Like other successful Silicon Valley companies, Beth Philbin started her business, Heart on Your Wrist
, in her Menlo Park garage. "I'd made jewelry all my adult life," she recalls, "but had gotten away from it during the period when my three kids were born.
"But after the third, I wanted to do something for myself so I took a metal working class and feel in love with the pounding, hammering and stamping. That led to me making a sterling silver bracelet with my kids names on it. It was very meaningful to me."
Turns out Beth's unique personalized jewelry resonated with other moms, too. What started out as a little website to sell a few pieces is now an Internet-based business that sells world wide. And, the "mommy jewelry" has expanded into a product line that features charms, rings, and earrings for every member of the family as well as friends, teachers and others on people's birthday and Christmas gift lists, not to mention, of course, Mother's Day.
"We realized we didn't think broad enough at the start when we were just selling to Moms," says Beth. "For example, we get orders from runners who want to add a charm to a bracelet every time they run a race. And, we also sell a lot more than hearts. Sometimes a business grows in a way that's separate from its name."
Beth believes her key to success has been the company's focus on selection, service and quality. "We have a huge selection — we're always trying to reorganize the website to better showcase what we have. That includes different styles of chains from sporty to dressy.
"In terms of quality, from the start, I really wanted all the jewelry to be nice enough to wear whether it had names on it or not. And, as far as customer service, we really believe in treating people well and giving them individual attention."
All of the Heart on Your Wrist jewelry is designed and manufactured in the company's studio at Menalto Corners in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park. "We'll get local customers who are surprised they can walk over to pick up their order," Beth says.
While they normally do not sell retail from the studio, Beth plans to break that rule the Friday and Saturday before Mother's Day. "We're going to have a sidewalk sale from 10:00 am to 4:00 both days," she says. "By then, all of our Mother's Day custom orders will have been completed." (Note: any custom orders for Moms and Grandmothers should be made by Thursday, May 10.)
Pricing for Heart on Your Wrist
— a play on "heart on your sleeve" — jewelry starts at $42 and go to around $200, much of which depends on the number of charms on the chain or bracelet.
Photos by Irene Searles