San Diego self-taught jewelry designer Bere Diaz has been making jewelry for a few years now. Diaz said she watched many YouTube tutorials on designing jewelry when she decided to launch her jewelry company Sweet 1985.
While learning from YouTube and the Internet, Diaz learned to wire wrap, which is one of the oldest techniques for making handmade jewelry, and soldering which is a melting metal technique.
Diaz said she not only sell jewelry but sell a lifestyle.
“I’ve always been a jewelry junkie and have had bad luck with expensive costume jewelry,” said Diaz, adding, “I created my business with the plan to only use quality metals and still be affordable.”
Diaz said her jewelry is made from the heart and not mass produced. “I pay close attention to all of our customers and listen to what they have to say,” she said. Diaz said she has a lot of repeat customers that are passionate about her business and how they feel wearing her jewelry.
Interviewing Diaz about Sweet 1985 was a lot of fun. She gave great entrepreneurship tips and shared her vision for the future of her company. Check out our Q&A below.
Jar Brown: Tell me more about Sweet 1985 and your journey to entrepreneurship. Where did the idea and name for your brand come from?
Bere Diaz: I come from a family of entrepreneurs. I always knew I wanted to work for myself and make my own hours. Being my own boss would allow me to spend more time with my family and be very flexible. Finding my brand name was one of the hardest things I had to do. It is like naming your baby. I was looking for positive words that represent me and 1985 is my birth year.
JB: I love the editorials on your website. Tell us about your design style and where you draw inspiration for your website and social media content and your jewelry itself.
BD: Thank you. Our Instagram, social media, and website has been our main focus since about 90 percent of our sales are coming directly from our social media. I’ve partnered up with other boss babes for our editorial shoots. One of my besties Natalie Lazaro left her real job to pursue her passion of designing florals, and we have been teaming up for photoshoots. We have been collaborating with a lot of photographers, models, etcetera. I would highly recommend for those looking for high fashion editorial shots to hire a stylist. I can no longer shoot without a stylist on board. I’d love to give a shout-out to our girls at Five Wand Studio. They are the best.
JB: What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to get into the industry?
BD: The industry of jewelry is very competitive. I would advise that you take jewelry classes at a junior college to see if this is the right fit for you. I’ve met a lot of girls telling me that they dropped out of jewelry class because of the amount of work. If you enjoy the classes as much as I did, do some research for a workshop in your area where you can rent machines and try out all the equipment for jewelry making. The tools for jewelry making are highly expensive. Try it out and see if you like it.
JB: What is your favorite piece you’ve ever created and what made it so special?
BD: My favorite piece is actually pretty silly. I designed a cuff ring that I hand stamp the words “F*ck It.” I have sold practically one for each babe in San Diego with a sense of humor. I find this ring to be very empowering to women. Every time I look at it, it reminds me that it can be done. Anything is possible. The ring is adjustable half a size which makes it easy to put on and off.
JB: What does it feel like when you see someone wearing one of your creations?
BD: I try to keep myself together, but I melt! I’ve had shows where my customers come looking for me to show me that they do not take off my jewelry. It is the best feeling in the world. It makes all my hard work, tears, sweat, burns, cuts all worth it.
JB: What is your vision for the future of your company?
BD: I want to be a staple brand name for empowering women. I want to continue to make pieces that make every girl feel great. I am obsessed with the feedback I’ve received about how powerful they feel wearing my designs. I am also planning on hiring a lot of boss babes in the near future. I cannot wait.
JB: Last question! What are three wardrobe essentials you feel every woman should own?
BD: One, a nice dainty gold necklace. Invest in good metals. They are expensive, but you won’t have to spend more money replacing all of the junk. Two, a black leather jacket. Invest in a good leather jacket. Cheap ones will start breaking apart with every wear. I have a leather jacket that I purchased ten plus years ago. Leather jackets are timeless and always look amazing year round. Three, a nice pair of flats. Being a boss babe means we are constantly running around. Make sure your feet can keep up with your drive.