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Meet Gina Murphy of Close by Me Jewelry in North Orange County – Huntington Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina Murphy.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I will be the first person to admit that my business is unconventional, which is perhaps why I feel the need to write this. It is not every person’s dream to work with loss and grief on a regular basis, hence, why it is reserved for those of us who feel the strength to confront it as often as we do. These two things, loss and grief, have been no stranger in my life. I lost my mom when I was 17 and my dad when I was 25, in many ways these two events have helped to shape the trajectory of my life toward my occupation. My mom and I were very close and I still remember vividly the day I received the news that she had gone as far from me as she ever could. I believe that the connections we forge never truly leave us and this is a connection that I continue to draw on as inspiration for my pieces. I see traces of my mom in my everyday life and am glad to have them, even as intangible as they are. Despite my belief that grief is a continuous effect throughout a person’s life, I have grown tremendously since each of these events have come to pass. This is also why I firmly believe that creating memorial jewelry was not a random occurrence but something that I was meant to do; in other words, my “calling”. I do often feel selfish as well, because each piece I create to honor a deep connection aids my own healing. Having gone through what I have, I found myself examining my own grief and decided that I may be able to help others in some small way to honor a connection they had created with a loved one. This is what my jewelry stands for and I hope it assists each and every client I have with their own process of grief and offer them something tangible to carry with them through all of the adventures life has to offer them.

Has it been a smooth road?
Although I love what I do, it has been very far from a smooth road from my beginnings to today. There have been many bumps and curves along the way that I have had to learn how to navigate with no business or jewelry background. When I set out to start my own business, I didn’t realize how much it would take, both in time and financially. Every step of the way has brought new surprises and challenges, some that are welcome and some that are a little less. Either way, I do feel like these challenges have made me an overall more business savvy person than I ever thought I would be and someone who is more able to roll with the punches. Some of the things I have learned are that, regardless of the intentions of starting a business, this is a vehicle to make money; something that allows me to keep a roof over my and my three boy’s heads and food in our mouths. I guess I just wasn’t aware of the bottom-line when I started and this is something that I have had to make sure I pay attention to on a daily basis. I also didn’t realize how many connections a small business must have to thrive, so forging these connections has been a big help to me overall. I cannot thank enough all of the people who have given me advice along the way, I really owe a lot of my success to them.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with close by me jewelry – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The most delicate way to talk about what I do may still seem shocking to some: I make cremation jewelry. In short, I take the ashes of a beloved person or pet and set them into a piece of jewelry to create a wearable remembrance. My pieces are most known for their subtlety which showcases the natural color of the ashes while still maintaining a uniqueness that I believe is absent from traditional urn jewelry. I believe the unique designs that I set into each piece really do help to take something that could be seen traditionally as “morbid” and turn it into something beautiful, which I believe represents the connections between the hearts of my clients and their loved ones. Traditional urn jewelry does hide the ashes and I wanted to stray away from that by using my patented process to keep them visible and I think this is the most impactful feature of my jewelry that sets me apart.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The things that I like best about the area where I live are kind of hard to put into words; it’s more of a feeling. I like having everything I need at my fingertips, I love the diversity and the beauty of the ocean and the lifestyle. I love almost everything. I lived in Central California when I was younger, so the hardest transition has been the density and especially the traffic. Also, sometimes I feel that there is a conception about Southern Californians being entitled and I try to defy that as I don’t think it’s true in most cases.

Pricing:

  • Sterling Silver – $120 – $510
  • 14K Yellow, Rose, or White Gold – $320 – $110
  • Custom Jewelry Options Also Available Starting at ~$300

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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