Meet the Maker – Sarah Greenberg of Sarah Swell

Chloe Tate

Sarah Swell Jewelry


This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re going behind the scenes with the loveliest of handcrafted jewelry artists: Sarah Greenberg of Sarah Swell, who nurtures her burgeoning jewelry brand from a stunning studio/showroom space in Sausalito, California. Welcome, Sarah!


LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?

Sarah: I think I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. I almost feel like it was the only choice for me. I’d say the leap began after dropping out of art school to pursue a career as a jewelry designer. It’s been a very long road for me because of various obstacles that presented themselves, but the end goal has always been clear. Sometimes after a bad day/week/month, I think about closing the business, but then I realize that what I’d want to do is just start another business anyway!


LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Sarah: I hoped that I would become one of the designers at the forefront of the handcrafted jewelry movement. We’re constantly working towards that goal.


LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Sarah: We create handcrafted precious metal jewelry that exemplifies casual luxury.


Sarah Swell Jewelry


LBC: Where can we find your products?

Sarah: We sell our jewelry through wholesale accounts across the country, online at, and out of our workshop/boutique space in Sausalito, CA (just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco).


LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.

Sarah: I usually start the day off answering emails and doing general “housekeeping” tasks or dealing with things that didn’t get finished the day before. This always seems to eat up half of the day. After that, there’s really no typical day. An afternoon could include working at the bench making jewelry, meeting with clients, doing store or press outreach, designing a new collection, or going to meet with my diamond setter or metal caster.


Sarah Swell Jewelry


LBC: What are 3 things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?

Sarah: 1. Are you in it for the long run? Building a business takes time, patience and dedication. In most cases, it’s going to take you longer than you hope it is going to!

2. Are you an expert? Of course you’ll never have ALL of the knowledge before taking the leap of starting your own business, but I’m a big believer in knowing your sh*t. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, how are you going to convince and convey to others that what you’re doing is worth their time, attention and ultimately, money? Learn your craft inside and out. Know the materials, the process, and your customer base.

3. Are you ready to give things up? Running a business eats up your time, money, and sometimes your sanity. Are you prepared to skip that friend’s birthday party, start packing your lunches, and always be thinking about your business? If these points excite you rather than make you run for the hills, then jump all in – you are entrepreneur material!


LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?

Sarah: This is a tough one for me. I have a bad habit of getting excited about projects and taking on too much, but I’m working on saying “no” more often. Currently, it’s either yoga, a long walk, or my husband that helps me level back out.


Sarah Swell Jewelry


LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.

Sarah: Deciding to grow the wholesale side of my business by attending trade shows was a great move that I wish I had been able to do sooner. I’ve gained many amazing retailers that sell my work and it’s also increased brand awareness overall. I also recently set up a work bench at home so that I can create when the mood strikes rather than being confined by the tasks at hand in the studio. This has been great for spurring new ideas.


LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?

Sarah: I waited entirely too long to hire help. I was so concerned with spending the money, that I let orders pile up to the point where I was working overnight to fill them. At the time, I found the struggle to almost be invigorating – I finally had the amount of work that I had been dreaming about. But, I inevitably got burnt out and ultimately slowed the growth of my business, because I wasn’t able to take on opportunities as they arose. I hired my first employee a few years ago. It took a while to iron out the chaos I had created by being a one woman show, but now we’re in a great place.


LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?

Sarah: 1. Instagram. Hands down, it’s the best free marketing tool to build your audience.

2. My employees. These days, they have more of an idea what’s going on with the day-to-day than I do. It’s been difficult for me to let go of control, but when I trust them with important tasks, they always blow me away with the results.

3. My iPhone. If I don’t stay on top of emails and social media it’s a recipe for overwhelm.


Sarah Swell Jewelry


LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?

Sarah: I’m working hard to move more into fine jewelry and one-of-a-kind pieces. This arena is more interesting as a designer and maker and also creates a sense of desire and urgency for the customer. I also envision having a studio and boutique on the East Coast where I grew up. Summer on Cape Cod, Winter in California. That’s the dream.


LBC: What’s one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?

Sarah: My lowbrow self says buffalo wings with tubs of blue cheese dressing. My highbrow self says the freshest sashimi on the planet.


LBC: Your musical playlist is full of…

Sarah: Singer-songwriters, past and present.


LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures.

Sarah: Broad City and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on the couch.


Sarah Swell Jewelry

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your talent with us!  We absolutely love what you’re doing with Sarah Swell, and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for you and your company. We’re cheering you on!


Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!


About the Author

Chloe Tate

Once described as “relentlessly cheerful,” Chloe is a lover of all things colorful and practically every fruit known to man. She lives in Atlanta and divides her time between supporting Lucky Break clients, keeping shop at a local artisan market, and event planning for business conferences. She’s also working on the launch of her skincare line while finishing her degree in Organizational & Leadership Studies. True story: Chloe shares 50% of Lela’s DNA and is poised to inherit her obscenely large shoe collection.

2 responses on “Meet the Maker – Sarah Greenberg of Sarah Swell

  1. Liz B

    I love Sarah’s work! Thanks for sharing her story. I have a ring of my own. She is very sweet gal with a lovely collection. I hope to get more soon. Everything she said sounds way too familiar. I’m at the point where I desperately need to hire help but it’s a scary plunge. A goal for the start of 2017.

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