“Growing up as a child I was always extremely creative with a natural knack for business. I would paint for hours and start one too many lemonade stands. I actually thought I could start a business selling mud-pies and rocks in our backyard. I thought it was genius! Every time I would see someone make something, do something or sell something, I always had the same thought, “how hard can that be? I can do it.” I was and always have been, a dreamer. As I got older, life got busier and my “creative spark” seemed to take a backseat. I received my degree in Business Management since I really wasn’t sure what I would do after college, but I hoped more than anything that someday I would oversee my own business. In charge, of my future.
8 years ago, I accepted a Recruiting position at a renowned Digital Marketing company. The first few years were awesome; I was doing well and truly happy in my career. I strongly admired the company and people (and still feel that same way), but the passion in my actual job started to disappear. I felt like something was missing in life. I knew I needed a creative outlet to feel more balanced. I honestly don’t remember the exact moment that turned me to jewelry, I just remember ordering some beads, string and wire off what was probably a sketchy site (you live and you learn…) and creating some pieces of jewelry during my lunch breaks.
Instantly, I was hooked. I felt a drive and found a passion again! Over the next year or two, I did more research than you would believe. It truly was the time of trial and error. I still have a massive bin full of my “failures”. Thousands (yes, thousands) of pieces I made that just, well, sucked. I will keep that bin forever because it is what will continue to ground me and bring me back to the start of this wonderful journey. I knew absolutely nothing, but boy was I hungry to learn. I spent months researching jewelry brands that I admired and was drawn to. Where did they source their stones? What tools do they have? How do you know your materials are coming from an honest source? Who helps you bring the design to life? How do you start a website? Where do you order packaging? Where to start with a logo and branding? How do I become an actual business? And don’t even get me started on finances! And this list goes on and on. But you know what, it didn’t scare me. Like I said as a kid, “how hard can that be? I can do it”. So, I did it.
Its been 5 years since the day I beaded my first bracelet for Elli Parr, formerly known as Sara Marie Jewelry (don’t worry, I will ACTUALLY do a post sometime on why I rebranded). And a lot has happened over the years. A great friend took a chance on carrying my brand in her sought-after boutique (Jess Boutique, downtown BTV) & another great friend started carrying my jewelry in her Trendy Salon (The Parlor, Winooski). They both still carry a vast selection of our pieces, (that was the start of my wholesale business). My husband and I had two beautiful, strong, ambitious little girls, pictured here. We built a house (maybe ill share behind the scenes on that process?) And I recently left my corporate marketing job to focus full-time on my kiddos and this jewelry business of mine that deserved much more than the very small amount of effort and time I was devoting to it.
So why post this now? I realized I need to show you, all my amazing followers, customers, family and friends, what’s behind the curtain. How can you really care about a brand without knowing who and what is behind it? What’s behind it is a mother of two in Vermont, (with a very supportive husband!) who designs, creates, fulfills, ships, photographs and answers every one of your calls and emails. By supporting Elli Parr, you are supporting a small, local, woman run, brand. You are supporting me. You are the reason I was able to leave corporate America to fulfill this passion and bring you Elli Parr Jewelry. You are the reason I can be present to my daughter’s dance class and be home to make dinner every night for my family. You are the reason Elli Parr exists. So to you, THANK YOU!” – Sara Nelson, Owner & Founder
January 17, 2022
What an amazing post and so proud of you putting yourself and true background out there! You have always had such an “eye” for creative artistic jewelry and I am so happy you are following your dream and what makes you happy because life is too short!!!! Love your jewelry and will always be a BIG Fan!!!!