Charm Schooled: Talking Personalization and Entrepreneurship With EF’s Emily Faith
EF founder Emily Faith is taking her love for personalization to the next level. Diamond studded nicknames and aspirational phrases have always been a key part of the EF aesthetic--“It’s pretty simple,” as Emily puts it, there’s literally no better way to say it than in diamonds!”--and with the launch of her new charm collection the Emily is expanding the customizability of her work, making it more unique than ever before.SHOP EF COLLECTION HERE!
Emily was inspired by her own fondness for charms, which she switches out depending on her mood. “I currently wear FAITH (my middle name) and I never take off my custom EMILY name bracelet!” she says, and she wanted to make it easier for EF girls to follow her example in creating their own one of a kind looks. “I selected my favorite motifs from my collection,” she says, “And put particular combinations together that I personally love and felt the #EFCgirl would resonate with. But knowing that they would likely want to take it further, they can create a fully custom charm necklace that is 100% their own.”
Female creativity and entrepreneurship has always been at the heart of Emily’s creative practice. “Now more than ever,” she says, “Working alongside driven, creative, smart women is exciting and empowering.” Emily is a member of the Female Founders Collective, a network dedicated to supporting and amplifying the voices of female owned and led businesses, and for her, encouraging other women is a huge part of what makes working in the jewelry world so great. “I constantly instill in my team that we are a unit,” she says, “And that we are all responsible for both the successes and the challenges/mistakes we face. When women truly come together they can do anything they set their mind to!”
“When it comes to starting a business,” Emily adds, “It’s important to remember there are no rules and no one has a magic wand to dictate how it all happens and come together.” But there are a few practices she always recommends other female founders follow when getting their own businesses off the ground. “You have to follow your gut, make smart decisions, ask a million questions, have a select group of those you confide in and look to for guidance and most importantly, no matter what industry - treat your customers the way you want to be treated,” she emphasizes. “Go above and beyond to make the client happy and have the best overall experience with your product.”
It was this bottomless curiosity that first inspired Emily to begin selling her own jewelry, starting off small in a neighborhood hair salon whose owners supported her creative vision. “I started EF very naively and actually fell into the world of jewelry. It was the perfect blend of my love for the arts and fashion,” says Emily, who majored in Art History in college. She used her passion for aesthetics to create her own unique jewelry style, inspired by her love for a diverse mix of historical artists, everyone from Michelangelo to Rodin to the photographer Richard Avedon. At first, Emily shares, “I was a one man show but over the course of nine years have surrounded myself with an incredible, all-female team. I have the important role of guiding the team, but each and every member in turn inspires me, teaches me and pushes me to be better. It’s exciting and empowering because when an amazing group of women come together – watch out!!!”
I design delicate pieces that can be worn and enjoyed everyday with a chic, sexy and feminine feel.
Of course, as the business grew, so did the new challenges and creative opportunities in Emily’s path. “Right now is an exciting time because the way of doing business is changing…daily! With the growth of technology and everyone getting more accustomed to browsing/shopping online, it’s all about creating a special virtual experience for the customer.” Successfully expanding into the digital space helped EF connect with a global audience of jewelry lovers, “With tools like Instagram, we are able to readily showcase our new collections and to a broader range of people, more quickly. We can inspire and show our clients how to wear and style our pieces.” One of Emily’s favorite things about social media is the opportunity to partner with other brands whose digital presence she loves. “We are always looking for ways to engage and expand our social media presence,” she says. “We have found great success with Takeovers, Giveaways, and Brand Partnerships. It’s really fun to link up with other brands that align with EF to cross promote and create more of a lifestyle approach to how we promote our jewelry.”
This expanded field of engagement can be exciting, “However,” shares Emily, “With this technology there are challenges that come along as well – I think most notably the balance of creating content that is both beautiful and authentic. The pressure of telling a story that is fun and captivating and is updated consistently. At times it’s exhausting and a full time job in itself!”
Emily has seen first hand the way that of the moment digital technologies have changed the jewelry game. “Instagram has revolutionized the way we communicate our craft with…the world!” she says. “I personally am inspired by the comments and requests from clients. Often times we add pieces into the collection that are consistently requested by our clients.”
One of her most social media popular innovations? Personalization! “Personalization is really having a moment,” says Emily. “Everyone wants something unique - I am always trying to find fun ways to make my pieces extra special with the ability to customize.” Emily recently got an opportunity to design her own ultimate one of a kind wearable artwork--her engagement ring. “My fiancé knew I would want to be involved in the design process,” she says. “He sourced the stone and then together we worked on the design with my amazing production team. It really is such a unique, special and fun process, but at times can be intimidating.” Inspired by her own experience, she is hard at work on a new bridal line. “We work in an industry where for the most part, pieces are purchased for celebratory occasions,” shares Emily. “I love being a small part of those special moments. This is one of the many highlights for me working in the fine jewelry world.”