Dedicated to promoting established and emerging independent jewelry designers, HatchJewelry.com provides an alternative to today’s fast fashion. It’s a digital marketplace where each item has a story, a purpose, and a place in our wardrobes (and our hearts). In this month’s Online Confessions, we catch up with co-founder Linnea Olson-Schwartz to find out what it’s like to be a part of one of our favorite online jewelry retailers.
What inspired you to create HatchJewelry.com? Hurricane Irene. At the time, I lived four houses up from the flood zone from the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. When news of the hurricane came we were told to evacuate. The idea of sludge entering my space was enough for us to mobilize. There was not a lot of time to get it together so I took what mattered most. My family (obviously!) and cat, all my photo albums, a few Chloe handbags and Louboutin shoes that I had gotten when I was an editor, and all of my jewelry. We threw it in the car and drove to my husband’s parents house. On the way, it occurred to me this would be an incredible time to leave behind everything else we owned and start over (alas, that didn’t happen, but I still dream of it).
I wouldn’t miss any of the things we owned, but I was certainly glad I had my pictures and jewelry. That was when I realized, how much emotional energy I had already invested into the pieces—memories of when they were given, where they were worn and when I would pass them down to my daughter.
I was a fashion and accessories editor for 16 years and loved to discover new designers. I had always wanted to find a way to bring smaller, independent or hard to find international jewelry designers to a larger audience. I was introduced to Matthew, my co-founder, through my former editor at Surface magazine and his vision for both Hatch Jewelry and Hatch Hub resonated with what I was hoping to bring to the marketplace.
What’s the best thing about running an online boutique? I love the immediacy of online retailing. You can have conversations with customers from across the country and discover what they like and would like to see in the future.
Is there ever a time when you want to steal all the items for yourself? Yes. Always. There isn’t a piece I buy for the site that I wouldn’t wear myself, so that essentially means I want everything.
What does an average day look like at HatchJewelry.com? I have two young daughters that I take care of in addition to working at Hatch. The mornings after I drop them off at school I work from home, either in Brooklyn or out of our office in the city. Sometimes I do designer appointments to see the jewelry in person. I would really prefer to see and try things on to make a clear decision if possible, but, of course, many of our designers are from out of the NY area. That is when I try to draw on my experience from being an editor and try to make a selection from a lookbook or images. Matthew is full time at Hatch. His day is much more complicated. He handles pretty much everything from the marketing and branding to the Ambassador Boxes and website development. There would not be a Hatch Jewelry without him.
What’s the most fun part of your job? Discovering new and interesting lines and learning more about the designers’ process is something I really value and hope our customer does too.
Who are some of your favorite designers at the moment? We just brought on two new lines this December. Both came from friends who saw someone wearing the jewelry and fell in love with the line and introduced it to me. That’s what I love about jewelry. People feel very passionate about it.
Any exciting developments planned for 2015? Our Ambassador Box has been growing well, and we look to continue building on that. We believe that if you try on your favorite pieces you will fall in love too! HatchJewelry.com