In this interview with Christina Kober, the creative mind behind Christina Kober Designs, we delve into the world of meaningful messages and the art of crafting deeply personal jewelry.
Q: How do you choose the messages that resonate with your customers for your jewelry designs?
A: We find our messages in various places. Sometimes it's something personal that I need to hear, like our recent collection, which meant a lot to me. Other times, it's inspired by current events, like "SHE PERSISTED" in 2017. And sometimes, it's just something that feels right. It all starts with a personal connection because my business is personal to me, and it's personal to you.
Q: Your designs often feature personalization. How do you assist customers in crafting custom messages that hold special meaning for them?
A: I love helping customers in creating messages that are deeply meaningful to them. It can be challenging to start with a blank page (or a piece of jewelry), so I often begin by asking them about their needs and the significance of the piece, as well as the relationships involved. This initial conversation can provide the starting point we need to craft something truly special. You can find more information about our custom concierge services here.
Q: How do emotions and personal experiences influence the message selection process for your jewelry?
A: I've noticed, particularly through social media memes, that often what I feel resonates with many others. So I try to tap into what I personally need to hear and be reminded of. Sometimes the message is gentle, emphasizing love or staying present. Other times, it's more assertive, serving as a reminder of one's worth.
Q: In a world saturated with words and messages, how do you make sure your jewelry stands out and creates a lasting impression on your customers?
A: We prioritize two key aspects. First, we aim to provide exceptional customer service, always being approachable and understanding. Second, we focus on delivering the finest product possible. This commitment extends from our rigorous quality standards for materials to our meticulous quality control criteria for stamping.
Q: Can you provide some examples of touching stories from customers who discovered profound meaning in the messages on your jewelry?
A: So many! We have had countless heartwarming moments. In the early days of my business, I offered a "surprise me" option for our fortune cookie necklace. It was such a joy to send customers a necklace with a message I personally selected for them. I received a flood of feedback from customers, expressing how the message they received was exactly what they needed.
One particularly special memory is when someone used our fortune cookie necklace to propose. Initially, I reached out to the customer and got no response, which made me anxious. However, a few years later, I received an email from a woman who revealed that she was proposed to using the fortune cookie necklace. She apologized for not responding earlier, but shared that they were now happily married!
Our customers have ordered pieces with messages for various reasons, including in memoriam to honor a loved one, to remind a friend of their worth, to help cope with escaping abuse, to celebrate the birth of children, and even to share an inside joke. Each of these pieces has held profound meaning for the wearer in their unique way. Hearing these stories from our customers reminds me of the incredible impact our jewelry can have.
Q: How has the message selection process evolved since the beginning, and what's the future direction?
A: When I first started, I was only making fortune cookie necklaces, drawing inspiration solely from fortune cookies, with messages like "Be mischievous and you will not be lonesome" and "Happiness begins with a smile." Over time, we incorporated messages that deeply resonated with me, like "Never settle for anything less than butterflies," as we expanded our product range.
To involve our community, we introduced features like voting for favorite new messages and hosting message submission contests. I typically add new messages once a year, dedicating the year to collect and refine quotes. The selection process involves determining which message pairs best with each piece or holds greater power for the wearer.
Looking ahead, we'll continue engaging our community in the message selection process while staying true to our heartfelt message-driven ethos.
Q: Can you provide advice for individuals seeking meaningful messages for themselves or as gifts for loved ones?
A: Certainly! When selecting a message for yourself, start by considering why you love the piece and how you plan to wear it. Are you looking for a daily reminder, a commemoration, or something else? If it's a reminder, consider choosing a piece like a ring or bracelet that you'll frequently see. Reflect on your challenges and goals; from there, you can build your message, whether it's a single word or a meaningful quote.
If you're choosing a message as a gift, think about the occasion. While "Happy Birthday" or "Happy Graduation" may seem fitting, it's often more meaningful to focus on the relationship. Delve into inside jokes, shared phrases, or words of inspiration you often exchange. Craft a message that reminds the recipient of their special place in your life.