Designers Who Work It: Objets d’Envy Designer Kirsten Goede Works Sparkle into the Business Bauble

by Rachel Yeomans | January 8th, 2010   

You may have an amazing suit, with a pair of amazing shoes and a fantastic handbag – but you still blend into the crowd during your work event. Jewelry is one of the easiest tools to stand out in a crowd and even draw people to you with a gasp exclaiming, “I love your necklace!”, “Your ring is fantastic!”, “Where did you get that bracelet?!”, etc. For more on networking with jewelry, check out our earlier post on the topic HERE. A woman who specializes in jewelry to make such an eye-catching statement is Chicago designer, Kirsten Goede, the woman behind the Swarovski sparkle of Objets d’Envy.

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It all started in the New York City bead district. Goede discovered a handful of blue and green baubles that would soon turn into her bestselling Rock Candy collection. Just as the women at a networking event exclaiming over enticing jewelry, Goede had the same reaction to these items that would soon elicit that same reaction – “These would be cool as a bracelet!” she exclaimed at the time. And she was right. “People were stopping me everywhere,” said Goede.

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With a background in graphic design, Goede was anxious to get out of 2D and into 3D; “plus I have an affinity to working with my hands,” she said. And after doing some investigating of the Swarovski crystal, she decided that her Rock Candy would bring her into the third dimension. She started with only selling the bracelets. “It was very naive of me,” she admitted. Officially launching in October 2004, Goede created the bracelet in six different colors, and within three months she earned her money back, although she said that was primarily because of her friends and family. The next step was for her to market outside her immediate connections. So naturally, she sent a bracelet to Oprah. She did not receive a call from Oprah, but rather from editor-at-large for O, the Oprah Magazine, Gayle King, who was excited to inform Goede that King wore the bracelet at the 2005 Academy Awards.

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And in just one more year, Goede was able to officially move into 3D, and took her business full time. However as she mentioned earlier, she realized quickly that she had to make different kinds of jewelry. Now Goede not only boasts bracelets among her repertoire, but also necklaces, earrings, rings and even jewelry for children! Her other collections include: Rock Candy, Luster & Bright, Mélange, Confection, and Cachet. She also is only a handful of jewelry designers who work with Swarovski crystals. “There are not many of us, even in the entire country,” said Goede. “I love the sparkle of Swarovksi,” she said, “and the vibrant, visual impact of crystal.” Goede works directly with Swarovski to ensure that she receives the best quality of crystal and also gets it first.

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So who buys from Goede? “I have two segments of customers,” she said. Typically her client ranges in age from 28 to 58 and is either a professional woman who has a fond association with Swarovski or others who say, ‘I just like the color/sparkle’. “Jewelry is very personal and I respect that,” said Goede. So when a customer says that a necklace is just ‘too big for her’, she listens and works with what makes them comfortable. A few suggestions that she does make may include what colors would work best with skin tones and hair color. For example, if you have blonde hair, Goede would suggest not to purchase yellow earrings as they would be hidden and not appreciated. Goede also listens to her clients as well – “Some of my best ideas come from my clients,” she said, “and I put it through my filter, see if it fits my mission, and see where it goes.”

With the working woman in mind, Goede thinks that what she needs is one great pair of earrings. “They wear a lot of collars, button-up collars…their necklines are unpredictable, but you can always see your ears and it draws people to your face,” she said. Regarding color, Goede suggested to wear a neutral color such as smoke or caramel in matte crystals. They are everyday, lightweight, and will no doubt elicit a gasp at the next business event.

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Like what you see?

Click HERE to win Goede’s popular Ligne necklace during TheWorkingWardrobe January giveaway!

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