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Thursday
Feb162017

MEET HEATHER BAKER • ELUSIVE MUSE JEWELRY{

[Interview] Over the next year, you will see the Girl Reinvented paradigm change (as well as an updated website), as I gravitate away from talking about a singular (my) reinvention, to celebrating bad ass women everywhere who are boldly and bravely reinventing their lives – one courageous stiletto at a time! 

Sitting high in the food chain with her coveted law degree (the apogee of scholastic achievement), Heather decides to throw caution into the wind (along with her bank account) and pursue her true north... jewelry design. #LionHearted

Vintage beading, lustrous hand woven silks and rich suedes are just a few of the raw materials used to create Elusive Muse handcrafted wearable art. 

Meet #GirlReinvented Heather Baker, of Elusive Muse Jewelry, and be inspired... (promo discount at the bottom!)

Company: Elusive Muse Jewelry
Founder: Heather Baker    
Number of employees: 2
Website: www.elusivemusejewelry.com
Location: New York, NY

 

GR: WHEN DID YOUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH JEWELRY BEGIN?

HB: I’ve always had my own sense of style but my love affair with jewelry began in 2005 when a friend of mine and I took a jewelry class at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I took additional classes and learned so many different jewelry techniques! I’m a creature of habit and repetition, but I also love making something beautiful from something that may look ordinary to others, and jewelry design just fit perfectly in this slot. 

 

GR: "MAKING" YOUR OWN JEWELRY IS A BIG STEP. HOW DID YOU KNOW WHERE TO START?"

HB: Like most big steps, you don’t really know where to start. Jewelry has always been something I have done on the side while working in corporate America. I would always make jewelry gifts for friends and family for years and everyone always asked me when I would start my own jewelry line.

 

GR: WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGNS?

HB: Most of the inspirations for my designs are internal or come from the need to breath new life into the base materials I acquire or have on hand.  I’ve always gravitated towards combining old techniques with new/modern materials and designs. I like trying to create something that is both unique and harmonious, but that doesn’t distort the base materials too much.  I gravitate naturally to bold items and things that oddly stand out.  Standing out for me can be by wearing a subtle but unique piece or wearing something bold but that is not ostentatious - finding this middle ground is the most challenging part of my process. 

 

GR: A LAW DEGREE IS QUITE THE PEDIGREE. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO THROW IT ALL AWAY, REINVENT YOURSELF AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART? WAS THERE ONE DEFINING MOMENT?

HB: Law school was always something that continually rotated around me all of my adult life. Coming out of college, I worked at the NY State Assembly, but quickly found that that arena was not for me, so I looked for something that could challenge me while also providing security. Since graduating college and working as a paralegal for several years, the legal field was becoming less and less secure so I decided that if I don’t jump now and go to law school, I would never do it, so I jumped. While I found law school challenging, I was not happy in law school and my heart was not in it. There wasn’t really any defining moment, but during my second year of law school, I had a conversation with my husband and we decided that it would be best for me to pursue something else that would motivate me and be more fulfilling.  

 

GR: WHAT'S THE SCARIEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?

HB: The scariest thing about being an entrepreneur for me is being in charge of your own schedule, your own deadlines, and your own inevitable failures.  I’m use to working with deadlines in order to get things done. When you are an entrepreneur, procrastination is a big hindrance to moving forward, so you quickly grow out of that routine because in the end, if something doesn’t happen or fails, you can’t point the finger at anyone else or any other part of the process. Everything is on you! 

 

GR: I LOVE YOUR TAGLINE, "BE BOLD... BE FEARLESS... MAKE A STATEMENT!" HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH IT?

HB: Thanks! The tagline came about during the design phase. I don’t make trendy (at least I don’t think I do, lol) or dainty pieces. My jewelry is not for everyone, so you have to be a certain type of person someone who has a sense of style and who wants to break out of the mold. While I focus more on statement pieces, my jewelry is not the typical statement jewelry you will find anywhere else. Depending on how you wear it and style it, my pieces can be subtle statements that complement a look/vibe or be very bold standout statement pieces on their own. To be the type of person to try something new and different, sometimes you have to be a little bold and fearless to make your statement!

 

GR: DO YOU HAVE INVESTORS OR ARE YOU SELF-FUNDED?

HB: My line is completely self-funded and I have taken on most of the tasks of running the business myself.

 

GR: HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A RISK TAKER?

HB: Funny you ask, because I am not generally a risk taker, at least not in the conventional sense. I’ve always had my own sense of direction and always weighed my options and lived my life by having Plan A’s, Plan B’s, Plan C’s, and etc. but it was different with this jewelry endeavor. Since I had a vision of what I wanted to create, I knew I could do it on my own, and I knew the blueprints of how to do it, with the support of my family and friends, I jumped headfirst (well after doing extensive research and coming up with a detailed plan, obviously!)

 

GR: I HAVE MY EYE ON THE MOBIUS TORUS NECKLACE. I LOVE THE BOLD BLUE HUE AND THINK IT WOULD LOOK AMAZING AGAINST A SIMPLE WHITE FITTED T WITH A GREAT PAIR OF JEANS. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE IN YOUR COLLECTION? 

