Episode 3 – Avani Patel | Owner | Avani Rupa Fine Jewelers

Episode 3 - Avani Patel | Owner | Avani Rupa Fine Jewelers

Avani Patel is an entrepreneur in Birmingham, Alabama. She is co-owner, along with her mother, Rupa, of Avani Rupa Fine Jewelers. Avani Rupa specializes in custom designed, one-of-a-kind pieces. Avani’s Graduate degree in Gemology allows her to outsource diamonds and gemstones of all types. She grew up expecting to be a doctor, but when she was in Middle School, her mother created a jewelry business. While dabbling in the Summer, and helping out after school, she fell in love with her mother’s business. She was captivated, but not by the jewelry.  She specifically fell in love with the fact that her mom started her own business. Seeing her mother’s joy from creating her own path to success inspired Avani to pursue a career that made her happy. Patel graduated from Birmingham Southern College with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a minor in Business. Patel then became a certified Gemologist after attending the Gemological Institute of America in California. She combined her love for art, jewelry design, and business skills, accounting, into running a successful jewelry business!

Duties of a Jeweler and Jewelry Designer

Duties of a small business jewelry designer differ by each day. In Patel’s case, she also works behind the scenes on the business side of the company. When she isn’t creating a dynamic piece of jewelry, you might find her filing taxes, managing transactions, or handling financial statements. The following is a list of average duties of someone in this profession:

• Drafting designs for and consulting with clients

• Making appraisals for jewelry

• Selecting gemstones for pieces of jewelry

• Cleaning the jewelry

• Reshaping metal and gemstones for the perfect fit


Requirements

A bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field is usually necessary to learn the skills for this career.  Jewelry designers must be creative people who have a passion for art. They should be knowledgeable on different materials such as gemstones and metals, but also on unconventional materials such as wood and plastic. Designers should be good at working with people, especially clients who want a custom piece done a certain way. They should be helpful with clients during this creative process. Good eye-hand coordination and expert attention to detail is crucial when designing little pieces of jewelry.


Career Paths

• Appraiser
• Estate Jewelry Dealer
• Gemologist
• Inventory Control Specialist
• Jewelry Business Owner
• Jewelry Buyer
• Lab and Research Professional
• Merchandiser

Details on career paths here!

Schools for Jewelry Design

You don’t need a degree in jewelry design to become a great jewelry designer, like Patel. There are certificates you can receive to help further your knowledge of jewelry design, such as becoming a certified gemologist. If you prefer the school route, there are some universities with great programs for jewelry design. Here are some of those schools:


Salary

Jewelry designers make an average annual salary of $49,058, which is $23.59 per hour. However, the range for this occupation goes from $33,000 to $70,000. Most entry level positions in this field are closer to the lower end of that range. Other skills that affect salary are the location of the business, skill level and experience of the designer, and the ability to be client-focused.


Fun Facts

• The oldest known piece of jewelry is a necklace discovered in South Africa, created 75,000 years ago. It’s made of shells strung together.

• Ever wonder why diamonds are so popular in engagement rings? It’s because a company named “De Beers” coined the phrase, “Diamonds are forever.” These precious gems are millions of years old and are basically indestructible which is symbolized in marriage.

• The most expensive piece of jewelry used in television was the necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, costing over 1 million dollars. 

Find More Fun Facts Here!


How to get Experience

• InternshipsInternships can be paid or unpaid, but they give you a chance to explore a career before fully committing, and can also be a great way to make connections. Search for internships on 

• Volunteer Volunteering almost always means unpaid, but this is also a great way to learn about your industry and make connections. Oftentimes, who you know makes a big difference when starting your career search.

• Experiment – Try designing jewelry at home to see what sparks your interest. Get creative!

We hope these tips will get you on your way to career success! Remember to check out the other episodes in our Video Mentoring series too! There’s more to come!

Kristen

Kristen is a contributor for GirlSpring. Her posts focus on GirlSpring updates and current events.

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