Ribbon Watches & Jewelry - Interview with Three Chickadees
Three Chickadees* is a Connecticut based business specializing in fun and stylish ribbon watches, bracelets, belts, totes, and key chains. Behind the scenes, Three Chickadees is owned and operated by three working moms with a passion for beautiful ribbon. They met at work and remained friends after one left the company to work elsewhere. In 2004, they decided to put their business experience and sense of style to work, and they formed Three Chickadees, LLC.
I asked Melissa, Karen and Lisa some questions about their jewelry designs and their business. I think you'll find their answers very interesting and informative:
BellaOnline: How did you get involved working with ribbon?
Three Chickadees: That's a funny question because we didn't start out intending to become designers. We were looking for products to sell and since we all liked women's accessories, and we all love ribbon, selling ribbon watches and belts seemed like a perfect fit.
On our buying trips in search of the perfect ribbon accessories, we realized that the quality and selection of the products we were looking for just wasn't available. That's when we decided that in order to offer the best quality and selection, we had to make the products ourselves.
We've come a long way since the day we made our first watchband, and we are thrilled with the quality and selection of the products that we currently offer.
BellaOnline: What's behind the name "Three Chickadees"?
Three Chickadees: When we were trying to come up for a name for our company, we knew that we wanted to incorporate "three" into the name since there are three of us. Melissa thought of the name Three Chickadees and we instantly loved it! Our customers often comment on the name and remember it, so we think that it was a great choice.
BellaOnline: Describe the ribbon you use for your watches and bracelets. What is it made of, and how is it constructed?
Three Chickadees: We started out using mainly acetate grosgrain ribbons that we hand-chose and purchased directly from the manufacturer. We are now focusing on obtaining ribbons of different fibers from worldwide sources, and you will see more of these exotic and unique ribbons in our products as we expand our lines.
BellaOnline: I've seen some other brands of ribbon watches that tout their style as being "preppy," but your watches embrace a wider range of styles. For example the Sherri* seems a little rock-and-roll to me (and is one of my favorites!), and the Kelly* reminds me of those 70's rainbow belts from my childhood. Is this kind of variety a big consideration when you choose ribbon designs, or does it just happen based on your own varied tastes?
Three Chickadees: We hand select ribbons that we like ourselves, and since we tend to have different tastes, it does make for a varied selection. Melissa seems to be partial to greens and traditional styles, Lisa leans toward pinks and more trendy looks, and Karen likes anything that goes nicely with jeans. We do our homework, too. We research the up and coming fashion trends, and we add to our lines so that we stay new and current. We are, however, traditionalists are heart, so we will always have the classics in our line.
BellaOnline: What would you say has been your biggest challenge with the business so far?
Three Chickadees: The journey we've taken thus far has been fun and exciting. We constantly surprise ourselves with our ability to overcome obstacles. Of course, it has been, and continues to be, a lot of hard work, but it is certainly worth it to be able to do something you have a passion about. Time seems to be our biggest hurdle, since we all have full time jobs and 5 small children among us. You will regularly find us sewing or working on marketing and advertising very late at night or very early in the morning. Perhaps lack of sleep is our biggest obstacle!
BellaOnline: Three Chickadees products are available on your website; are they also available at any retail locations or trunk shows?
Three Chickadees: We started out selling watches and belts at craft fairs, and knew that we were on to something when we started receiving telephone calls after the fairs from people whose friends had bought our watches and belts. We were describing the ribbon patterns over the telephone and people were ordering, so we decided that a website was a necessity.
We've recently launched our newly designed website so that we can offer our products nationwide. We also sell our products wholesale to retail shops. We started our wholesale business by calling on local boutiques and showing them our lines. We received such good feedback from the merchants that we met with that we decided to expand our wholesale business. With the launch of our new website, we have expanded our wholesale market nationwide.
BellaOnline: Are you working on any new designs or lines that you can tell us about - or at least drop us some hints?
Three Chickadees: We can tell you that we will be incorporating new styles of ribbons into our lines that have a more exotic flair. We like the look of some of the European and Asian batik and brocade ribbons that we have seen, and we will be adding some of them to our line. We are also exploring the idea of using fabrics to create our products in addition to ribbons. Of course, we can't give away all of our secrets, so please keep checking our website for our latest styles and selection!
Visit the Three Chickadees website at www.threechickadees.com
* Links marked with * and the image links in this article point to websites not associated with BellaOnline.com. BellaOnline.com is not responsible for the material found there.
The images used in this article are copyright Three Chickadees, LLC, and are used here by permission.
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