Emily P. Wheeler

Profession/Title:
Jewelry Designer

Where You’re From:
I was born outside of Boston, MA

Social Links/Website:
www.emilypwheeler.com
@emilypwheeler

1). How did you figure out that this ‘work’ was your calling?”

When I was a little girl, I began collecting rocks. My family and I would go on long road trips from Boston out west and I would make them stop at every rock store on the side of the road. I got a bit distracted with clean tech start-up PR after college while living in the Bay Area. One of my best friends requested I help her plan a craft night and we decided to bead necklaces. I started beading again and it re-ignited my passion for jewelry and craft. I started selling silk-knotted necklaces, eventually quit my day job and ended up where I am today. I am constantly continuing my education – I take drawing classes, I am taking GIA classes to work towards my gemology degree, etc. I learn by doing so I learned quickly by immersing myself in the industry, more than I think I would have in school. I’ve been doing it for seven years now and I surprise myself every year with how much further the year takes me.

2). What/who empowered you to chase this dream for yourself?

After being in the tech world, it was such a relief selling something tangible that has a clear path to profitability when I first started. Then, as my passion reignited and as I continued to learn about jewelry, I became obsessed and still am today. There is nothing that brings me more joy or fulfillment than designing, running my business, and bringing beauty and joy to people. I empowered myself because I never felt like I had another choice. It wasn’t a question of if it was how.

3). Was there ever a time you were ready to give up on your dream? What made you keep going?

No. If the numbers ever fail me, I won’t keep going, but I will try everything first!

4). What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? (or the worst, and why?)

Fake it til you make it. Which to me means: the more you expand your horizons and push yourself, the bigger and better you’ll become. Don’t be afraid to try something or go after something because you don’t have the right education or because you don’t feel qualified. Everyone feels that way all the time at first and if you just dive in, eventually you’ll figure it out. Our society is obsessed with education and as women, we aren’t necessarily programmed to be entrepreneurs. I had a lot of people telling me I had no business going into the jewelry world. I am lucky that I have the personality that is only motivated more when someone tells me no…

5). What impact would you like your work to leave on the world?

I want to be successful, which for me means bringing this business to a point of financial stability and work/life balance, perhaps even employing two or three people in-house. I want to be known for that success and know for making beautiful jewelry.

7). You are happiest when ______

I am hiking or mountain biking with my husband and dogs, or sketching/designing and listening to music or podcasts.

8). Favorite quote?

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” 

Mae West

10). What life event have you lived through that would make a great movie?

The story of my husband and I falling in love. We both have big personalities and we don’t really do anything small. So when we were high on falling in love, we were out of control. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. To this day, we blast music and have epic dance parties all over our house.

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