Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Visit from Katie Bartels

As you can imagine, I find lines (or they find me) for Zoe in myriad ways!  In May of last year, I wrote about a site that connects buyers with designers (JOOR).  In late May/early June, I got a request on the site to connect with a jewelry designer named Katie Bartels.  When you get a request, you can look at the offerings of the designer, the price points (both wholesale and retail) and can link directly to their website to learn more about them and their designers.  The site is used by large, well-established designers (like Tracy Reese and Rebecca Taylor) as well as small, independent designers.

I took a look at Katie's designs and her website.  I loved her creative use of color and different materials as well as her beautiful pictures and detailed descriptions of the composition of each piece.  I also liked her passion for "giving back" and her history of leaving the corporate world to start her own business.  We traded some emails but before I made a purchase, I wanted to speak with her on the phone.  It all goes back to relationships and if I feel a connection with this person who will be doing business with Zoe.

We had a lovely phone conversation early one morning and our business relationship was born!  I placed an order within the week.  And Katie has been nothing less than fantastic to work with!  I have had two instances where I had an item in store, it got purchased by someone and then someone else wanted it too!  She has twice drop shipped items to my customers on my behalf.  And the coach's wives at the University of Georgia LOVE her Janna earrings!

Katie was headed to DC when Superstorm Sandy hit our region and New York City (where she lives).  We had hoped to meet in person during her visit that week but with train travel between our cities canceled, we had to put it off.

When Katie was able to reschedule for early December, I couldn't wait to have her visit Zoe!  She and her friend stopped by to see us one December afternoon.  She is just what you would imagine a jewelry designer to be - fun and fashionable.  And one thing we know about Katie - she loves sparkle!  She came in to the store and showed me and Tara the sparkle tape she had just purchased from Paper Source on King Street!  (It was such fun to later see that show up on her Facebook page and her blog!)  And we were loving her ring selection for the day!

Katie has also brought me a couple of pieces I had ordered (now that is delivery service!!!)  Tara took a picture of me perusing our new items.

Katie stayed to visit with us and tell us tales of NYC and her past (India, Korea) and upcoming (Iceland) travels.  I told her that I live vicariously through her!  She is delightful in every way and I love carrying her beautiful pieces at Zoe!

She does a great blog too - you can follow her at Passports and Pearls!  I do!

Next up:  It Must Be the Month of Jewelry

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