We’re back with another chit chat with a fellow Maryland girlboss, Adri Westlake. Talking about her life as the owner and designer of Moon Star Adri, her biggest accomplishments so far, her personal style, and plans for the the near future. Adri makes some pretty awesome vintage-inspired jewelry that you definitely should check out. Nothing like a #girlboss chit chat to get you inspired on a Monday.
Current Title? Company?
Owner/Designer, Moon Star Adri
B.A. in Psychology (minors: sociology, dance), M.A. in Arts Administration
What was your first job out of college and how long were you there? What was the greatest lesson you learned from this experience? Was this the field you wanted to work in?
My first job out of college was as an Administrative Assistant for an engineering recruiting firm (not my desired field, but a decent way to pay my rent). I was there for about 7 months. It was a small company – less than 15 employees – and I learned that the best thing I could do was always be pleasant, even to the people I didn’t get on with very well.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of career advice actually came as parenting advice from my dad when I was pregnant with my first child. He said, “Lots of people are going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. Listen respectfully to the advice, then do what you want.”
What or who encouraged you to pursue this dream?
I have been extremely fortunate to have the unwavering support of my husband – he’s my number one fan. When I was starting out, my husband was really the champion for this dream, encouraging and helping me with product photos, building me a light box, and later building me a custom work table for me.
What personality qualities do you believe are most beneficial for an individual to possess in order to be successful as a creative entrepreneur?
I think a successful creative entrepreneur needs these qualities:
-Self-motivation: No one is going to tell you “get to work” or “you did a good job”.
-Thick skin: Rejection sucks, and you’ll get it a lot. And….
-Discipline: To do the work, but not let “perfect” get in the way of “done”.
Since starting your own business, what has been the largest obstacle you’ve faced? How were you able to overcome it?
Exposure has definitely been the biggest obstacle for me. I’m not naturally good at self-promotion, and it has taken the better part of 3 years for me to be feel comfortable introducing myself as a jewelry artist. I’ve dealt with getting exposure by increasing the number of craft events I do, working with a retail shop, and blogging more regularly to gain a larger audience. It’s still an ongoing process, but I feel I am getting better.
What has been your biggest accomplishment or highlight of your career thus far? In the next five years, where do you hope to see yourself professionally?
Landing my contract with Side Street Gallery was very gratifying to me, especially since they approached me without any prompting. In five years, I’d like to see my jewelry in select women’s boutiques across the country, including a dedicated bridal line.
What is a typical day like for you?
6.15-8.30am: Get everyone up and around – dog walked, kids up, get everyone fed, walk kids to school. I try to sneak in about 15 minutes in the morning to sit with my coffee and planner and write out my to-dos for the day.
8:30am-1:30pm: Work. Depending on the day, this might mean working on blog content, scheduling social media, packing orders, creating custom pieces, or sitting down with my bestie and sketching out the next photoshoot (she’s also my photographer).
1:30-2:30pm: Nap. I’m a firm believer in the power of a midday rest.
2:30-8:30pm: Family stuff. Get the kids from school, run them to their after-school activities, make dinner, prepare lunches for the next day, get them ready for bed.
8:30-10pm: Work on any loose ends I didn’t get to during the day and plan for the following day.
10-11pm: Unwind and reconnect with my husband.
11-11.30pm: Read in bed, go to sleep.
What is your favorite piece in your closet right now?
My favorite jewelry piece is the Edith necklace in black onyx. I wear it a lot. My favorite clothing piece has to be one of my open front cardigans (I get cold easily). I may have an obsession with them – I’ve been banned from buying them by both my husband and my bestie.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is Everyday Vintage Feminine. I love lace details, sparkle, and thoughtful details, and I’m especially influenced by the styles from the 1910s-1950s.
Who would you consider to be your style icon?
Such a hard question! Of the classic style icons, I have to say Audrey Hepburn – I love her youthful yet elegant style. A more modern icon would be the Duchess of Cambridge – she’s got such a refined, ladylike look.
What is your go-to outfit for busy days?
On busy days, you can find me in jeans, a dolman sleeve top (my favorite is lace backed), an open front cardigan, flats, and the Simple Spade earrings in crystal.
If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
I would love to go to Morocco – I love the patterns and colors in the art and tile work.
What do you like to do to unwind or relax?
I love to get lost in a good book to unwind – a nice glass of wine, a book, and a cat on my lap is pretty much my definition of bliss.
What advice can you give to other women that want to start their own handcrafted jewelry business?
Give yourself time to let your style evolve, and don’t be afraid to say “no”. In the past, the desire to make a sale ended up with me creating something that wasn’t reflective of my aesthetic or brand, and I wasn’t happy or proud. It is a process, but I am trying to focus on taking custom orders that are in line with my vintage-romantic style.