Welcome to our March Shop Story Feature! Shop Story by Pinecone Grove is a blog publication that connects you, our readers, to small businesses once a month. You’ll get the chance to learn more about brands you love and discover others you may not have come across yet.
Today, Cheryl Baker – the owner, designer, and creator of Imy & Me – tells this month’s Shop Story.
Designer Jewelry for Everyday Women
– Cheryl Baker –
A little backstory on how Imy & Me was started:
In July of 2009 my daughter Imogen was born; a happy, healthy little girl who brought light to my life. In July of 2010, 21 days before she turned one, I was in a car accident while she was in the car. We walked away perfectly fine, but something inside me turned off like a light switch. I became afraid to leave the house, and take her out into the world, as she could be harmed and I would not be able to help her. After a couple of months of feeling this way, I realized I needed to immerse myself in something I enjoyed to assuage my anxiety.
I sat down and tried to write, but no words cried out. I tried to draw, but no image appeared. I picked up my guitar, but no song played. Nothing that I enjoyed brought that spark back into my soul; you know that feeling of pure joy of creating something? So I just sat and thought about what I wanted to do.
While at a shop one day I decided to go to the jewelry section, and look at necklaces. (I’m a fan of jewelry!) I spotted a beautiful woven piece made by a local artist. The beads glistened in the sunlight, the stones sparkled and called my name! I wanted this piece of beauty badly so I looked at the price tag to see what the going rate of pure perfection was. To my horror, the tag read $58! (Now keep in mind this was 5 years ago). I sadly couldn’t justify purchasing this being a single mother with a 1 year old little girl.
So I looked at this item, and pictured how I would be able to make it. This is where the idea came from; this moment in time. My want for this item, but not being able to have it.
I would LOVE to say that I ran out and picked up the needed items that day! I did not.
The first item I made was a hair pin. The beautiful fabric called to me like my mother’s loving voice. I was proud of this piece I had created with my two hands. The entire time I thought about how I would name my items. What would the story be behind my product?
By the time I was finished with the hairpin, I had thought of only one person who I believed would be proud if they were able to see it: my late grandmother, Anita. She was the woman I saw in my mind wearing it with an amazing smile on her face!
From that moment on, I was going to name my pieces after strong, loving, generous, kind and amazing women in my life, past and present. I made a few more hairpieces in my lifetime, but I gravitated to making jewelry and that is where I stand, with my feet rooted in the ground. I have created hundreds of items since then, and my favorite piece is still my grandmother’s hairpin.
“Well there is myself, which I do most of the work, Imogen (Imy) who inspires me and my fiancé Christopher who stamps my logo on packages for me.”
Tell us about your favorite aspects as a shop owner or maybe an experience that “made it all feel worth it.”
“Well I love when I see someone wearing my jewelry! Friends, family and even neighbors make my heart soar when I see them randomly wearing my items.”
“I would love to become large enough where I am constantly busy with orders but not too busy where the customers cannot have a 1 on 1 experience with me when shopping.”
“The druzy collection is by far the go to for any occasion for me, it defines not only myself but my brand as well. Something that looks so amazing on and doesn’t break the bank to get it!”
If I could turn back time…
“If I could turn back time… If I could find a way… I would take the time to enjoy Imogen being small again. I would research how to do the Glass Cabochon Jewelry sooner. It’s so much fun to design and create something from start to finish.”
– get earrings monthly –
The G.E.M. Box is amazing and the offer is really worth it! Every month a box is sent out to our subscribers and inclosed is three – four items. The boxes are customizable to your taste and the “quiz” to decide if you cant pick yourself, is not only fun but will give you a good idea of what type to get. You can always change the subscription type at anytime which gives the subscriber a feeling of priority.
Each box gets you G.E.M. Points that you can automatically gain extra earrings in your box. The breakdown of the point system is 1/5 of a new item per box, so the customer would have to get at least 5 boxes to get an extra set of earrings inclosed at no extra cost.
One subscriber gets another item other than earrings, it could include a ring, bracelet, pendant or key fob.
I keep track of what I send out to each customer so they NEVER have a duplicate item in their box. The boxes will include at least one Druzy earring so that bumps the value up drastically for each box.
The Quiz can be found on the G.E.M. Box Page www.imyandme.com/gembox
Share Your Shop Story
If you would like to be featured as next month’s Shop Story, Apply Here. Be as creative or straightforward with your answers as you’d like. I’ve left the questions and “prompts” open to interpretation so each Shop Story publication will be unique and generate interest for readers. You do not have to answer all of the questions or prompts. Just the ones you feel best reflect your brand. I look forward to sharing your shop story and getting to know more about your business.