What is The D Collection?
The D Collection is a jewelry collection that pays homage to the City of Detroit, celebrating the industrial and innovative spirit of the city. The line is contemporary, clean and classic. There is a strong emphasis on handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces.
How did you get started?
I’ve been creating jewelry for over 10 years. I studied both Industrial Design and Jewelry Design at The University of Michigan. A few years ago I was asked to create a piece of jewelry that represented my idea of Detroit. That’s when I decided I would launch a line.
What drew you to jewelry?
Industrial design seemed really rigid to me; I thought I had to be a perfectionist. Creating jewelry is more freeing and my creativity flows seamlessly. I am also fascinated by gemology and always loved science. Jewelry design is the perfect merger of science and art to me.
“Build helped to broaden my horizons about what my business could be – after the class I thought of it as less of a hobby and more of a sustainable, long-term business.”
Tell us about your experience in Build Institute?
Build helped me first and foremost in developing a solid business plan. I was able to figure out concrete numbers and develop a grounded idea of my business. It made things more tangible for me – the business plan wasn’t so foreign or overwhelming in the class environment and with the support of my peers. I had started my business plan two years ago, but I put it aside after becoming overwhelmed; I figured I’d finish it one day. Build forced me to attack it again, until completion.
What was the most helpful aspect of the class?
The class really helped to ground me and gave me confidence to complete my business plan and move forward. I found out I actually knew a lot more than I thought I did!
Build also instilled in me a bigger idea for social entrepreneurship. It also helped to broaden my horizons about what my business could be – after the class I thought of it as less of a hobby and more of a sustainable, long-term business.
What are your latest developments after Build?
I am in the midst of approaching businesses for new wholesale accounts. I am also investigating funding for capital. Another website is also forthcoming!
As far as my designs – I am branching out into larger, bolder pieces. I started out with a more minimalist aesthetic, but recently my designs have gotten bigger and I am using more materials and more color while still maintaining the versatility of the pieces.
What’s in the future for The D Collection?
I want The D Collection to be a staple in Detroit. Everyone loves Detroit t-shirts and memorabilia. I want it to become a brand that people recognize. In the long term I hope to expand the line and add new products. I also want to develop the social and philanthropic side to my business by creating jewelry-based scholarships for youth. I’d also like to add more male appropriate jewelry including new cuff links, lapel pins, rings, and belt buckles. I have a million plans but only two hands, one brain and 12 hours a day! Interns will be very much appreciated!