Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
Around 2010 I decided to purchase a set of jewelry for myself. The hope was to find something unique that had a story behind it or stood for something empowering, like my own personal family crest, class ring, or Super Bowl ring since I came from nothing and didn't graduate college or play in the pros. What I knew was that I didn't want something generic or something that everyone else had.
A search that I thought would last hours, lasted weeks. Was I really expected to wear these dinky, meaningless accessories from the department stores? After an unfruitful quest, I decided that I would use my art and sculpture background to make something myself. I developed a story for the design from my own experience and that became the inspiration for the piece; A man suffers some trials in life (flaming sword), learns from them (1 snake for wisdom), picks himself back up and reinvents himself (another snake for rebirth), and, through obsessive hard work, builds a foundation to protect himself and grow upon (shield). Now I had my story and what I wanted to portray, so I picked up a block of casting wax and some dental tools, and got to work. 100 hours later, I had my first ring that I sent off to be casted. It was badass and I loved how wearing it gave me a sense of pride and reminded me where I came from and what I was striving for.
From there I could never purchase something standard again. I continued to make more designs and, piece-after-piece, I began telling stories through jewelry that embodied a purpose and empowered everyone that saw it. Requests started coming in for specific motifs and custom jewelry. Once my clients experienced the fulfillment and recognition that came from wearing my pieces, there was no going back. Many years later, I'm fortunate to say that a huge number of my clients are repeat customers, and some of them own up to 10 pieces, each representing different aspects of their life and their unique grind in this world. Together, we share a bond and philosophical brotherhood that is rooted in the drive to always be improving in every aspect of life.
Challenges along the way
Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been neither smooth nor short, but the obstacles continue to help us make our way. In the beginning, I had no experience with jewelry or business. So there was a lot to learn and I was determined to learn it as quickly as possible, so that I could effectively share my passion with the world.
First, I had to learn how to make jewelry, obviously. Most would-be jewelry designers imagine themselves at a bench, carving each piece by hand. I started on that route and educated myself in those arts, but I'm only one man with two hands, so how was I going to share my designs with the world if I was slowly making one piece at a time? It was technology that helped me innovate my way around this obstacle. Adapting digital sculpting and 3D printing allowed me to scale and offer jewelry that has microscopic detail and precision. I still sculpt every piece myself, but now it is sculpted digitally on a large tablet. We also have a team of highly skilled craftsmen that utilize ancient arts, such as lost wax casting and pave' setting, but the marriage of cutting-edge technology and old-world artistry is what allows us to effectively create my intricate designs.
Creation is a lifelong commitment to learning, with no finish line, so I will always continue to improve and innovate. But, once I reached the point where I could efficiently create world-class jewelry, the next obstacle arose, and the next after that... There have been countless impediments to progress, but my philosophy is to attack each obstacle as it arises. The better I become at overcoming obstacles, the sooner I can reach my goals. As Marcus Aurelius said "The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
About your Business
Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
Proclamation Jewelry is an alliance of like-minded individuals, bound together by our shared passion for the relentless pursuit of evolution. We believe that, if you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards, and our mission is to empower our patrons to fulfill their unique purpose. Together we hope to inspire others in achieving philosophical, relational, financial and physical success and happiness in life.
We are most proud of the caliber of customers we are so fortunate to work with daily. Every client has a unique purpose and inspiring story to tell. From professionals and entrepreneurs, to athletes, heads of state, musicians and entertainers, we love seeing first-hand the paths they are blazing. There is nothing I enjoy more than translating their daring stories into jewelry - the physical representation of their conquest.
With my background in sculpture, we have become well known for the intricately-carved motifs that portray grand ideas, such as skulls, lions, and dragons. The two-tone of yellow and white gold, teamed with tasteful accents of diamonds and gemstones has also become a signature of the brand. It is no surprise that organizations such as the Lamborghini Festival and other Championships have aligned their brands with ours, since we specialize in celebrating the heights of human achievement.
How do you, personally, define success? What’s your criteria, the markers you’re looking out for, etc?
My definition of success is constantly evolving, but there are elements that remains the same, including the pursuit of freedom in all aspects of life, fulfillment in health, wealth, love and happiness, and the ability to help others achieve the same.
I am incredibly fortunate to be able to say that I wake up every day excited to do what I love. That is something that, sadly, most people will never experience. Team that with a perfect family and it is difficult to find things to complain about... That being said, life is growth and there is always room for improvement. Currently, I am working on scaling my business, while simultaneously making more time to spend with my growing family - a feat that, I admit, is a work-in-progress.
As we grow, personally and professionally, there are certain metrics that we can track to gauge our success. In my business, the important metrics go well beyond the standards, such as gross and net sales, ROI, and conversion rate. We are committed to constantly improving in other, less conventional areas, such as leading product development, lifetime customer experience, and repeat business and loyalty. In the personal arena, I believe an unconventional approach is necessary as well, unless you are willing to settle for standard results.