As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Katia Rudnick.
At the heart of Katia Designs is the philosophy that each piece of jewelry is not just an accessory but a powerful conduit of inspiration. Every item in the collection is crafted with meticulous attention to detail and carries an empowering message, infusing the wearer’s experience with a sense of purpose and positivity.
Here’s what we found out about Katia’s everyday routine, followed by an exclusive Q+A.
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Located in South Florida, Katia Designs is owned by Catherine “Katia” Rudnick. Katia Designs is a collection of spiritual jewelry that speaks to the heart and brightens the day. Each piece of jewelry features an empowering message, as well as other components, such as gemstones, crystals, and more.
What inspired you to venture into the jewelry business, and how did you get started?
The journey to the brand was not a traditional one. Not being much of a jewelry wearer myself, I was surprised when a medallion bracelet worn by a fellow yogi caught my eye. The immediate draw to the boldness of the piece caught me off guard but I took it as a sign that this strong attraction should not be ignored, but followed. It was more than just the design of the bracelet that inspired me; it was my desire to recreate the same feeling for others. Jewelry had never been more than just jewelry, but in that moment it became so much more. It became a feeling. The same day, I drove to a local art school and signed up for a metal clay class. It was in this studio that I created the first prototypes for my medallions and the journey to Katia Designs began.
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How do you stay informed about the latest trends and innovations in the jewelry industry?
We pride ourselves to not necessarily following trends, but rather see ourselves as trendsetters. I’ve never followed what’s necessarily popular to the mainstream but rather focus on how a certain message makes me feel. Our designs really are centered around the message and the aestheic comes second. We understand that our jewelry is not for everyone but with a returning customer base of around 40%, we know we are doing something right!
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur in the jewelry business, and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenges I’ve faced doesn’t necessarily related to being a female entrepreneur, but I think that maintaining a certain level of growth and keeping up with our growth over the last 2 years has been the biggest challenge. There are so many pieces that have to come into place for you to be able to grow your business and it can get stressful and a little overwhelming at times. Luckily, as this business has grown, I’ve been able to expand my team to make sure that we have everything in place to continue to build this business.
Can you share a specific success story or milestone that you are particularly proud of in your jewelry business?
My biggest success was obtaining a patent on my design in 2022. We were approved on our first round which our lawyers told use was unheard of!
How do you approach the design and creation process for your jewelry pieces?
It’s all about the feeling. Like our ethos ‘it’s not just jewelry, it’s a feeling’, I have to be in the right headspace to create. Sometimes it comes incredibly easily and I can design a new piece very quickly and other times, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I give myself grace when I’m feeling that way and when I can step away, I am able to find inspiration in other areas of life that can translate back into my jewelry.
How do you differentiate your brand and products to stand out in a competitive market?
I haven’t found another brand that does exactly what we do. There are a lot of jewelry brands that offer pieces with messages or use similar products but we haven’t stumbled upon anyone who does a combination of everything we do. One of the greatest compliments I receive from our customers is that they had been looking for jewelry like mine and have never been able to find it.
What are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?
Patience, trust, and delegation. I began this business in 2018 but we really started to pick up steam in 2021. Having patience and trusting that this was something special is what motivated me to stick with it. Delegation is something that I have learned over the last year or so because this business started with just me in my garage! Now that I have a full team, I have been able to delegate and let go of things that I used to have such tight control over which allows me time to rest and also time to invest in what will really move the needle forward.
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What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Allow people to help you.
- Surround yourself with GOOD people
- Find what you’re strengths are and do more of that.
- Find out what you’re weaknesses are and do less of that.
- Stay in your lane
I know that I am not the most organized person and my strength really is in my creativity. So when I decided I wanted to take this business to the next level, I knew that I needed people who could fill in those gaps for me. It’s so important to understand what you are good at and what you are not good at and to not be afraid to bring people into your business that can fill in those gaps.
As a successful woman entrepreneur in the jewelry business, what advice do you have for aspiring women entrepreneurs looking to enter the industry?
Do you and don’t look at what others are doing or look to others for validation for what you are doing. If you believe in your business and show up as your authentic self, your audience will find you. Don’t think that it will happen overnight either- you have to stay consistent and keep showing up every single day.