Dericole Designs is a small jewelry business located in Columbus, Ohio. Owner, Nicole Derifield, hand-stamps jewelry and creates her own designs. We interviewed this local entrepreneur to learn more about her journey. Meet Dericole Designs at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3!
Tell us about your local business.
Dericole Designs. Columbus, OH I worked for many years at a small local bead store called Byzantium. I learned a lot there and met life long friends, but most of my skills are self taught or learned thru classes at the Cultural Arts Center. I strive to create everyday jewelry pieces that inspire and bring joy to your life.
What drew you to your craft?
When I was about 12 years old my Dad took me to this small bakery / restaurant that was located next to the North Market (it no longer exists). In the back corner they had a very small area with loose beads for sale. Every so often we would stop in there and I would make a bee line straight for the beads, picking out what I could afford with the few dollars I had from doing odd chores.
I had really long hair then and so did my dad kinda (hahaha). Our favorite show at the time was Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and the love interest (Sully) had a small area of his hair braided with beads on the end. Well, my dad and I both started braiding a small section of our hair and adding beads to the end. This is my earliest memory of my budding interest in all things jewelry. About 12 years ago one of my best friends asked me to take a class in metal-smithing with her at the Cultural Arts Center. It sounded fun, so I agreed. I had no real idea what we would be doing, but once I got there and started working thru some of the projects I was hooked. I still pay for class time there; every week for 3 hours I go in and work on whatever I’m moved to create. It’s a really amazing environment being surrounded by so many focused talented individuals all at once.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
To date, my most favorite completed piece is my husbands wedding band. I put about 15 hours of work into it. He is a mechanic and has very large hands, his ring finger is a size 13; making his ring almost the same diameter as a quarter. It started as a thick piece of metal that I had to roll down to the right thickness, cut to the right length, texture, form and stamp with our wedding date. We just got married in September of 2017 in California. The day after our wedding we drove to a near by lake where we went swimming and my husbands ring slipped off his hand. we spent about 45 mins in the water looking for it and after a prayer sent up to my recently departed grandmother I actually found the ring! It was a crazy moment, all of the people on the beach started cheering. So needless to say that ring has a very special place in my heart.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
My mom kept a book of me every year I was in school, and every year the “what I want to be when I grow up” category changed. I think that says a lot about me. I’ve worn a lot of hats in my time on this earth. I think I am just genuinely curious about everything. I love learning. But some of the more memorable “what I want to be’s” were Dental Hygienist (I was and still am fascinated by teeth), Art Teacher, and actress (my mom was convinced I would end up on broadway citing my extreme flare for drama as a child, hahahaha)
What is your creative process?
My creative process really varies. Jewelry making is really cathartic for me. Especially with the direction I am taking my jewelry now, I really try to wait and see what comes to me. I believe if you are patient the answers always present themselves and I really think that transitions into jewelry making as well. I am working a lot more with stones and settings in sterling silver now and the process is much more tedious, its not as much instant gratification and its taking me a lot longer to build up my back stock. But the process is so rewarding, taking my time, letting a stone speak to you, trying new techniques and creating something beautiful and unique that didn’t exist before is something that will always bring me joy.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
DON’T STOP! I took a major break from all jewelry making in my mid twenties, there was a lot going on in my personal life and I really let it affect the things that had always brought me joy and solice. I beat myself up a lot thinking where I would be if I hadn’t taken that step back. But I try to remind myself everything happens for a reason.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
Aside from the obvious reasons of how much small business supports local communities and economies, if you stop and look around you, most of the businesses you are coming in contact with are small businesses. The pizza place is independent or franchise someone sunk their life savings into, your insurance agent may be an independent rep working for themselves, your hair stylist (which some of you may know is my full time gig where I am also self employed) the ice cream shop, the local bar, the list goes on. So much of our communities depend on these small bushiness, regular people like you and me who had a dream big enough that we couldn’t stop until we made it happen. What so many people don’t see is how much hard work, blood, sweat, tears (lots of tears) and money goes into owning and running a small businesses. Many of us have started out with just a few extra dollars we had and decided to take a chance. There are so many sleepless nights, endless cups of coffee and never ending passion that gets poured into everything we do and that is something I always want to support.
Why do you love doing what you do?
I really love what I do because of my customers. It sounds so cheesy, but let me break it down for you. We all only have so much extra money that we can spend on the non-essentials. I am by no means balling out and I know the challenges of living on a budget. So when one of you beautiful souls comes up to my booth at a show, or places an order thru my Etsy shop or contacts me with a custom order I am literally blown away. The fact that you love something I made with my own two hands enough to fork over your hard earned cash is so humbling to me. I appreciate every single sale on this level and I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the support of my customers. I think all makers feel this way, because I think secretly we are all a little insecure every time we put something that we poured our hearts into out in the world.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
DO IT!!! DO IT RIGHT NOW! Put yourself out there. Find local artists that you are inspired by and reach out to them. Ask ALL the dumb questions, because I can assure you I have. There is an amazing thing happening in our society right now, especially in the maker community, no longer are we holding our secrets under lock and key. We are holding classes and seminars and doing online tutorials. We are meeting up to network. Its such a beautiful thing to see. I truly believe there is room for all of us. The older I get the more I loose my fear of failing. I would rather try than wonder my whole life what could have been.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
One of the things I love most about Columbus specifically is that I can drive 30 minutes in any direction and be in the country. The topography changes so quickly once you are out of the city. My mother moved to California when I was 18 and she didn’t come back for 10 years. On her first visit back I drove her down to Hocking Hills, we spent the day exploring, stopping at every little place that peaked our interest. On the way home she thanked me for taking her down there and said she had forgotten how truly beautiful Ohio is. So many people think Ohio is this no where state with nothing to offer, But the magical thing about Ohio is that there are surprises waiting for you in every small town and around every bend on a winding road. The beauty of this state takes my breath away.