Every Thursday during the pandemic, we’ll be checking in on members of the jewelry trade in an attempt glean shareable tips and tricks for a better and more productive quarantine.
Today we hear from Morgan Mikula (pictured), a goldsmith and designer who owns Kingston, N.Y.–based Facets of Earth, an stylishly earthy-feeling fine jewelry shop that also stocks some of her fellow Hudson Valley–based designers, including Rachel Atherley, Sherri Cohen, Paloma Mele, Annette Ferdinandsen, and Judi Powers (the shop was a JCK “Store We Adore” in the March issue—read the story here).
JCK: Hi, Morgan—tell me the story of Facets of Earth!
Morgan Mikula: Facets of Earth is a modern approach to a full-service jewelry store. Our focus is on custom jewelry, jewelry repair and restoration, appraisals, and concierge services. And you’ll only find independent jewelry designers in our cases.
In 2015, we moved near where our shop is now in Kingston, N.Y. This area needed a fresh approach to a jewelry store. I grew Facets of Earth from social media in 2015. I dove into many different styles to really try to shape the brand—and then it clicked in 2017. Over the past five years I’ve really engaged with and grown my loyal online customer base. It feels like a blessing that I started this way, rather than opening our brick-and-mortar first, given the pandemic.
How are things right now? How are you feeling?
These are scary times, for sure. All that we can do is not lose hope and remember what our purpose is in life. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel. Right now, I’m focusing on how I can support the community of Kingston.
I’m feeling fortunate to be quarantined in Kingston with my husband Brian, our daughter Avery, and our fur kid Topaz.
What do your days look like right now? How do you create productive days?
The days begin much more calmly than they used to. Usually, I’m running around in the morning, nearly spilling my coffee to get Avery ready for school, fed, and out the door to school. Honestly, we’re not morning people. I have a very whimsical child who doesn’t do well with our morning routine of leaving the house. Nowadays, we all enjoy sleeping in an extra hour, and Avery enjoys dressing up in costumes while learning from home. Homeschooling has been a little difficult for the two of us. I’m mom, not a teacher, and I give all the props to homeschool parents! It’s often difficult for both of us to draw the line while homeschooling.
By noon, I’m off to the studio for several hours. I find it very productive because our studio is open in our store, and I find that I’m constantly being pulled away from the bench. I’m still offering online video consultations and pickup and delivery services to my clients. I feel very fortunate to still be fulfilling custom and online orders.
After working in the shop, I head home, where I meet my husband, who is working on our old Victorian house. Although we are sad for all that’s happening in the world, we’re not taking for granted this time to work on home renovations that would’ve taken much longer (or never) to finish. We both enjoy fixing up the house ourselves!
Eventually, we sleep, but the days are always productive in one way or another.
What are you doing for your business during the pandemic—what tips or ideas could you pass on to other retailers?
I’m finding it so important to engage with customers on social media and via email. I check in with them to see how they’re doing and if they need anything. With my friends and family members, I definitely check in to see how their mental health is doing during this time.
Ten percent of the store’s online sales right now benefits our local food pantry, People’s Place. We’re working to now split that 10% and give to the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, [as] there’s been a rise in cases since the pandemic.
I’ve also been shooting product images and revamping the website. I’m adding a wedding guide for all of our future brides!
There are hundreds of ways to keep busy and to better yourself during this time. Every day I wake up with a fresh approach. If I have a moment of fear, I move through it and find a task to make something just a little bit better. I’m very much following the movement of COVID-19 and how it’s going to affect the jewelry industry from here. Right now, I’m focusing on how to move forward and not stay complacent. This pandemic is going to change the industry, and it’s up to us to figure out our next moves.
What do you do when you get anxious or stir-crazy?
I’ve started gardening and planting. I have moved furniture around and redecorated rooms. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint on a wall can do!
When the weather is nice, we take in all the beauty the Hudson Valley has to offer. We do some light hiking and walk the rail trail while our daughter bikes.
What books, TV shows, movies, magazines, etc. are getting you through right now?
I’ve been reading The Upside of Being Down: How Mental Health Struggles Led to My Greatest Successes in Work and Life by Jen Gotch and Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I have actually binge-watched (with my husband, shhhh) the whole This Is Us series. I never had time to watch TV before.
(Photos courtesy of Morgan Mikula)
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