Holly Christensen, CEO and founder of Dune Jewelry shows off two of her custom pieces, which can be filled with any number of natural elements, like sand, stone or rose petals.
Holly Christensen, founder and CEO of Dune Jewelry, which sells custom “experiential jewelry” filled with natural elements, began her artistic journey in 2007 while working with her childhood friend who was making ornaments from the sands of Cape Cod. As she watched customers have what she calls “an ah-ha moment,” she realized that the idea could grow into a full business plan. She started making custom jewelry pieces at her kitchen table and selling them at local Cape Cod arts and crafts shows. She laughs when she recounts “how pregnant” she was.
“I joked with my husband at one point that people were only buying this because I was like 10 months pregnant,” she laughed. “Luckily that wasn’t the case. People actually liked it and didn’t just feel sorry for me.”
Formerly working in real estate, Christensen continued to nurture her creative side and pursue her dreams. She admits that when she first started creating her custom jewelry pieces, she used only beach elements because it held a special place for her, but after getting unique requests from customers, she realized that the jewelry could hold any number of elements, like rose petals, crushed marble or even a pet or person’s ashes.
In a video interview with Gifts & Decorative Accessories, Christensen shares how she grew from that one-woman show at her kitchen table to a company with thousands of customers from around the globe. Hear more about the endless customization possibilities for retailers, too. “It’s been such an evolution,” she said.
With travel picking back up, souvenir gifts are on the rise; you don’t want to miss out on these “experiential jewelry” pieces, which can be personalized with local elements. “We capture experiences in every single piece…so (the user) has a tangible reminder of a special place or moment, or even a special person,” Christensen said.
BONUS POINTS: Dune Jewelry supports many charitable causes, and even donated 100 percent of net profits over a course of three days to the people and children of Ukraine. Tell her story, explain the charitable angle and the unique, local aspect of every piece to make a sale. To watch the interview with Christensen and hear other vendor’s stories, check out GDA’s “Meet the Makers” video series.