Amber and Madelyn Lewis had no plans to start a business when they purchased bracelet beads at a craft store.
The mother and daughter, one a science teacher and tennis coach at Spain Park High School and the other a student at SPHS, wanted to make jewelry. But as their tastes and talents grew, the couple began to receive requests from family and friends to make jewelry for others.
“We were pleasantly surprised that it took off the way it did,” said Amber Lewis.
The Lewisons launched Road Less Traveled Jewelry in the fall of 2018, just months after their first foray into jewelry making. Amber Lewis said this has been a big step as she has been a teacher for 21 years and has no business background.
“We are called Road Less Traveled jewelry and the idea behind it was to take a risk that is outside your comfort zone, not to take the popular road. And that’s kind of what it was for us, ”she said.
The response, through word of mouth and a small number of shows around the city, has been overwhelmingly positive. Madelyn Lewis said the best feeling is when someone compliments their work, buys it, and even brings a friend back to show them one of the pieces from the RLT jewelry collection.
“It’s fun to see the domino effect,” her mother said.
Amber Lewis said her daughter is the person responsible for the ideas in the business, although they both contribute to their thoughts in order to have jewelry that appeals to a wider audience. Madelyn Lewis said she sees ideas online and in the city, and often does a quick sketch on her phone when creativity kicks in.
“She’s really got a lot of talent in the design, the ideas and the assembly,” Amber Lewis said.
The pair use supplies from markets as well as craft stores, and Amber Lewis said her daughter often counted every link in a chain to ensure that an earring or necklace rests exactly as it does. must.
RLT Jewelry started with crossover necklaces, which are still popular, they said. They now have a wide range of earrings and necklaces to suit all tastes, all under $ 20.
“We’re not really looking for it to be elite and expensive, we want it to be accessible and fun,” said Amber Lewis.
Each room is named after a road in Birmingham, from its neighborhood to the city center.
“Hopefully we have a lot more parts coming up with a lot more routes to use,” said Amber Lewis.
During the holidays, the Lewisons also started offering personalized candles, as Amber Lewis enjoys making her own burning candles in her classroom. They sold around 150 candles over the winter break, she said, and they anticipate that will represent a larger part of the business in the future.
Mother and daughter even talk about having candle-making parties, where customers can choose their scents and wicks and even bring their own container, like a glass of champagne for a special occasion.
Amber Lewis said RLT Jewelry took off faster than expected, mostly thanks to word of mouth and friendships.
Running their business will become more difficult in the fall as Madelyn, a senior, leaves for Auburn University. Although Amber Lewis is proud – and herself an Auburn Tiger – she said she hoped working on jewelry together would inspire her daughter to come home frequently.
Jewelry design started out as a way to spend time together, Madelyn Lewis said, and she is convinced that they will always be able to grow their business even with more distance between them.
“I really enjoy the time I spend with Madelyn because she’s a teenager and that means she’s in a thousand different directions. And that keeps her here a little bit more often,” Amber Lewis said.
Find Road Less Traveled jewelry on Instagram at @rltjewelry. Amber Lewis said they are building a website to launch in the near future.
– Jasmyne Ray contributed to this article.