From Successful Corporate Lawyer to Full-Time Jewelry Designer in New York City
Interview with Lisa Owusu July 16, 2015, NYC by Bev Andal Benlolo Jewelry Studio
This is the story of Lisa and her evolution from being a successful corporate lawyer in New York City to leaving that life behind to follow her passion and become a full-time jewelry designer. How her collaboration with David Benlolo, as her instructor and mentor, has been instrumental on her journey for the past three years.
Lisa, how did your interest in jewelry-making and design evolve?
Why did you choose to work with David at the time?
I needed flexibility and didn’t want to learn in a formal, structured classroom environment where everyone is taught exactly the same thing at the same time. I wanted someone to teach me how to create what I wanted to make which is what I was able to do with David.
At what point did you decide that you wanted to make jewelry design your profession rather than a hobby?
Where does your jewelry business stand now?
How did David help in your evolution from jewelry novice to professional?
How would you describe David’s teaching style?
What are some specific ways in which his knowledge and guidance are helpful to your business?
Right now I am very interested in everything about stones. David is an expert with stones including precious and semi-precious. I get most of my stones from him; he buys them from direct sources on his travels around the world. He is teaching me about the different qualities of stones and how to appreciate them. For example, when and how they should be cut to improve their appearance and value.
David has an incredible network of contacts “rolodex” in the business. He introduced me to high quality casters, engravers and stone setters, all of whom are critical to developing a successful business. It would take years, if ever, to develop these contacts on your own.
He also helps me find the right “price point” for jewelry, taking into account the materials, level of work and so on.
How would you describe your personal design style? Where can people find you online?
I design high quality “family and lifetime” pieces with gold, platinum and beautiful stones
with a modern design sensibility.
My website is: www.charltonandlola.com
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org