Libby Trajkovski of Goldeluxe Jewelry
Between my other business A Wool Story and Rosemarine Textiles, I have been a creative small business owner on a consistent basis for the last four years. It's definitely been a journey and a learning process! One of the most inspiring parts of running your own creative business is connecting with other people who are working towards the similar goals of expressing themselves creatively through their work and making a living.
When I first moved to Detroit in 2015, Libby was one of my first friends. We met through Instagram, chatted over a cup of coffee and became friends! She has been such a guiding light for me as a friend and as a business mentor. She has a very successful business called Goldeluxe Jewelry and has been a constant support and inspiration to me.
I'm excited to start this interview series and of course Libby had to be the first I feature. In my effort to help continue to connect with this community of creative women owned businesses here in Detroit I'm excited to share the work of some of my friends and favorite local business owners - what their creative process is like, the day-to-day of running their businesses, and what they're working towards.
How long have you been in business?
I've been in business for four years in this iteration - but Goldeluxe started a vintage and reclaimed vintage jewelry Etsy in 2008. I now work full time on Goldeluxe and have recently taken on my first employee, Britt, in October 2017.
Where is your jewelry made?
In my home studio in Russell Woods on the west side of Detroit. My husband and I bought a beautiful fixer upper last summer and I use the third floor as my work space. It has beautiful natural light and is the perfect size for what I need. I love working from home and being able to have my dog Tucker with me during the day.
What does a normal day look like for you?
I wake up around 7am to let my dog Tucker out. Then I enjoy a quiet and slow morning with a cup of black tea and reading a book (currently reading A Column of Fire by Ken Follett). After tea and reading I do yoga. I started incorporating daily yoga into my routine a few months ago with the Yoga with Adriene 30 Days of Yoga challenge and have continued to practice daily ever since. Around 9:30 am I get showered and ready for the day, then start working in my studio.
On a typical day I work on emails and computer work until 1 or 2pm, then I take a break for lunch and to take Tucker for a walk. After lunch, I work on making jewelry until around 6pm when I take orders to the post office for shipping.
I love cooking plant based meals - particularly with sweet potatoes and chickpeas - and I often make dinner for my husband and myself around 7pm. After that I just relax and hang out with my husband and go to bed around 10 or 11pm.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned in running your own business?
You have to motivate yourself because no one is going to do it for you! If you want to be your own boss you really have to find a way to focus and get your work done. I love having the flexibility of working for myself and my desire to not get another job is a great motivator to make sure I do my work and stay on track.
What are your goals for Goldeluxe?
Right now I'm working on improving my stone setting technique. I just finished up a stone setting class and am working towards being able to make more fine jewelry. I really want to be able to offer engagement rings and experiment more with using stones in my collection.
What's next for your business?
I have a new collection coming out this fall so I'm pretty excited about that.
I'm also going to the trade show New York Now for the second time this August with a group of other Detroit handmade businesses. Going to NY Now has been a great opportunity to connect with more stores and grow my business. I'm also working on continuing to expand into more stores internationally - Goldeluxe is now carried in China and Canada with more countries coming soon!
What's the favorite part of your creative process?
I love designing a new collection. I never know what the pieces will look like until I get them in metal - it's always really unexpected and exciting. As a part of my design process I often sketch random drawings, and if something excites me then I try to make it.
What is your least favorite part of the process?
The production aspect. I love making jewelry, but when you've made something many times it's not as interesting to work on.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of working on Goldeluxe?
I love reading novels. I have a kindle and it's so easy to take my reading with me anywhere I go because of that. I also really enjoy playing the piano, we recently got one for our house and I've been practicing whenever I can. In the summer I love to spend time going to the lake with my dog Tucker and my husband Alex.
What are your favorite places to go in Detroit?
If you're interested in the series I would love it if you could share other small business owners and creatives you'd like me to interview here on the blog in the comments. Thanks for reading!