Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz Townsend.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a native Angeleno, raised by my parents who fled Vietnam during the Vietnam War. My parents left their country with only two suitcases to their names and came to America to rebuild their lives. They went on to have four children and sacrificed so that we could have everything they didn’t. As the oldest child, I found my interest in crafting at a young age. I was always very independent and curious. My mother was a professional seamstress and she taught me how to use her sewing machines. I took great pleasure in the process of creating outfits for my dolls. I learned how to make jewelry, knit, crochet, and cross-stitch. My creations littered our family home– to the point where my parents often told me to spend less time crafting and to go outside and play.
Many of those interests took a pause while attending UCLA and later while working in the corporate world in Human Resources on the East Coast. After moving back to LA and having my children, I rediscovered my love for creating. After all, being a mom means doing lots of crafts! I started making jewelry for myself and for my daughter. That turned into making jewelry for family and friends. Next thing I knew, I was launching a jewelry company. I found this to be perfect for this stage in my life. As a mother, my first priority is my family and next is myself. I knew I did not want to go back to working in an office. This gave me the opportunity to do something fun on my time while still being there for my increasingly active kids.
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?
2020 has been and interesting time for me and for everyone in the world, to say the least. In the past couple of years, I have been selling at many artisan markets in the LA area. That all came to a screeching halt when the pandemic hit. I found myself wondering where my business would go this year and I didn’t really have a plan. My husband and kids were also home 24/7, so taking care of them became a priority. Once we all settled into our quarantine routines, I saw a need in the marketplace where I could use my skills to do some good. I pivoted from jewelry and started making fabric face masks for adults and kids in many fun and stylish patterns, They are currently one of my top-selling items and I donate some of the proceeds from mask sales to organizations helping those affected by COVID.
Please tell us about Sand + Sky Jewelry.
In 2016, I launched my line on Etsy which included dainty and elegant pieces all handmade by me. My line included fine chains, delicate beads and minimalist designs, made for casual everyday wear or for a night out. I’m drawn to gold and rose gold. I think they compliment everyone’s skin tone beautifully, so they are the bulk of the jewelry I make. In 2019, I relaunched as Sand + Sky Jewelry, selling on my own website and also on Etsy. My style is mostly minimalist, made for layering and is inspired by the coastal lifestyle of Santa Monica, where I reside.
As I was brainstorming ideas for my company redesign, my daughter had painted a beach scene with an inviting and warm sand against a blue sky. It really struck me. My daughter is a creative artist and crafter herself and I draw so much inspiration from her. I loved her painting so much that I ultimately used it as the background for my logo and based my company name and brand around it.
Today, I still source, design and make every single piece of jewelry myself. Not one thing I do is outsourced. I put my entire heart and soul into my designs and aim to provide the best product and service possible because Sand + Sky Jewelry represents me as a person, not a company.
Looking forward, I am so excited to be working on a collaboration with Graffiti Library, a candle and fragrance brand focused on creating a platform for artists. Our new line will include delicate and fun bracelets and anklets. We will be launching in the coming weeks so please stay tuned!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When my siblings and I were older kids, our parents bought a boat. We used to go to Castaic Lake near Magic Mountain every weekend. My parents would spend the morning fishing while my siblings and I played along the shoreline. I never really took to fishing, as I was very squeamish around worms and live bait. Later in the day, my parents would return from fishing and we would spend the rest our time water skiing and tubing. I remember how much fun it was cruising through the waves until your arms and legs were so tired that you either wiped out or had to let go. We would each take turns skiing and being in charge of the flag that signaled other boats that someone was in the water. My dad would sometimes let me drive the boat which was also super fun and exciting. I would fall asleep from sheer exhaustion on the drive home every time.
- Double Chain Gemstone Charm Bracelet $45
- Gemstone Threader Earrings $52
- Opal and Cubic Zirconia Evil Eye Necklace $75
- Cotton Reusable Face Mask With Filter Pocket $12 – $16
- Website: www.sandandskyjewelry.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/sandandskyjewelry
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/sandandskyjewelry