District Boss: Rachel Pfeffer
Rachel Pfeffer's dexterity has proven to create ingenious and beautiful jewelry for any occasion. Fun fact, she was raised by masters in the craft, but didn't want to be a jeweler herself. We're glad she returned to her roots because her pieces are spectacular! Do you share a similar story?
1// What is your business? Tell us a bit about yourself.
My business is Rachel Pfeffer Designs, and I'm a jewelry designer and maker. I come from Western Massachusetts, but have lived in DC for about 6 years now.
2// What lead you to where you are today?
I grew up in my family's jewelry store, where my dad was a jeweler. My parent's both ran it, and I never wanted to do anything involving jewelry. I did always want to make and sell things though. For instance, in middle school I discovered I could make a bag out of duct tape, and shortly after Lucky Duct Designs was born. I also started carving little faces into bullet shells, giving life to Bullet Buddies! I graduated from Brandeis University in 2008, with a degree in creative writing and sculpture. After working for a year at the Science Museum in Boston, I started teaching myself some jewelry making, eventually moving home for a few months to learn more from my dad. Soon after my not-yet husband got a job in DC, and I started making jewelry full time!
3// What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur? The best part?
The most difficult part is always being "on". If I'm not in my studio, I'm on my computer. If I'm not on my computer, I'm on my phone thinking of what to Instagram. The best part is being my own boss, and more or less making my own hours. I like having total creative control over everything, too.
4// How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?
I'm motivated by seeing what other designers are doing, and what they are accomplishing. That bit of competition helps me be more active and think of new designs and ideas. And when business gets slow, that's when you are forced to make bigger moves and change your direction.
5// What’s your nighttime routine?
My nighttime routine is pretty boring! I'll do work on the computer on the couch with the hubs, watch tv, and usually go to sleep early! Very boring actually. Sometimes if I'm good I'll read a book.
6// What’s one piece of advice you would give to other business owners?
My advice to another business owner is to stay true to yourself, as corny as that sounds. It's easy to stray to try to fit into what you think is popular or trendy, but that just gets you lost in the mix!