HB: I love all of the designs in my current collection, because they are all new, fresh, and unique, but I do love the Oksana collection and the Zola necklace. I love the Oksana’s because they are all so versatile and can be worn in so many ways. You can wear the Oksana’s long which gives them a bohemian vibe, or with a simple monotone or colorful outfit that can give you a harmonious museum/gallery look, or shorter at a chocker length, for a more formal conservative statement piece that would be prefect for any office setting.

 

GR: WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE YOUR COMPANY IN FIVE YEARS?

HB: In five years I want to be stable enough so that I am able to give a portion of the profits to various charities that interest my family and me. I also see myself still working hands-on to design new and fresh pieces incorporating all the various jewelry techniques that I’ve learned in school and running a jewelry company with pieces coveted by people who want to and know how to wear them.

 

GR: WHO INSPIRES YOU MOST IN THIS WORLD?

HB: My husband and my brother inspire me the most. My husband, because he is such a determined hard-worker who always has me in awe at how he keeps up his momentum and positive spirits. He’s also incredibly smart, understanding, and kind - an all around full-package and I’m so thankful we found each other. He truly makes me want to work harder and be the best version of myself every day.  He’s my number one supporter, cheerleader, and motivation!

My brother because he is such an inspiration. He is confined to a wheelchair, but he pushes himself everyday so that he can live a normal life. He makes me notice all the very little things that we take for granted that don’t come easy for him at all. He honestly has to work harder and fight for every little thing he does from the moment he opens his eyes in the mornings. I also want to do well because he looks up to me and I want to continue to be an example and inspiration for him so that he can keep pushing and moving forward.

 

GR: IF YOU COULD ASK ONE PERSON FOR ADVICE, WHO WOULD IT BE?

HB: I don’t think I have any questions for anyone. Most of the questions I currently have are technology related (lol), so most of the answers are already out there and only a few clicks away. I don’t have any questions right now because I feel to succeed in anything, you have to know that you have it in yourself to do it and you actually have to want to do it. You kind of have to go by your own compass. Research the heck out of everything that’s new to you and find out what others before you have done, modify whatever you need to so that it works for your strengths and weaknesses.  To be out on your own, especially to produce your own new materials or ideas, you have to be confident in yourself, your work, and know that even if everything is working against you, you could and will still be motivated to do it.  Drive and direction are a must for any entrepreneurial endeavor. Don’t do it because you everyone else is doing it, because someone else is telling you to do it, or because you want to compete with someone… you have to want it, otherwise everyday will be a struggle and the hurdles get higher and higher.

 

GR: IF YOU COULD BE TRANSPORTED BACK IN TIME, WHICH ERA WOULD HEATHER ROCK?

HB: This is a tough one… there are so many!!! But I do love the roaring 20’s. I love all the glitz and glamour, but I also love the excitement behind all the debauchery that came with it.   

 

GR: IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO YOUR SIX-YEAR-OLD SELF, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE HER?

HB: I would tell my six year-old self that she is on the right path and to keep working hard and following her guts and instincts.

 

GR: JUST FOR FUN... WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? MOVIE? SONG?

HB: Favorite color... Hmm, I rotate between various shades of blues and light grey
Favorite song… “Rock with you” by Michael Jackson. I can honestly, listen to that song on repeat forever!!! I love it that much!
Favorite movie… this is really hard for me because there really are several that I can/and have watched on repeat for years, so I’m just going to give you all three: “Sixteen Candles,” “When Harry Met Sally,”  and “Prometheus” (I’m kind of a sci-fi geek, I know!). lol

 

GR: HERE'S ANOTHER FUN ONE, FOR ABSOLTLEY NO REASON EXCEPT I'M ALWAYS CURIOUS... WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO SNACK AT THE MOVIE THEATER?

HB: Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Milk Chocolate Almond Ice cream bar… only, because I promised myself that it will be the only time I will eat ice cream going forward. lol

 

GR: IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE OTHER BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS THAT MIGHT BE AFRAID TO MAKE THE LEAP?

HB: I would say to start by doing some serious research. Talk to some of your friends and family about your idea(s) to get some perspective and also, they may have some ideas or mention some things that you did not think about. This is also good because they can hold you accountable for getting off your butt and taking action and they are also a great source of motivation. If you can't find the information you need from doing research, then get in contact with someone already in the field! Most people are willing to pass on their knowledge and best practices. After that, a business plan is definetly in order.  Don't worry so much about timing, but when you are ready or are at a comfortable place, start taking action and getting your plans into place!


GR: IF YOU COULD INVITE 5 PEOPLE FOR DINNER (FAMOUS OR NON) WHO WOULD THEY BE?

HB: Ouuu, this is a good one… Gandhi, Shakespeare, my husband, my best friend, and Albert Einstein … I think we would all get along great and have a ball!!

 

GR: WHAT WOULD YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE CALLED?

HB: Let go and let’s go! Living life with no strings attached!


Enjoy 20% savings! Visit ElusiveMuseJewelry.com and enter code GIRLREINVENTED20 at checkout!


 

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