Women Worldwide : Striking Gold with Eline de Visser
Eline de Visser is the founder of her jewellery brand of the same name. Having graduated as a goldsmith, it was no surprise that she would one day have her own jewellery line. Her career is one to be admired and we couldn’t wait to spend some time with her to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand Eline de Visser…
After completing the goldsmith training in Schoonhoven, I started working at a jeweler’s store, luckily with a workshop so I could also make repairs and new jewelry. After 2.5 years, I changed my career because I wanted to find out what else I could do besides goldsmithing. So I started in the commercial staffing world. First as an intermediary and after that as a branch manager. But my heart wasn’t there and it didn’t make me happy at all which eventually led to a burnout. After recovering from my burnout, I decided to return to goldsmithing. So I quit my regular job, said goodbye to my lease car, telephone and fixed salary and started working on my own. In the beginning it was really all about finding my way again, trying many things and finding out what suited me. Slowly I developed my own style to what it is today. It was not an easy way but I never regretted this decision.
The past two years a style emerged that makes me very happy and represents me. I continue to develop this style and trying out new designs. The combination of smooth and organic shapes, often combined with beautiful gemstones. The organic shapes are always slightly different, making each piece of jewellery unique. Really a joy to wear every day!
What sets you apart from other jewellery designers?
I really only want to make jewellery that makes you happy. It has to put a smile on your face every time you wear it! And each piece of jewelry is a “piece unique” so that you can be sure that no one else is walking around with the exact same earrings, for example. It really has to be a special piece of jewelry to you. I want to continue to develope my signature style, and avoid repetition. Clients can also choose a beautiful stone from my gem collection which I then take to create a beautiful piece of jewelry with that really suits you! In addition you can have a jewel made out of your own precious gold so you can carry the memory of your loved one with you.
How have you pivoted during Covid19?
Fortunately we are all healthy but suddenly we had two children at home with whom schoolwork had to be done, so appointments had to be rescheduled. The goldsmithing classes I gave were cancelled. But I still had commissioned jewelry projects that I could continue with but all at a slower pace. I couldn’t let the kids mess around with their schoolwork by themselves, which meant I could spend less hours behind the workbench. Fortunately new assignments start to come in again, the first appointments often take place by telephone or email instead of in person at the studio. And when clients do visit my studio, we have to apply the necessary hygiene measures maintain the mandatory 1,5m distance. But everyone understands the situation so that works fine. It all sounds very peaceful, but a lot of arguments have been fought over how to solve a math problem. So to be honest it is quite nice the schools have reopened again ;-).
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
Together with my partner I made an amazing backpack trip of 10 months through South and Central America. Seen and done such cool things. An excellent relationship test, by the way. After my burnout, we traveled through Europe in a camper for 4.5 months. Together with our oldest who was 2.5 years old at the time. Really amazing trip as well. We have been in, among others, England and Ireland, 7 weeks in Italy, fantastic countries!
For now we usually go camping during the holidays, but I would still very much like to make a tour through Canada in a camper. New York is also high on the list. Norway has to be fantastic so it is also on the list. Enough to dream about!
What do you do when you’re lacking creativity?
If I run out of creativity, it is usually because I no longer have an overview of what needs to be done and it is too busy in my head. I try to take a step back and make a to do list to get the overview again. Walking and being in nature helps me to regain peace. I think meditation is also a good one, but I can’t sit still for so long. My mother is always telling me to start with yoga, maybe I should listen to her.
What does self care mean to you?
Be nice to yourself, don’t judge yourself too hard. And stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique in who you are. I set the bar very high for myself and that is not always useful, it can freeze me. It’s okay to make mistakes, you’re human. In addition, you really need to rest and eat healthy and exercise. Easier said than done of course.
Looking back over your career, which moment stands out as a highlight?
You may not call it a highlight, but my burnout caused me to make the decision to go back to goldsmithing. And I have never regretted that decision, I am genuinely happy when I sit behind the workbench and when a difficult stone setting has been successful without collapsing , I can really be happy. Or when I see a smile appear on the face of a satisfied client, I know that I have made the right decision.
For any aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to launch a jewellery brand, what advice would you offer them in order to build a successful and profitable business?
Get started! I am a slow grower myself. In the beginning I didn’t have a good site and shiny business cards. But I did have the will to make beautiful jewelry. Over time, I got myself better tools and I followed advanced courses to further study the profession. All to be able to really convert the ideas I had into better quality jewelry. In addition, staying true to yourself and to take yourself seriously is very important . Try to do only those things that make you happy.
How much does social media play a role in your company?
Social media is a free platform where you can reach the whole world. So why not use it? I do have a love-hate relationship with it. I find it annoying that algorithms determine who sees what and often only the nice things are shown. I mean, running a business isn’t always fun and joy. But to be honest, I do like it when people respond positively to the jewelry pieces I post.
Outside of work, what do you do for fun?
I like being outside in nature. Walking, cycling, keeping myself fit by bootcamping outdoors. I love having a drink and a bite to eat with friends. Sushi is my absolut favorite!
I always listen to music when I’m working. My taste in music is very broad, I go from Pink to Alliance Ethnik and back to Tyfoon. I love going to concerts (which I don’t do often enough, really). Hopefully this will be possible again soon! And honestly, to sit behind the workbench! This sounds so boring but it really makes me happy.
How has Covid19 affected your day to day business?
Our profession also involves quite some physical contact. You often feel whether a ring fits good on someones finger or not, you hang a necklace around a client’s neck. That is much more difficult now because you have to maintain that 1,5m distance. After an appointment, you have to clean everything that has been touched. My sales table has never been so clean! The personal atmosphere during a conversation is not what it should be because of this distance. Hopefully things will return to normal again in the near future. Fortunately, the children are going back to school again, which will improve the daily routine for everyone. I work much better with more peace around me.