We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Moser and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance is huge and I think a forever work in progress. Especially for anyone who owns their own business. For me, it has taken years of practice to learn how to turn the wheels off and give myself a break. I’m the type of person that when I start something new, I can’t stop. I just want to keep going and going, but after so long I find myself losing sight of my own self. You self care starts to decrease, you start to hit new levels of exhaustion and stress that eventually you just crash. As I’ve navigated through the business owner venture over the years, I’ve learned if you are able to maintain the balance as you go and avoid the exhaustion and the crashing, it is a much more efficient and sustainable way to live.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is totally 100% self funded. Every single penny that has gone into it has been a penny earned and I think that’s what makes it really cool. Jewelry is an insanely expensive industry, especially with gold prices at an all time high, so just to develop new collections is honestly astronomical. Many brands have access to other funds or even use outside funding to help accommodate costs but I really wanted to build my company out of my very own pocket and debt free. Sometimes this means I’m consigning clothing or other things in my apartment that don’t get much use anymore but the outcome is so rewarding when you do it all by yourself.
Some say this is a more complex journey, which I definitely agree. But the reason I do it this way is because I find the more that others that learn my story behind the brand and how I got here, they have full trust in me and my designs. They know that these pieces are methodically created because there is no room for anything excess. They can also see that I’m so frugal with my spending to create which in retrospect I use the same knowledge in order to price my jewelry the most competitively. When consumers see that I’m not overspending or going over the top, I think they are more willing to buy from you and trust the prices you put out.
As I’ve previously stated, the challenges in jewelry are the overhead costs. However, I’ve worked really hard to minimize these in many ways. A lot times you have to get creative but it really comes down to how much work you’re personally willing to put in. Also, building strong professional relationships with others in the industry is key. When you establish these connections and you’re able to build trust and help each other out, the favors are always returned in a very cost effective way and for that, I am always forever grateful.
A huge lesson I’ve learned along the way is that you can’t compare yourself to others. I know this sounds really cliche but to take it one step further, I believe the comparing can easily turn into an unhealthy mindset of competition that actually doesn’t exist. Yes there are many incredible jewelry brands out there and some classic styles can be found similar across multiple brands ( like a classic diamond stud or a tennis bracelet) but I believe there’s space for all of us to support each other as opposed to making it feel like a competition. We can all be friends and we can all get our own piece of success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
ooooh, in Los Angeles, the list is never ending however, there are a few things I say are absolutely mandatory. Food is always going to be a big one. Outdoor brunch at Tart is always amazing and for dinner, it would hand’s down be Jon & Vinny’s on Fairfax. We would definitely need to do an outdoor hike at the Hollywood Reservoir or Runyon Canyon and potentially hit Paradise Cove in Malibu as it’s one of the few private beaches you can enjoy openly with a bottle of champagne.
If you’re feeling up for a mini adventure, Catalina is just a quick boat ride away and a magical place I believe everyone should make a point to visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh gosh, there are so many people that have helped me along the way! Other than the support from my family and friends, the two biggest people I am so grateful for beyond measure are Nicole Burton and Jessica Hendricks-Yee. Nicole is a true powerhouse in the jewelry industry, she is so well connected and she has introduced me to some of the most incredible people that have also led to really exciting career opportunities. Jessica, (who I actually met through Nicole!) is just wow. Not only does she have the most beautiful soul and presence that lights up every room, she’s an incredible jewelry designer herself. She is the Owner of two successful brands, The Brave Collection & Zahava, a just all around a true inspiration. I had the opportunity to work on a huge project with her for The Zoe Report and it was an incredible experience. Both of these beautiful humans will forever live very near and dear to my heart, not only for my professional life but even my personal life too.