Apr 11, 2011

gryphon jewelry designs

I met Heather Clegg of Gryphon Jewelry Designs on line back when Dinkybird Boutique was just beginning. I was immediately impressed by her beautiful jewelry and honored that she was interested in possibly using my flowers in her designs. Heather is heavily involved in charity work, especially services that deal with women in need, which is very cool.

Check out her "Birds of a Feather" piece made with
indigo ribbon, silver plated pins, Swarovski bicones, and peacock feathers:
And these cluster earrings sorely tempt me:

This piece is called Sugar Plum: Swarovski pearls and rounds on sterling silver.

Heather answered my questions so eloquently that I'm just going to let her speak for herself here on out.

I officially began Gryphon Designs, LLC in May 2010. The road getting there has taken more than a decade. Sometimes life happens, plans change, and you have a choice...Life is really how you handle Plan B.

I’ve always had an “artsy side” and developed my business skills over the years through lots of blood, sweat and tears. I have to say that my husband’s genuine encouragement, ability to honestly critique, and his unwavering faith in me and my abilities really propelled me forward. I started small, learned (and keep learning) from mistakes and learned to improvise at a moment’s notice.

I am, at my core, driven by having a sense of purpose. Before starting my business, my identity was mostly defined through my job title and what I did for a living. As a business owner, that sense of purpose and identity has dramatically changed. I gain a tremendous amount of satisfaction in taking on and overcoming challenges that I never dreamed possible. My sense of accomplishment/sense of purpose is no longer tied to a job title or a promotion; it comes from a stronger sense of self and my abilities to handle whatever comes my way.

You may laugh, but my biggest frustration is directly related to what I gain the most satisfaction from as a business owner. Most business owners will tell you that they wear a multitude of hats each and every day. Small business owners’ hats get multiplied immensely! Everyday, when I wake up I have the roles of Public Relations/Media director, Advertising Agent, Photographer, Book-keeper/Accountant, Shipping Department, Web Designer, Inventory Manager, Head of Logistics, Wholesaler, Corporate Strategist…and somewhere in there I have to make time to come up with the designs and then make them a reality. And that’s only the business part of my life.

I work all hours of the night and day in a variety of locations (my office, home, car, restaurants, etc). Curiously, one can’t plan when creativity hits so you just have to go with it if your eyes fly open at 3:00am. I’m grateful for Bluetooth headpieces, strong coffee, Google calendar and good red wine as they all help me through each day.

At the same time, I have to say that I’m incredibly blessed that my schedule is so flexible. Owning my own business allows me to work with my husband on his business, take care of our home, contribute to my local community through service and still have time for my family & girlfriends. Does everything happen smoothly? Absolutely not. That’s part of the journey I’m continually learning to embrace.

My husband, Bill, and I live in Bonita Springs, Florida. We love the outdoors so we take advantage of living in the sunshine state!

I am a true Florida native, raised in Gainesville and completed undergraduate and graduate school at Florida State University.

I’m actively involved in several charitable organizations and passionate about giving back to the communities where I live and was raised. I developed a “Sweet Charity” jewelry line within Gryphon Designs where proceeds go to non-profit organizations assisting women and children in the state of Florida.

When I have a moment to spare, I love to cook, fish and golf with my hubby and spend time with family and friends.

And finally, Heather shares some inspiration:

When I was going through a very difficult time in my life, I spent a lot of time alone reading. On a whim that I cannot explain, I purchased an over-priced bookmark at a local Hallmark store. Very simply, it changed my world and how I choose to look at it, even today. I keep it out to remind me of two simple things: 1) Even the simplest idea can be transformational if you let it…2) Well, the second one has everything to do with you and what you do with this uncomplicated knowledge you are about to receive.

The bookmark reads: She believed she could, so she did.

Bravo! I love that thought! And thanks to Heather taking time out of a very busy schedule to share some insights on her business with us!

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