It has been 5 years since I have launched my business full time. So many great things have happened...our latest is in July 2017, we relocated from Saratoga Springs, NY to Wilmington, NC.
Since our beginning in 2012, RM Irish Jewels has had many articles written about the business, Saratoga Today Summer Edition Magazine 2016, Capital Region Business Journal 2016, has won the 2015 Business Excellence Award from the Small Business Administration of New York & a Business Excellence Award from The Irish Echo Newspaper but here is how it all began...
Since the age of 14, my best friend being my mother, Veronica and I made numerous trips to Ireland. (This picture is of the two of us taken in Ireland on her ancestor's property.) Then in 2001, on one of our trips, we came across a shop in Dublin that sold Irish jewellery. It was the most unique collection that we had ever seen! No claddagh or traditional pieces but contemporary, fascinating and so different. All we thought about when purchasing these jewels was "Wait until our friends back home see this!"
Mom and I, while in Dublin, shopped this store daily buying new "jewels". Finally, one day I asked to speak with the shop owner. She explained that these crafts people were all award winning artists and that if I wanted she would help me begin an import/export business. It all sounded so exciting until...one month later...the World Trade Center disaster hit home.
Nothing was accomplished that year or for a few years after until...one night...my friend Donna asked a group of us, "If you knew you couldn't fail, what would you do?" I immediately said, "Import the Irish jewelery". Well, she exclaimed, "What are you waiting for?" So, I looked over at my Mother and said "Would you lend me the money?" "Of course", she said.
The following night, I began researching all Irish artists that were award winning, autentic and one of a kind. If they said traditional, claddagh or already in the U.S., I was not interested. I found 10+ artists and went to Ireland and met every single one. I have had the pleasure of doing business with them for the past ten years (6 years part-time basis +4 years fulltime)and am constantly in search of new artists...we have just expanded our artisan base to include both France & Wales!
My Mom is in Heaven now and she is looking down on me and fueling my success. At the end of April of 2016, I launched a collection in my mom's maiden name calling it the Veronica Hayden Collection. Funny, one of my artisans created a SUCCESS line of jewelry that I carry exclusively for her in the USA. I think Veronica is telling me something...
Without the help from my Mom, Veronica, my family, my fantastic boyfriend, Jerry and all of my great friends everywhere that have purchased my items over the years, I would not have been able to reach out to you today. Thank you all very, very much.