Startup Stories: A Father Daughter Duo

Jillian, founder of Sweet & Spark, showing off the core of her vintage jewelry assortment, gold classics!

Tell us about your product or service.
Sweet & Spark is for the girl who is obsessed with fashion and appreciates vintage but doesn’t have time to sift through overwhelming sites like etsy and ebay or spend her weekends out at flea markets. Sweet & Spark started as a lifestyle blog in April 2011 as a break from life on the road as a formal apparel buyer for large American Brands, most recently American Eagle Outfitters. I re-launched as a vintage jewelry brand in November 2012 promoting my antique crazed dad as head buyer. He’s doing the dirty work scouring yard sales, flea markets & antique shops along the East coast while she’s out West, curating assortments of quality & affordable costume jewelry from the 40s-90s. At the core we’re about classics but seasonally they feature collections mimicking current trends. No one in the world of vintage is focusing on jewelry in an aesthetically pleasing way. We’re creating credibility and the opportunity to buy green. Get your spark on at!

What inspired you to launch your business?
After the new brand I was working on with American Eagle Outfitters closed, I decided to leave and pursue my dream of building a brand by combining my dad’s antiquing hobby with my merchandising background. I’d grown up going to yard sales and flea markets with him and was always amazed at how much cool stuff is out there! I re-launched in November 2012 as a curated, vintage jewelry brand.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
My mission is to build Sweet & Spark as a brand that’s equally about vintage jewelry as it is about sharing love with others. The sweet part embodies a belief in being genuine to everyone and helping connect people one another. The sparky part is about believing in yourself enough to follow your dreams. Our social media hashtag & slogan is around “sharing the spark” which is about paying it forward. I’m a big believer in giving and getting.

What has been your biggest challenge and how are you working to overcome it?
I’m still at the beginning of this journey and am just trying to enjoy the ride. It’s been an adventure filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There’s so much noise on the internet these days, the biggest challenge continues to be spreading the word! Help us #sharethespark

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
I’m always re-energized when I step away from the details of the business and read inspiring articles on Project Eve. Everyone in the entrepreneurial & blogging communities have been so welcoming, I couldn’t be more thankful!

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry.
How to shop for vintage jewelry! For starters, I recommend going to antique stores as they have the largest variety and best quality. If you’re feeling up for the chase, and don’t mind getting out there early and a little dirty, flea markets and yard sales have some of the best treasures for the best price. You never know what you’re going to find and that’s part of the rush. Be prepared to find the score of your life (my best find was a pair of Chanel earrings for $1!)or go home empty handed. While I believe a little wear to the finish gives a piece character, make sure to stay away form pieces that are broken, missing stones or have any green gunk on them. They are more trouble than they are worth.

Company: Sweet & Spark


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