Meet Pam Hurst, Owner of Pam Hurst Designs & The Sterling Butterfly. Since 2000, Pam has created jewelry with silver, gold, and gemstones. In her custom work, she enjoys taking a customer’s special moments, celebrations, trials, and successes and interpreting them into a piece of jewelry that has meaning to them. Located in Martinsville, Pam also runs her brick & mortar store, The Sterling Butterfly which showcases independent artists who are mostly regional. Learn more about Pam’s unique backstory and why being a local business positively impacts her community.
Why did you decide to start Pam Hurst Designs?
After leaving my corporate job after my son was born, I needed something to do for myself. I have always loved jewelry and so I started creating some of my own. I did mostly beading at first, then started learning metalsmithing which lead to attending Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, CA earning my jewelry technician diploma.
What drew you into the jewelry industry?
I have always loved jewelry and with my background in engineering and business, it seemed like a good fit. Jewelry is very process-oriented and was an easy transition. I have always joked that I made car parts as a corporate job (as a former engineer at General Motors), now I do the same on a much smaller scale. Learning about the properties of gemstones and how the different metals react fulfills my nerdy side. After several years, I decided to open a store to sell my pieces and fellow Indiana artists’ work. Every year it evolves more!
Can you explain your overall mission as a local company?
I love being a part of our local community, both serving it and supporting it. We are involved in multiple aspects at a local level and feel it helps to positively impact the community.
My mission with my store is to have a home for quality artists to sell their work. We feature over 20 Indiana artists’ work at The Sterling Butterfly. We would like to keep everything as local as possible.
What philosophies are at the core of your business?
To support both the community and artists by having a welcoming shop to showcase their products. In my jewelry, I strive to hand-fabricate all my pieces with quality materials. People are my inspiration and my collections usually stem from a story or memory in my life. Life moments, both good and bad, are a part of each of our journeys and form who we are.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Never do the same job for more than 3 years. One of my old bosses told me this, he said the first year is a learning curve, the second year you get competent, and the third year you are on cruise control. After the third year, you aren’t growing. He didn’t mean you have to totally change your job but maybe change some aspects, add some things, learn new skills, etc.
What advice would you give to those thinking of starting their own business?
Plan to work harder than you ever have and always believe in yourself!
What is the greatest challenge in your industry?
Retail is a hard industry to plan around. Customers are finicky and so many outside factors that you do not have control over can change your business model in a heartbeat. You must be ready to adapt and change.
What are some of your future plans for your business?
I am slowly changing my releases to smaller collections of pieces with more intention. My next big release will be in the time frame of May or June.
What is one fun fact about yourself or your business that people may not know about?
I have had my jewelry pieces featured on a few TV shows, The Vampire Diaries and Jane the Virgin! I have also been chosen to contribute designs for major Hollywood events like The Academy Awards and The Golden Globes. Locally, I have won several awards and honors. I am a member of the Indiana Artisan Association, Indiana Owned, and The Society of North American Goldsmiths.
Check out the gorgeous work of Pam Hurst Designs and if you’re in town, stop by and say hello at The Sterling Butterfly! To make sure you never miss an update, you can follow Pam Hurst Designs on Instagram and Facebook!
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Featured Images: Pam Hurst Designs