2021 sure was a hell of a year, but I think we can all agree that it definitely beats 2020. This past year was filled with milestones and celebrations, but not without the highs and lows that accompany this rollercoaster of life. Whether you're a familiar face or new to us, here's a recap of what the Elizabeth Sarah Collections team has been up to!
To kick off 2021, Elizabeth began working with master jeweler and friend, George Georgallis, to design and produce her first ever solid gold and diamond line: the ESC Fine Collection. Elizabeth has always dreamt of working with diamonds and this precious metal to create her own unique line that compliments the current collections you all know and love.
After working for several months on this exciting project, which was released in March, Elizabeth officially checked this goal off her bucket list. And even better - every piece sold out from the first batch, and a second one is currently in the works!
New designs were also created to compliment the ever-evolving line of jewelry including more gemstone-focused and intricate one of kind pieces, along with new twists on everybody's small batch favorites.
Throughout the year Philip completed some major works that include art exhibits and large scale mural projects.
In January 2021, Philip was invited to display his original works in the Jacksonville Airport Aviation Administration Building from January - March, and also in the renowned Haskell Gallery inside JIA from July - September. Having his work displayed to hundreds of thousands of travelers and locals alike was a dream come true, and even lead to more opportunities as this was added to his résumé.
Between commissions and murals, Elizabeth and I chip in to help Philip when we're not producing and slinging bling. Whether we help Philip prep and load material for an offsite project, or putting down tape and layers of paint according to his instruction, we all work great together to balance each others workload & tasks. Okay, we might debate about where to order lunch but all things considered we are a mighty team and couldn't ask for more!
We also travel well together, and you can't always find this quality between friends and peers who are together nearly 24/7. You might have seen some of our work travels this year on social media, which included a few trips out of town to New Smyrna Beach & Fernandina Beach for both mural work and jewelry pop ups.
Throughout April 2021 the team was part of an incredible opportunity thanks to Jessica Santiago, friend and founder of Art Republic. The enLighten Art Festival brought together local, regional and international artists to the City of Atlantic Beach and Mayport for a beautification and revitalization effort through this wellness-centric art festival.
Philip served as Creative Director in this initiative, while Elizabeth and myself were his cheerleaders and hype-women, helping with his part with behind the scenes production and social media engagement.
This first of its kind event had an incredible turnout and brought a new sense of community through art within our town.
Throughout spring and summertime Elizabeth began designing for our Winter/Holiday line, and this time of year is crucial so we get all our stunning statement pieces done just in time for the season. Okay...also because who doesn't plan their holiday outfits and coordinating accessories at least a month in advance?
Little did we know that over summertime we were about to open up our first brick and mortar shop, and once the ball began rolling in August, time flew as renovations and new business plans were put in place for opening day on September 24, 2021.
Our grand opening for our Jacksonville Beach Gallery came just about a year after renovating and expanding our production space, Aquilla Studios, at the Walker's home. While it's a scary thought to double down and open/renovate two spaces in just about a year - in the midst of a world pandemic - we were confident that Elizabeth Sarah Collections would thrive and Philip would grow his business as well.
We were right.
Opening the Elizabeth Sarah Collections Gallery which houses both the entire ESC line & Philip's original artwork, is probably the Walker's biggest accomplishment to date. Not only did our physical location & inventory grow, but so did our team!
In October we welcomed our new addition to the ESC squad, Kiley, who slays sales and social media and works at the gallery 2-3 days a week. We are so stoked to have her on our team and thankful for her dedication and passion for this company!
Wrapping up the year, we held epic annual Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals that officially kicked off the holiday season.
The team also held events & pop ups to highlight this special time of year, as the holidays were for the most part taken away due to Covid the year prior.
Most notable was the Elizabeth Sarah Collections pop up at the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park in New York City. You may know this landmark from the famous show Project Runway, or just from visiting the Big Apple. During her three day event, Elizabeth and Philip showcased and sold a representative collection of all her unique styles at this incredible market that reflects that of a European open-air market at Christmastime. Oh and they also chowed down on some of the best food in the world, got inspired by the sights, sounds and energy of NYC, and had a blast working alongside their friend Brandon who's brand, Boozie & Co was also part of the market. I'm only a little jealous.
Coming back on a holiday high from this epic sales opportunity, next on the teams agenda was our very first Gallery Holiday Party! You know our team likes to do things big - and celebrating in style with our clients, friends and family is just what we did!
We finished off the year staying busy with all the gift shopping to be done and are extremely thankful for all those who supported our small business this holiday season.
Our holiday wish was for everyone to remain healthy, safe and happy, and go into the new year with a positive mindset and with new goals to crush in 2022.
The team is excited to see what this year brings and are looking forward to surprising you all with new concepts and designs that have been up our sleeves;).
I hope you enjoyed staying up to date as much as we love sharing our news - big or small - with all of you and continue along with our journey!