Erin grew up in Damascus, Maryland. She graduated from Damascus HS, along with her future husband. She went on to the University of Maryland School of Engineering while he attended culinary school.
They married on St. Patrick’s Day 2001. Fifteen years later, both are busy working full-time for the brand that Erin built — Erin Pelicano Jewelry.
What makes the Erin Pelicano Jewelry line so successful? Erin shares four great reasons why people purchase her artisan jewelry. None of these can be found at a ‘big box’ retail store.
1. Personal Connection – “People relate to my story as a Mom. People relate to our story as a husband and wife running a business and juggling life. And, when people hear the story of the loss that I’ve experienced, people can relate to that, too.”
2. Knowing Who Created It – Learning about the artist gives the pieces more meaning. There’s the opportunity to glimpse the artisan’s creative passion and evolution. Erin Pelicano is not a brand name that’s tied to a factory — she’s a real artist who works from her own Frederick, Md. studio, lovingly handcrafting each piece.
3. Higher Quality Product – Each piece is made with integrity and the utmost personal attention to the most minute details. “It’s handcrafted. People in the Frederick area know it’s locally made. People in the United States appreciate that something is a quality ‘USA Made’ product.”
4. Customer Centric – “We mold a lot of our products to our customers. Someone might order something and come back to us.”
Customization is also available. “We customize for exactly what they have in mind. We make special pieces that mean something. Then, they’re very unique to the gift-giver and/or the person receiving them.”
Even in high school, Erin enjoyed drawing and being creative. But, she also loved math and solving problems. Torn between choosing a future in fashion design or architecture, she followed in her grandfather’s footsteps by opting for a career in civil engineering. But, the creative, artistic side was not forgotten.
“I always had that creative spirit. I always felt sort of restless in my engineering job. There was something more that I was supposed to be doing. But, being a Mom kept me super busy.”
Then, the economy changed…the job changed..and there was a layoff. Looking back on it now, Erin says, “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. It forced me to think outside of the box.”
“That year, I made Christmas gifts for friends and family. Everyone loved it! So, I took some of the pieces that I made to Whitney at the Muse.” That same Winter saw the start of an Etsy website. The part-time business grew slowly over the next few years.
Erin’s Deep Loss Inspires Her To Create Meaningful Jewelry With Love
“The jewelry line is centered on inspiration and kind of spreading positive meanings, love and joy,” Erin shares. “It has been gifted during exciting times — weddings, babies, best friends, birthdays…” And, sad times, too.
Just after Christmas, Erin heard from a Mom who had just lost her son. She wanted to order a special set of jewelry for herself, her two surviving children and with one piece to be buried with her son to keep them connected.
Erin is no stranger to deep loss. In 2004, her only sibling..her brother..died very suddenly at just 23 years young. “It’s a pain that you learn to live with. It’s so hard and it’s so hard to talk about.”
“For me to know that I’m bringing some small, tiny piece of comfort during people’s darkest days really gives me pause. It makes me feel like what I’ve gone through in my past has really brought me to where I am now. It means something to people and I can relate to it.”
Keeping Up With Ever-Evolving Technology Is The Biggest Challenge
“We rely on it so much for our business. Most of our business is online. In fact, we’ve really been growing our community of people who love our brand through social media. But, it’s always changing!”
Staying current means “knowing what’s the latest and greatest. Knowing how to be seen…how to be found!”
Erin Credits Etsy For Making It All Possible
“We wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without Etsy. We have the Etsy apps on the phones, the iPad and all those things that help us to run our business. Etsy really is where it started from for us.”
Erin recommends Etsy for anyone with a creative interest or hobby who wants to give a business startup a try. “Etsy is a safe and easy place to start and test the waters.”
It’s easy to own Erin Pelicano’s Jewelry pieces that are ‘handcrafted with love and artistry in sterling silver, 24K gold vermeil and genuine stones.’ Contact Erin today with your unique jewelry needs and ideas!
Article Written with content provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #027 – interview with Eric Verdi.