When it comes to fabulous finds you can't go past SweetandSpark.com. This San Fransisco-based site brings together the best in vintage jewelry for savvy accessory lovers. We went behind-the-scenes with founder Jillian Bremer, for this week's Online Confessions.
How did the concept of Sweet and Spark come together? Sweet & Spark started as a lifestyle blog in April 2011 as a creative outlet from living life on the road as a former buyer for all American Brands, most recently helping launch a new brand for American Eagle Outfitters. After the new brand I was working on closed, I decided to leave and pursue my dream of building a brand by combining my dad's antiquing hobby with my merchandising background. I'd grown up going to yard sales and flea markets with him and was always amazed at how much cool stuff is out there! I re-launched about three years ago as a curated, vintage jewelry brand, promoting my dad to head buyer. Our mission is to bridge the gap between the overwhelming world of vintage and modern trends. The only thing vintage about us is the jewelry!
What does an average day look like? There is no average day! As a business owner, you become a master of all trades. My work week is spent on a variety of different tasks, from sparkhuntin’ to curating new collections, coordinating/directing photoshoots, answering customer emails, shipping orders and long story short, you have to embrace that your to-do list will never be complete. The early mornings are when I get the most done. I try to focus on the hard tasks first because I know the days are always filled with a lot of multi-tasking. The fact that you never know exactly what the day will bring never gets old. Anything can happen! The most challenging part is keeping it a priority to not overbook yourself so that you have the space to continue to come up with new ideas.
Do you ever want to run away with all the merchandise? The thrill of the hunt is absolutely a real feeling, we’ve seen thousands of pieces of jewelry and still rarely find the same thing twice. I truly love every piece we sell. I have my favorites but I try not to get too attached. Follow along on our Sparkhuntin’ adventures to get first dibs on our favorite finds!
What are some of your favorite finds at the moment? Jewelry is the best way to add your own personality to seasonal trends! Without my dad’s knowledge, I was overwhelmed by the world of vintage but once I learned the ropes, I’ve been fascinated with the quality every since. Everything we sell is one-of-a-kind, authentic vintage from the '40s-'90s. The quality of vintage jewelry and detailing is unlike today's fashion jewelry. In a world of mass consumption, vintage jewelry is something to treasure forever and will stand up to the test of time. It does not tarnish easily as they used to triple plate the finishes. Also, you'll notice that the weight of each piece is substantially heavier. Jewelry manufacturers today have a hard time producing the delicate details that are unique to vintage, like safety chains on bracelets, etching on chains and heavy clasps on necklaces. I’m always a sucker for bold gold statement pieces, especially statement earrings!
What's the best thing about working at Sweet and Spark? It's been so meaningful reconnecting with old friends and making so many new ones. This journey has certainly been filled with the highest of highs and lowest of lows and its those highs that are truly exhilarating. The only thing that gets me through the lows is a constant believe that the journey will bring another high. I don't believe there is one single tipping point that has propelled me forward, it's all the little things together that make S&S what it is today and that have led me to this place of comfortability, sharing my Spark with others. I'm just as passionate about paying it forward as I am about building a brand.