We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Patino and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’d love to share my thought process, and story behind my brand. I learned an appreciation for handmade goods at an early age. I’m from St. Louis, but growing up I travelled back to Colombia, South America to visit my extended family. Speaking spanish and staying in the remote ultra-green farm country of central Colombia has been my normal. Even as a kid, at the end of my trips I’d come home with handmade purses, belts and jewelry from artisans. It planted an appreciation for handmade accessories, nature, cultures and love of travel.
This was my first hands on understanding of accessories we enjoy; they come from the earth and made with intention by actual people. Watching a piece come to life was inspiring and has shaped my journey of who I am today.
I worked as a designer in the jewelry fast fashion industry, travelled overseas and came to discover that much of the jewelry metal and gem mining industry treats the earth and it’s people poorly. Not all jewelry factories, but many. It’s disappointing, unfair and didn’t sit well with me. I thought that women deserve to have jewelry they could feel good about.
Jewelry is the story of the materials, the process, the maker and YOU. It can lift your spirit, celebrate your style and still be kind to the earth.
So I designed a collection with a mission. It honors a commitment to sustainability and kindness towards the earth. We also give a percentage of proceeds to local organizations as well as WEA, the Womens Earth Alliance. WEA is on a mission to protect our environment, end the climate crisis, and ensure a just, thriving world by empowering women’s leadership.
Sara Patino Jewelry is a timelessly modern collection for everyday ease. It’s handcrafted with recycled gold and sustainably sourced natural gemstones. It’s jewelry for women that make a difference.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m excited to share my why and how I got to where Sara Patino Jewelry is today. I recently wrote this in my journal and would love to share it here:
Hope. A word that fuels my heart, mind and hands, and will bring my new fine jewelry collection to you soon. Let me share more about myself and why “hope” matters.
14 years ago I took an evening jewelry making class after my corporate day job. I fell in ❤️ with it.
I hoped 🤞🏼 to get into a local art show. In 2008 I made it into Schlafly Art Outside!
I just hoped to make people happy with jewelry. I started my first jewelry business that year. I made pretty things and worked as a yoga/fitness instructor… but hoped to do jewelry full time someday.
I hoped to learn everything about making jewelry and got an offer to work for a fast fashion company as a full time jewelry designer. I hoped to learn more under a corporate structure.
I hoped we could make jewelry differently. I travelled to factories and saw how fast fashion jewelry was made. My boss said it wasn’t possible to be profitable if we made it in the US.
I still hoped I could someday create a line with recycled metals and ethical gemstones.
In 2014 I got married and hoped, that I could have a jewelry business, start it at home and have a family.
Starting a biz and getting pregnant seemed impossible.
My body couldn’t handle a pregnancy, and my jewelry equipment was dusty and boxed up. I had a 9-5 job. Something had to change.
In the middle of 2019 I left a job and had another miscarriage. I felt hopeless. I slowly remembered…
Hope keeps me going. Hope had me unbox my equipment and start Sara Patino Jewelry in November of 2019.
With a lot of hope, and about 5 years of trying, I got pregnant in 2020. My son is 16 months old now.
14 years after that first class, I’m still hoping to make people happy with jewelry.
I’m launching my first 14k solid gold fine jewelry collection in October and hope you love it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
St. Louis is a lovely place to visit. We would have to go to the St. Louis Arch. It is one of the most beautiful sculptural buildings in the US, in my opinion. I think we would also have to check out the farris wheel at Union Station to get a. good view of the city. Missouri Botanical Gardens is also lovely year around, so we’d have to check out the latest event there and walk the gardens. I think we’d have to do lunch at Vin de Set since it has a great rooftop with a unique view of the city. I think a stroll in Forest Park to see the basin and park grounds is also a must. We would then go for coffee at the Annex in Webster Groves. There is great shopping along that street, with beautifully curated shops that are locally owned and just can’t be missed There are way too many places to eat a great dinner in St. Louis, but Katie’s Pizza is on the list for sure!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family and friends. A month before I launched my 1st collection in 2019, I was feeling nervous about taking on this new business. I was starting to think my idea wasn’t good enough. I recall my friends telling me that now is the time, and if not now, then when? A lot of good pep talks were had! My family has helped with everything from; events to packaging jewelry shipments, pair stones and more. I would be here without their support and believing me!
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