Emily Golden has an eye for design. It's not something she learned from a textbook or years of training, it's just something she does. And she does it well.
A full-time kindergarten teacher, Emily devotes her spare time to art. She's dabbled in decorating, painting furniture and creating ceramic clay crosses. But now, upon the encouragement of friends and family, Emily has turned her talents into six.twentynine designs, a local company specializing in unique handmade jewelry.
With Emily on the creative side and her husband Jonathan on the business side, the two have teamed up to create a line of one-of-a-kind necklaces with a natural, earthy feel. Using stones from various shops from Mobile to New Orleans, each necklace is a statement piece with a story to tell.
Here, we sit down with the duo to learn a little bit more about the inspiration for their company and their plans for the future.
Who had the idea to start your own business?
Emily Golden: You know, I don't think it was either of our ideas. It kind of just started out as a hobby. People would see the necklaces on Facebook and ask me how they could buy them. I figured, I can't wear all these necklaces anyway…
Jonathan Golden: Yeah, it wasn't that we necessarily planned it. For her, it was just self expression, but people kept wanting it and wanting it, so we figured we should figure out a way to get it to them.
What is the meaning behind “six.twentynine designs”?
J: The name is something we really struggled with. We went back and forth for a long time trying to find something that had to do with both of us, but didn't limit us to jewelry for whatever the future may hold. We knew we wanted to have a joint venture, something that provided a creative outlet for her art and something that provided me an outlet for my entrepreneurial spirit. So “six.twentynine” comes from June 29 which is our wedding anniversary.
What is the inspiration for your designs? Is there a certain designer you're drawn to?
E: Not really. As I'm making a piece, it sort of just flows. I don't really think about it beforehand. I may have a slight idea, and I just go with it. When I first started, I would wake up in the middle of the night and think “I want to do that with that stone” and then realize I would have no way to remember it in the morning!
J: She'll have her beads spread out all over the table, and I'll see her just start grabbing things and putting things together and it just works. Each piece is so unique. It's handcrafted and one-of-a-kind. Some pieces may have similar elements, but there are no carbon copies. I think that's what people appreciate, the thoughtfulness and uniqueness.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Hometown Mobile, Alabama
Alma Mater University of South Alabama
Day Job Kindergarten teacher
Personal Style Earthy, natural and
Cringeworthy Style Moment from the
Guilty Pleasure Definitely sweets. We
Describe your designs in three words.
E. Earthy, unique and graceful
Do you have a certain color palette you like to work with?
E: I would say I keep everything pretty neutral. I don't use too many brights. Colors kind of scare me; I just don't know what to do with them! So I like to keep it more soft and natural. Kind of a bohemian vibe.
How long does it take to make each necklace?
E: It really depends on the complexity of the piece.
If it's something that's just strung, it takes about
30 or 45 minutes. But if it's hand-looped with rosary beads, it takes a while…probably two hours or so.
What is the price range for your products?
E: They range from about $25 – $80. The ones that are more expensive are the ones that take longer to make,
like the ones with rosary beads that I have to hand-string.
J: And sometimes, it depends on the raw materials. We're starting to get into more precious stones and metals, just to have some variety for those people who have that preference.
Where can your necklaces be purchased?
E: For now, we are selling them online at sixtwentyninedesigns.com.
J: We also plan on trying to sell at local events. We would love to sell at LODA ArtWalk or Christmas Jubilee.
Any plans for the future?
J: We've only been open for a couple weeks, but the support so far has been incredible. It's really encouraging for us to see how in just a week or so, people from all over the country have visited our website. Based off the growth we've seen so far, I think that in a year's time, we'll be looking at a vastly different company. The main thing is getting our name out there. Right now, we have a lot of friends and family who are helping us out and spreading the word.
Text by Abby Parrott