Please tell us a little about your company:
The Materials Design Co. (TMDCo.) creates unique, materials inspired jewelry and accessories. Our philosophy is to follow the lead of the materials- their colors, textures, and tactility- to create jewelry that feels really good to wear.
Our mission is to bring good energy, positivity, and joy to the lives of our customers by delivering accessories created in that spirit. All of our pieces are handmade in small batches in the USA.
How did you get started?
I actually started with canvas bags that I designed and had made in a small sewing studio in Brooklyn, where I was living at the time. But production was a nightmare and I ended up wasting a lot of money on the process, even though I learned a lot. I decided to step back and come at it from a different angle. I had made jewelry for another brand early in my career and decided to try my hand at jewelry design. I really love the diverse materials used in jewelry making. I hope to expand to other categories including home decor and fashion in the future.
How many years have you been in business?
Since 2017. I set the business up while I was pregnant with my daughter so I could get it up and running after she was born, as soon as I was feeling up to it. She was born in May 2017, and I launched my first collection November 2017.
What do you love about your job?
I love having the opportunity to exercise my creativity on a regular basis. More than that, I love sharing process photos and design ideas with my customers through social media. Enabling my followers and customers to enjoy and explore creativity, especially those who don’t identify as “creative,” is incredibly rewarding.
What is your favorite way to encourage women entrepreneurs?
I absolutely love talking shop with other women who run their own businesses. I think the more we talk about it and normalize the unique struggles of women entrepreneurs, the better off we will all be! Collaboration is much better than competition.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m so excited for this holiday season. There are incredible things happening in the world of small product businesses online. We’re here to make this crazy 2020 holiday season the MOST special for our customers, in spite of everything. I’m involved with two online directories of small businesses and makers, and the number of consumers turning their focus toward supporting small business is really encouraging.
What do you wish you would have known earlier in your career?
I wish I would have understood earlier the appeal of being myself within the brand. In the beginning I had such specific ideas about what I wanted it to look like and it was too “perfect.”
Not only was it unachievable for me with limited resources, but it also didn’t draw people in. It wasn’t interesting and didn’t feel good. Now I’m real AND more realistic. I interact and post on social media without worrying too much, and I even started a Facebook group for TMDCo. fans called TMDCo. Insiders.
Come find us!
Facebook TMDCo. Insiders Group:
Read the Original Interview at: https://www.uwibfoundation.org/female-founders/ariellesalkin