Susan Logsdon and Amanda Helman of Golden Gems
The hustle is real with Susan Logsdon and Amanda Helman of Golden Gems . They are busy getting their new storefront on Cherokee up and running while working other jobs on the side. Their new storefront is spacious with tall tin ceilings. One wall has a large dark blue mural of bright oranges and orange blossoms on leafy branches. When I stepped in the store, I felt my cool and confidence level rise instantly. Their products are bold, unapologetic and feminist. It is a great place to get badass household goods and gifts. Plus, I was greeted with a mimosa : hell yes!
Tell us about Golden Gems.
We make and sell handmade home decor and accessories. We are two sisters who want to kick ass, change the world, and take everyone with us! Our goal is to introduce the world to our décor and accessories that mix simplistic beauty with a sense of moxie that will inspire others.
Your products are boldly feminist. I get all riled up when I go to your Etsy shop. What inspires you?
We want to empower other women to be badass babes who are kickin’ ass and taking no shit! We are able to draw from our own experience and the experiences of other women to create products that make women feel good about themselves!
What drew you to entrepreneurship, specifically this line of work?
Growing up we were always making things and coming up with new ideas. In 2016 we both had separate etsy shops going. After lots of conversations over the past few years and many bottles of wine we finally decided to join forces and start Golden Gems. We grew up on a farm surrounded by orange groves on Golden Gem Rd in Apopka, Florida, hence our name! Our parents still live there and we draw lots of inspiration from home.
What is your brainstorming process like? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
We draw inspiration from all kind of things! Lately we’ve been really inspired by our childhood home on Golden Gem rd. in Apopka, Fl where we grew up among the orange groves. We love to collect vintage Florida postcards. You’ll find a lot of those around the shop! One of our favorite things to do is walk through antique stores and find some weird little object, last time it was a stainless steel bottle opener that is shaped like a pin up girl leg. I snatched that up so fast! We’ve got drawers filled with little things that we go back to over time and get inspired by.
When we’re together it’s like a constant flow of ideas. Sometimes we’ll both see something and both look at each other and just know we have to do something with it! But we try to separate out time where we both can just spout off ideas and then usually we’ll fixate on one thing that feels right and keep going from there until we get to the right iteration of it.
Almost always our initial sketch or idea looks so different from our final product. We change and tweak things until its right. One thing we’ve learned over the years is not to rush anything. When we rush it, we usually aren’t happy with it in the end. We try to take our time now and give ourselves the necessary time to reach that sweet spot.
Going into business with your sister seems challenging. What is it like?
We work really well together. People always say you shouldn’t go into business with family, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! As sisters, we’ve always been really close. Working together, we have realized what the other does really well and what they might need help on. Where one of us lacks something, the other is usually right there to pick it up. We both bring something important to the table that helps balance each other out. We’re not saying it’s always rainbows and sunshine. Being sisters definitely has its challenges, but because we can be very honest with each other, we are always able to move past the hard stuff.
How do you deal with sexism or bias in your line of work?
I think as women sometimes we aren’t taken as seriously. We’ve received lots of mansplaining from manufacturers who think they know better about our products than we do and that is very frustrating. However, we take those experiences and let them inspire us! We are all about empowering women and bringing them to the front, so we take it in stride and use it in our next product.
We hear you recently acquired a storefront! Does this mean you’re going to have regular storefront hours? What are your plans?
Right now we are really excited because we just moved into a space on Cherokee Street! We had been working out of our homes, and it was getting pretty tight. It’s been a dream for a while to have a storefront and when the opportunity presented itself we knew we had to take it! The space will function as a studio for us to work, but will also function as a retail space! Nothing is set in stone yet, but we’re hoping to start doing some workshops/classes that people can sign up for and we’re hoping to be open to the public on the weekends! So stay tuned for what’s to come!
What brought you to Saint Louis, and what kept you here?
We both went to college in Greenville Illinois, about an hour outside of St. Louis. We visited St. Louis all the time and really fell in love with the city! There is such a great support system for makers and small businesses here. Everyone is so supportive of each other and we just love that. I don’t think you find that in most places. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows you! We’ve had other maker friends visit and they always comment on how much support there is here for makers. St. Louis really is on the forefront of something right now. It’s not quite LA or NYC, but we really do feel like it’s on it’s way to being something of that caliber, but also something that is entirely it’s own!
Is there anything else about being a badass business babe that you’d like to share?
Keep kicking ass, taking no shit, and givin em hell!!
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