Today we’d like to introduce you to Bridgette Raitz.
Bridgette, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started out a long way from selling stones. After graduating from college, I became a CPA, eventually making my way to Atlanta. Fast forward a number of years, raising 2 kids and working in a thriving family business, and I finally followed my dream of being a mixed media artist with my pieces shown in galleries in the Southeast. Though I loved both this venture and the next that followed in “upcycling” gently used clothing, nothing has quite grabbed my attention and interest like stones.
Whispering Stones was formed in 2016 with the mission to introduce the amazing metaphysical qualities of stones to those who were ready to embrace and explore them. I believe they are multi-faceted stone “companions” that through their energetic signatures can ground, protect and inspire us. As an excited “stone whisperer”, I see myself as a humble conduit of the stones — helping them find their eventual partners and homes.
In the beginning, I designed mainly pendants and grounding strands – each one of a kind – as “wearable wisdom” pieces that were as unique as the women who bought them. As interest in my company grew and I was offered more opportunities to display the collection, I began offering a wider array of pieces that now has grown to include unisex bracelets in over 60 types of stones, a larger collection of necklaces, anklets in season, earrings and even eyeglass chains. Given the questions I fielded at every exhibit, it seemed natural to bring a small sampling of stones that were the original source of inspiration for the jewelry. This addition attracted a whole new group of buyers who loved to both wear the stones and have them around at home, at work, and at play. By attending the annual world-renowned Tucson Gem Show and two shows per year in Franklin, NC, I love stocking the “store” with amazing stones from all over the world. We have also expanded our offerings in this area to include not only individual stones but our subscriptions called Rocks in the Box and Stone Bags of Goodness. Recently, we added amazing stone infused water bottles by VitaJuwel to our lines as well.
Whispering Stones began selling on Etsy, and through this platform, we have built a very loyal following of stone and jewelry lovers — from casual buyers to avid collectors. I really enjoy my interactions with these repeat clients from all over the country and throughout the world. Live and in person, we can be found in Atlanta area shows on the festival circuit, including the European Market at Milton, Brookhaven Arts Festival, CrabappleFest, Dunwoody UMC’s Holiday Market, and coming up in April, Sandy Springs Artsapalooza. In between these special events, we love sharing the wisdom of the stones at our frequent Pop Up shops at Atlanta’s Pottery Barns. Several times a year, I will also host occasional shows in my home studio to let stone lovers experience the full array we have to offer and a real opportunity to play. Whispering Stones is my passion – a wonderful venture that never ceases to delight and inspire me.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s hard to break into the very overcrowded jewelry field. Profit margins can be low, handcrafting intense, and competition is fierce. One of my largest obstacles was just getting into my first noteworthy festival, Grant Park Summer Shade Festival, that greeted me with a 100+ degree heat index for both days. Yet, this resume builder helped me get to the next and then the next. Though I still get my share of rejection letters or invitations to the dreaded “wait list”, I am finding my opportunities consistently.
I have received some really divine inspiration when choosing the stones which have been so welcome and extraordinary faith from friends which helped me keep trying. So blessed.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Whispering Stones Jewelry – what should we know?
Whispering Stones offers stone jewelry and stones. We are known for quality pieces that are unique, often one of a kind, and made with real, vibrational stone.
I am most proud of our customer service, knowledge about the stones and attention to detail. We work to make every client happy and provide as much information about the stones in our products as we can. With that goal in mind, we try to educate as well as delight.
What sets us apart in the overcrowded jewelry category is our emphasis on the metaphysical properties of the stones- and truly believing and educating that these lovely stones can ground, protect, inspire and heal.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have been blessed to have a number of key people help me throughout the process. Sharron Reagan served as my consultant for branding Whispering Stones and gave us a great launch. Scott Ritshie created our website which has allowed us to spread our message in style. Since the beginning, I have relied on my husband, Ron for his muscle in setting up tents and tables at all hours – even in the dark of night. My daughter, Nikki is my ultimate partner in selling — she can feel the stones, as well as understand and communicate their properties with ease. And my friends have been so supportive and helpful whenever I have needed them.
I am also very grateful to the ladies at East Cobb’s Pottery Barn who have been so generous with their space and support. They, along with others who run the festivals, have given me a chance and helped me expand to new levels.
- Unisex bracelets- range from $22-50
- Intention necklaces- range from $35-100
- Stones- range from $5-150
- Earrings- $30-70
- Address: 2205 Heathermoor Hill Drive Marietta GA 30062
- Website: www.whisperingstonesjewelry.com
- Phone: 770.653.9931
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: whisperingstonesjewelry
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whisperingstonesjewelry/
- Other: www.whisperingstonesetsy.etsy.com