Today we’d like to introduce you to Cara Elysse.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cara. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Three things have been a part of my life since childhood: my love of fiction, my need for bold accessories, and my obsession with rocks and crystals. When I didn’t have my nose buried in a book, you could find me growing crystals with my science kit or creating jewelry for myself and my loved ones. Fast forward 20 years, and I found a way to integrate all three of my passions. In the summer of 2018, I was bored with the monotony of my daily routine and picked up sculpting as a hobby. At this point, I had also accumulated a massive crystal collection, and I had a few pieces that I wanted to wear as jewelry. I searched the internet high and low for style inspiration, but nothing really caught my eye. One day I decided to just wing it to see what I could come up with, and the end result was a Cthulhu inspired citrine pendant, complete with tentacles (I had just finished reading an H.P. Lovecraft anthology collection). That piece was never completely finished, but it was as if something shifted inside me that day and I knew I had finally found my niche. I figured I could get my energy right, give a subtle nod to my favorite fictional characters, AND express my individuality through accessorizing. Four months after that fateful day, Gilded Grotto made its debut on the jewelry scene. Fast forward ten months later, and here I am as a full-time entrepreneur, living a life I only dreamed of living.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Before I left my job, I struggled with the uncertainty and instability that I knew I would be walking into with full-time entrepreneurship. Thankfully, I haven’t run into any major challenges. I would have to say my biggest challenge at the moment is time management. As of right now, I’m a one-woman show, and I get so caught up creating pieces, answering emails, updating my site, photographing my pieces, photographing myself IN my pieces, going on supply runs, researching crystals, creating social media content, doing pop up events, and planning for the future of the Grotto that I forget to stop, breathe, and take care of myself. Thankfully, I have an amazing support team that tries to help when they can and also reminds me to eat (lol).
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gilded Grotto – what should we know?
Gilded Grotto is a brand that specializes in unique, one of a kind crystal jewelry that caters to everyone, no matter their style or where they are on their spiritual journey. The name “Gilded Grotto”, is a nod to two of my favorite things: the color gold, and the sea. When I started looking for crystal jewelry to wear, I could only find copper and sterling silver. Being the gaudy goddess that I am, I like a little more flash in my life, so I work primarily with raw brass and gold-filled jewelry. The “Grotto” in the name is a nod to a certain redhead mermaid’s grotto, which, much like mine, is filled with a diverse collection of thingamabobs. This diversity is what I am most proud of as a company. When I say I have something for everyone, I mean EVERYONE. I make pieces for the earthy crystal guru, the bold and gaudy goddess, and I have something for those who prefer dainty jewelry and know nothing about crystals. My favorite thing to do as a designer is to introduce people to the world (and power) of crystals who might have never given them a second thought. I think what sets me apart is my creative process, the inspiration behind my designs, and the love and attention to detail I put into each piece. How often will you come across a Black Panther inspired necklace made with Hematite and Larvikite? Or a Green Aventurine heart chakra piece inspired by the Riddler (complete with tiny bowler hat)?
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think staying true to myself and my mission while maintaining a level of adaptability will be the key to my success.
- Website: www.gildedgrotto.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @gildedgrotto
- Other: Gildedgrotto.etsy.com