Shop Name, Location, Type of Goods Sold: Fresh Tangerine / Seattle, WA / Handmade Jewelry
Tell us a little bit about how Fresh Tangerine came to be. I was working at a day job that I didn’t really like, and I was really wanting to go back to France and travel more. I also couldn’t really see myself working in a corporate office job, and I knew I had to find a way to have a flexible job that would allow me to travel. I originally started Fresh Tangerine with the idea that it would be a side job to supplement a teaching income in France. I bought a bunch of supplies, signed up for some local craft shows in Portland, and spent every night and weekend designing, making jewelry, and trying to establish my brand. After the holidays, I was approached by CRAVE (a guide book that features female owned businesses in different cities.) I spent another 9 months working full time and spending all of my free time on my business. In August 2011, I was able to quit my day job to work on Fresh Tangerine full time.
Talk about your style. These days I’m all about being comfortable both in what I wear and the space that I’m in. My go-to outfit is a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a loose blazer. My team likes to tell me that I’m the master of the “casual blazer.” I tried to make the studio feel warm and welcoming, so that when you come to work or to visit, you feel like you’re coming home.
Do you have a favorite part of your shop + why? I love how open the studio is and that people can visit, shop, and see how everything is made.
Where does your inspiration come from? Everywhere! I love to travel, and I try to incorporate my experiences and what I’ve seen into my designs. I’m a very visual person, so I try to always keep an inspiration board.
Tell us about some of your biggest achievements and challenges. The best and hardest thing was quitting my day job. I started my business and worked full time at my day for almost a year. I woke up after my last day of work feeling both excited/free and terrified. Another great moment was when I was in a shop that carried my jewelry for the first time. I was definitely that person taking pictures of their work in the store.
One of the most challenging things I’ve done is hire employees. It’s difficult to come to the realization that you can’t do everything yourself. It’s even harder to actually stop and let people help you. I’m still learning how to be a good boss and leader, and I’m so grateful for my awesome team. They’ve helped grow Fresh Tangerine into something that I love even more.
Name 3 pieces that define you + your space. I think that the gallery wall is the perfect reflection of me and my space. It has art from friends and people I’ve met, dreamcatchers that I’ve made, photos from Fresh Tangerine shoots, and lots of gold and hearts.
Biggest splurge and biggest steal: The biggest steal is probably the green velvet couch that I got from a vintage shop in Portland. There’s not really one item that I splurged on….maybe someday!
What are some of your go-to places when it comes to shopping for your space? I usually get my basic items from Ikea. They have simple designs, and the price is right. Sometimes I’ll try to change pieces so that they look more custom. I like to accessorize with vintage pieces, things I’ve collected from traveling, and items from other handmade or small businesses. I’m obsessed with ceramics right now and my favorite ring dishes are from The Object Enthusiast and The Pursuits of Happiness.
Any advice? Trust your gut. I know that everyone says this, but it’s so true. I overthink things all the time, and can talk myself out of pretty much anything. I think the best decisions I’ve made have been the ones where I’ve listened to and trusted that voice that was telling me to do something.