss and hug the kids then back in the studio till 5pm until they go to sleep for the night. Between that time, it’s homework, a little house chores when possible, hang out with the kids, dinner time then it’s bed time ritual. My kids are in bed at about 9-9:30pm, which means for me is studio time.
I have to admit , work is not as productive in the day time as I am during the night since I constantly go in and out of the studio. So, I do easy task like packing and shipping orders.
During the day time my family is my priority and that is why I really have to be productive on that night shift. I do really love working during these hours and I am very productive. I get my alone time and get my work checklist done. I mean, it’s quite and all my loved once are near, safe and sound asleep and that gives me peace. I also choose to work some hours during the weekends because my studio is at my home, it’s really convenient.
This schedule is will likely not change for another 1-2 years until my little girl goes to nursery.
What’s great about being an entrepreneur?
It is so hard to be an entrepreneur. You have to understand and accept the risk. You have to embrace the challenge and learn how to pivot fast. It is a constant test of self-discipline, a constant battle with your insecurities and so much more but with it comes with so many rewards.
Being an entrepreneur means you are in charge of your own success, the sky is the limit. It means you have the opportunity to do what you love and if you’re lucky you can choose on which opportunities to take on. For me as a mother, it’s important to have some sort of grasp of my own schedule and my priority.
With that said, your choices, your priorities coincide with your success. It can mean making it or not.
What do you do when you are lacking creativity?
When I’m lacking creativity, I don’t even try to do any designing or creative work for days. Sometimes my family and I will go on a 2-3 days getaway. 2-3 days is usually what it takes when I start missing my studio and that’s when my creative mindset kicks in.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
It has definitely played a major role. It is how I have connected with my customers and the media.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on you must visit list?
There are so many wonderful places to visit. I think anywhere that you would feel free, feel alive, feel relaxed is where you ought to be. However, discovering new places is always great.
What does self-care mean to you?
Aside from eating healthy and working out; getting enough sleep is a must. During the week, I try my best to get at least 6 hours of sleep, it’s hard right now to get a full 8 but my body seem to be good with it, for now. But I also take naps when my body tells me to and sleep in during the weekends and on vacations. Without enough sleep, you can’t function to your fullest.
Traveling. Going on family vacations, mini weekend getaways is definitely a must for self-care, not just for me but also for my entire family.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
In 5 years I hope for Aracheli to be a well-established brand with a fine jewelry line, as well as carrying other accessories. It would be wonderful to have a studio/store front with a small but mighty and amazing supportive team.