‘Neck On The Line’: Maureen Vorswijk Talks Jewelry & Business
Maureen Vorswijk, jewelry designer and Founder of fashion startup MAUKE V, handcrafts necklaces and chokers that adorn eager necks with natural elegance. Each item is made from sterling silver, 14 kt gold, and/or Africa’s indigenous precious stones.
Her collections also include hand-crafted and hand-polished rings, hand-made headpieces and feather necklaces. I’m sure the accomplishments listed above sound quite fancy, but the point of this article is to inspire creative enthusiasts and rising fashion business owners.
We sat with Maureen who graciously decided to provide readers with raw details of her impressive business journey so far that includes running a profitable jewelry line, her cultural inspiration, the risks, the victories, the challenges, and most important the truth about what it takes to run a creative design business.
Below are a few questions and answers we were able to glean from her interview with Hueish, a digital platform that empowers and features multicultural creative entrepreneurs.
Styliy: Tell us what culturally inspires you (your place birth, travels, etc)
Maureen Vorswijk:[I was] Born in Suriname (South America) but living in the Netherlands with my husband (Nigerian) for 44 years. As for my designs, the first time I finished a piece I was shocked at how often it had an African aesthetic. The final pieces are quite unplanned- designed with a natural, yet unintentional creative spirit.
Styliy: What advice have you recently received that you wish you would have known before beginning your business?
Maureen Vorswijk: I cannot really say I didn’t really know this, but I was made to realize that I was too busy, spending most of my time in designing and I didn’t create enough time for building my brand on social media or via events, with the goal (purpose) of building a valuable subscribers list and connecting with my core customer base. I received this advice, after consulting with Adiat’s digital and branding studio. Thereafter, I began to dedicate more time to understand how social media really works and how my brand can benefit from these powerful and available free platforms.
Styliy: What has been your major challenge as a designer?
Maureen Vorswijk: Making mini chokers for collectible fashion dolls inspired by designs of my collections. That means I work on a smaller scale than I usually do and also means that few details of the original designs will not be visible which will make the designs look different than the originals, and I will have to come up with creative solutions so that the designs will still look spectacular. It also requires me to be very patient and detail-oriented when making all the tiny parts for the jewelry.
Styliy: As a designer, an entrepreneur, or creative what challenges did you experience?
Maureen Vorswijk: Entrepreneurs will need to learn to say no. In the beginning, designers are so eager to get their brand out there and because of that they are eager to say yes to proposals that sound great in the beginning but ultimately will not serve their brand goals in the long-term.
Not all collaborations are good for business
Not all collaborations are good for business, especially when there is much pressure coming from the other party to make a quick decision. You should definitely decide if the party is a reliable partner and if the opportunity will bring your business to the next level. If a company really wants to work with you and values your business and your work they will not rush you into making a quick decision. They will wait and give you space to consider their offer and ask important questions. Sometimes great opportunities might be presented but if your business is not ready to take advantage then it’s better to turn down the offer as well. Afterward, start preparing and be ready when the next great opportunity presents itself. It might even be from the same company you turned down and then you will be ready to take part. Get more tips from her full interview with Hueish soon.