MUNCIE, IN (NewsLink Indiana) - A Muncie woman took her jewelry business from the comfort of her own home to a storefront location in Downtown Muncie.
It all began when Heidi Hale decided to make name rings for herself. She says a neighbor saw the rings and the rest was history.
“She [the neighbor] asked if I could make the rings for her, and I said sure. She posted a picture on Facebook and everybody went crazy,” Hale said.
Hale received as much as 700 orders per day and said she knew she couldn’t continue to work out of her home. She went to Ball State’s Metalsmith department to try and recruit students to work for her.
Rachel Meszaros, Ball State Alumna, is a designer at the jewelry store and was hired while she attended Ball State. She says she didn’t expect to get a job right after college, but Hale made it possible.
“Being able to keep something creative in my life even after college and be making money off of is definitely a plus. It forces me to keep my creative mind healthy,” Meszaros said.
After recruiting employees and searching for a location, “HeidijHale” now stands in downtown Muncie with an open storefront with 22 employees.
Everything is made inside the studio but jewelry isn't the only thing that they make. The employees make connections with the customers through name rings.
“Behind every set of name rings, there’s a story. A mom who lost her child, whether it’d be at birth or at war. I constantly tell them [the employees] when they’re making these, there’s something behind it,” Hale said.
Jackie Johnson, Hale’s mother, helps design other types of jewelry like bracelets, necklaces and earrings but says it's hard to explain how she comes up with ideas.
“It’s like when you see a song on American idol, they say make it your own, that’s kind of what I do,” Johnson said.
Johnson explained with all the orders, especially around holidays, it can get pretty stressful. Instead of taking a break, she spends time with their dog Marabel or their hamster Moe.
“We have pets, that is a must in the studio. It’s relaxing to sit there for a minute and hold something furry and adorable,” Johnson said. Hale says having a unique jewelry store is what makes her business stand out from the rest.
“Anybody can make jewelry, but it’s a meaningful piece, something behind the jewelry, that I love and I feel like it’s special.”
Hale explained she doesn’t see herself moving into another store or expanding. She said she’s comfortable with where she is in Downtown Muncie.