A DECADE WITH DEA DIA
I started Dea Dia as a hobby and part time business at the age of 25 while living in Brooklyn, NY. Without any formal training, I picked up some basic jewelry supplies: chain, wire, crystals and taught myself as I went. My first show was at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar in 2011 and I was delighted at the response and number of sales!
I established my first consignment accounts while working odd jobs in NYC. I would sit around and update my Etsy page when no one was looking. Towards the end of the year, I borrowed $1000 and signed up for 5 consecutive weekends to sell at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar over the holidays. It was a huge success and I was able to quit my job to devote myself to Dea Dia full time.
My first wholesale show was Pooltradeshow in Las Vegas, a pivotal move for Dea Dia. My crystal and pyrite cuffs were a huge hit (my biggest seller for the next 6 years) and I generated an abundance of wholesale accounts. While continuing to work on wholesale orders, I participated in local markets such as Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg and traveled the country with Renegade Craft Fair.
Moving to Portland, Oregon came with a major year of changes for my business. I started wax casting the majority of my work (instead of fabricating or assembling) and I produced my first official lookbook for the Multnomah Collection - some of those pieces such as the Big and Little Butte rings continue to be popular designs.
The Eros + Ethos collection was released. I focused on tradeshows, craftshows and wholesale, although something was a little different this year as I am pregnant! I hired a production assistant to help with jewelry making. Towards the end of the summer I move my studio back into my house so I can transition to being a new mom. My daughter was born to us two weeks past her due date in September and our lives were forever changed.
My family and I visited Palm Springs and Joshua Tree for the first time, planting a seed. I released the Sun Machine collection named for the late, great David Bowie. In Spring, Fulfilling my dream of opening a Dea Dia store in Portland, I signed a lease in the Mississippi District. Building out almost the entire shop alone, I design, source and open up shop in late summer! With a little studio in the back, I sold my jewelry up front alongside a small selection of clothing, apothecary, candles, housewares and crystals.
My longtime partner and baby daddy, Matthew and I finally marry! I discover running a storefront is hard work and just because you build it, does not mean they will come! I gained valuable insight into the retail business, advertising and branding. It was a tough year for my business but I soldier on and release the Fragment Collection. My husband finds a job out of state and we make the decision to close my store at the end of the year.
In January of 2018 my family and I moved to sunny Los Angeles! After taking it easy for a few months, I focused on designing a beautiful new collection unlike any of my previous designs. Halfway through the year, I released the Flow Collection with customer favorites like the Wave and Puddle ring and Boobie necklace!
After a rocky few years with Dea Dia, I gave myself the ultimatum to either step it up or close down and do something different with my life. While designing and launching the Arcana Collection, I started working with a social media company who helped me with my photography and instagram presence. I also began focusing on building a local presence by attending more shows in LA and California.
My business nearly ground to a halt in March, but I was able to utilize COVID relief money to invest in my business, redo my website, and hire an advertising team bringing growth in late spring/summer. Due to cancellations of in-person events, I opened up a small retail space with Mojave Flea in Palm Springs that grew within 6 months! Prior to the holiday season, I released the Modern Ancients collection which ended up being Dea Dia’s most successful collection launched to date. Despite the year's difficulties, I managed to grow my business more than 4x from the previous year.
The Modern Ancients Collection continued to be a hit. You all loved the organic take on all my rings - especially the Sun Tarot, Serpent Rising and Wisdom Rings. The ability to work remotely opened up a huge possibility for my family and we decided to pursue a big dream of ours - buy our first house in the Joshua Tree area of California. We leave our artsy but rough and tumble DTLA loft and move to the country in April of 2021!
I’ve continued to hand carve and design jewelry out of my home studio in the high desert while having my jewelry cast in DTLA by a small, woman-owned business who uses recycled metals. I have a new collection dropping this spring and hope to expand on some fine jewelry offerings this year. It's been a little over 10 years and I really can't thank each and everyone of you enough who have made a purchase, stocked your store or said a kind word of encouragement to me.