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Meet Tiffany Kunz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Kunz.

Tiffany, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My Grandmother was a jewelry designer so I was introduced to her love for all things sparkly and vibrant from as young as I can remember.

When I was in grade school, my Grandmother hosted my Mom, and sister and I for an afternoon of squishing and shaping these long silly pieces of colorful plastic into abstract jewelry items. It was the 80’s so the more iridescent and neon the better! We would heat the strips in pans on the stove and create weird shapes and then superglue studs or clasps onto them. I think in horror now how bad those fumes must have been for us and the environment but it was very fun and the start to my love for creating shapes, that day had a big impact on me.

When I was in my early 20’s, I found a local bead shop and quickly became enthralled with wire wrapping, making earrings and necklaces for friends and family. Then upon arriving in LA a few years later, I found a jewelry production job with a local design house. That led to an assistant designer position and eventually a head designer position. It all happened pretty quickly and I felt in over my head so I took a step back and went to school for design and gemology. After I graduated, I created my namesake line and company.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The jobs I’ve had in the industry were incredibly helpful but didn’t come without their challenges as anyone in fashion or design has probably experienced. School was a very positive challenge that really stretched me. I had supportive teachers and classmates and feel very thankful for that base to launch my own company off of.

The most difficult times have been in the 13 years since I formed my business. As a woman in this industry, I haven’t always felt safe. It has taught me how to take control in situations I’m uncomfortable with and to find spaces and working relationships that are healthy.

Alright – so let’s talk business.  What else should we know about you and your career so far?
When I started Tiffany Kunz Jewelry we were in the midst of the recession. I had trained in fine jewelry but knew that as an unknown and young designer, it would be challenging to find customers that could afford and would be willing to trust me with custom projects so I started to create jewelry in silver and eventually bronze. I focused on using only reclaimed metals and fair trade stones which people were placing more and more importance on but was still somewhat of a newer concept at that time.

As the years have gone by, I’ve been able to transition and now mainly focus on everyday fine jewelry collections and create custom pieces for people as well. In wanting to be a company that is conscious of the impact we have on this earth, it makes a lot of sense to me to make items that people will keep around and pass down. Every time I am commissioned for a one of a kind item, it brings a lot of joy and satisfaction to be able to provide someone with what they truly want.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
So many people! My husband Bob, he was very patient with me as I started this company and would help me process through whatever might have been bothering me. My parents and sister have also always been a huge support and have kept me uplifted when I’ve had rough days.

I’ve had many wonderful friends who’ve worked with me over the years in a tiny studio in my house. I am very grateful to them for putting up with my kooky ideas of how to run a business, my constant pivoting and asking for their help to figure out things neither of us knew how to do.

I’ve had wonderful sales reps that we’re able to connect my brand with awesome stores that took a chance on me, many of whom I’m still in contact with even though I focus mainly on direct to consumer now.

Other designers, teachers, classmates, and past co-workers that have introduced me to their contacts and commiserated with me over whatever stresses we were working through. And my jewelers and suppliers, what would I do without them and their expertise and guidance. I feel incredibly fortunate to have met and worked with so many cool folks throughout the years!

Contact Info:

  • Website: Tiffanykunz.com
  • Email: tk@tiffanykunz.com
  • Instagram: @Tiffanykunzjewelry

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