Jewelry Entrepreneur Gets Royal Boost For Her Line Of Earrings…

Posted March 18, 2017 6:40 pm by Comments

Kate Middleton,  the Duchess of Cambridge wore a pair of her earrings while on tour in Canada.

It has been a busy year selling earrings for Nova Scotia native Shelley MacDonald’s jewelry business.Earrings

The jeweler found out last September that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, had worn a pair of her handmade earrings while on tour in Canada. Her online Esty store blew up with orders shortly after.

“I had 95 orders in the first day. My Esty store has been open since January 2014, and I had 52 sales from then until Sept. 28,” says MacDonald.

MacDonald’s business is mainly wholesale to jewelry stores, and the Etsy store keeps her connected directly to customers. Since that day in September she has made 1,400 pairs of the same earrings.

MacDonald is a NSCAD graduate from the metal-smithing program and she opened her own studio more than three years ago.

As the orders for the Modern Ulu earrings, or “Kate” earrings, kept pouring in, MacDonald kept busy with orders and was preparing for the Christmas rush. At the end of November she received another message out of the blue, asking her if she’d like to take part in London Fashion Week. She says she thought it was a scam at first but followed up with the agency in New York and found out it was for real.

“I contacted the agency and the first question I asked was, is this because of Kate?” she laughs. “They said, ‘What are you talking about?’ They had no idea.”

In this completely separate series of events, MacDonald’s designs were being watched from afar by the fashion industry. She says she had one week to decide if she would go to London and in the end, of course, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

MacDonald traveled to London and saw 14 of her pieces showcased in February. “Going there, I was doubting myself. I had to stop and actually be proud of myself for what I had accomplished.

She says the whirlwind of attention for her work since September has a been a dream, but it has forced her to think about the business side of her designs. Her passion is designing and making jewelry but with business booming, she is making steps towards efficiency.

“I think next I need to focus on my business and how to run it better, because I am going to be busier with all of these orders. The orders have not stopped. I hired an apprentice for two days a week and an agent in Vancouver.”

Although most of her direct business is online-based, patrons can find her jewelry in Nova Scotia. Just recently Aphrodite Art & Fashion in Antigonish, Nova Scotia started carrying some of her pieces.

The Modern Ulu earrings are $95 to $115 per pair.

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