Presage of Success: An Interview With Sophie Groenwold

Portent Necklace $17 USD

Check out Strung's store here, and be sure to follow them on their Instagram here
The dictionary defines 'presage' as a sign or warning of something to come, but for Strung Designs, 'presage' is the name of one of their beautiful handmade necklaces. Online jewelry ventures are taking the internet by storm. Often known for their bohemian styles, necklaces are a big success. But for Sophie Groenwold, the proud founder of Strung Designs - this is just the start; this is just the presage of success. We recently sat down with Sophie and discussed the roots, journey, and outcome of developing Strung Designs. 

WRITTEN CITIZEN: Hi, Sophie! Great to have you with us. So, how are you today and how are you feeling? 

SOPHIE GROENWOLD: Hey Irine! I'm great today, thanks for asking. 

Presage Choker $12 
WC: Strung’s website says it's run by teens. As a teen myself, I know how busy it is to balance out school, friends, etc. How do you amazingly balance this out, but also with a business on top of this? 

SG: It's definitely a learning process. When I first started out, I had a lot of trouble with procrastinating my work, which I'm sure everybody does. Even though I'm not completely over this hurdle, I've started improving my time management and not making Instagram a priority. 

WC: What originally peaked your interest in jewelry making?
SG: It's actually kind of a funny story! One of my best friends had a birthday, and I didn't know what to get her. Around the same time, I noticed simple chokers were becoming really popular, and I had also just found out about a bead and jewelry supply store not far from my house. Everything fell into place, and I gave her friendship chokers. I still have mine! Friends at school started asking about them, and offering to pay for custom ones. Eventually, I opened up an online store and branched out with my repertoire, expanding to chain and threaded necklaces. 

From top to bottom: Dulcet Choker $12, Offring Necklace $12
WC: Do you plan on taking Strung bigger? A store? 

SG: Definitely. Right now, Strung is mainly operated online, and close friends ask me for orders as well. However, we do have a display of our jewelry in one store at the moment, and a few more in-store locations are on their way. Having more people around the world operate our business is also a goal, but we're taking it one step at a time. 

WC: Were the initial steps of setting up your store and getting the word out for sales challenging? 

SG: Yes. At first, I had a mental block about not selling in person at all. Then I realized that selling to friends who would then recommend my product to others was the best way to get the word out! 

WC: Do you plan on studying art or business later on? Or something entirely different? 

SG: I am really interested in studying business, actually! I do already have prior, self-gained knowledge, and increasing my ability to run Strung by studying business could only help.

WC: How would you describe the style of Strung and the crowd that you imagine wearing your jewelry? 

SG: A major fashion trend in jewelry right now is the big, statement jewelry that covers your entire chest. Strung isn't really about making a bold statement; instead, we strive to make our pieces in touch with simplicity. Most of our necklaces and bracelets are simple and sweet, and good for layering with each other. Since they're not too expensive, either, we're aiming our customers to be mainly teens with a limited budget - we've all been there. 

WC: What are you most proud of when it comes to the success you've created with Strung?

SG: Strung is definitely very recent! I only started the website up in November, and before that, it was just the occasional choker to a friend. I'm proud of what Strung has achieved in the time frame of little over five months we've had. The quality of our necklaces is also a major point of boastfulness for me!

WC: Three wishes or dreams you have that you'd like to share with our Citizens? 

SG: Sure! To expand Strung - of course - and to incorporate charity work and donations into Strung - percentage of profit going to charity, etc. - as well as have develop our jewelry into an art, rather than an accessory. 

WC: Name the best necklace you've made and what's so special about it? 

Mondegreen Necklace $14.50 
SG: Naming Strung's "best" necklace is going to be a bit biased, since everybody has a personal opinion. However, my favorite is the Mondegreen (seen right). It's simple, easy to make, and can be layered very easily. The stone is also one of my personal favorites. 

WC: What’s the most valuable piece of information that you've learned since starting Strung?

SG: Mainly, that sales do not pop up right away without any work. At first, I half expected the sales for Strung to gain right away - and that definitely didn't happen. However, patience has helped me, and eventually lead to the success of Strung. We also hope to become even more successful in the future! 

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