We had the good fortune of connecting with Jillian Pratzner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jillian, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It was more of an unfolding than a thought process. I had begun to make mala beads for myself and my close friends, and more people began to ask for them! I just wanted to make intentional jewelry that incorporated gemstones and aided in people’s spiritual journeys.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As an artist you are continually learning, growing and evolving. I started off simply and making one type of jewelry, but with time I wanted to learn more techniques and so my repertoire expanded. I have always remained grounded and connected to the use of gemstones and crystals though, as the name The Gem and I suggests! That is what my main interest was when I started this company and remains so, to make wearable art that carries the power and frequency of the stones. My advice to other artists would be to let your creativity guide you, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try something new, but to stay connected to your mission.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many! I would definitely hit up downtown for delicious eating and drinks, make our way to the mountains for some scenery. If it was a nice hot day I’d take them tubing in Golden, and then round out the weekend with a Red Rocks show!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All of my friends and family have helped me along the way! Whether that be by showing my jewelry to other people, buying it themselves or helping me man my booth at shows. I have been incredibly lucky to have over time grown a large support system that includes other makers, event throwers and community members; everyone helps everyone to succeed and they truly want that too!