Adrienne Wiley’s Journey From Corporate Insurance To Jewelry Designer

From startup online retailer to running two San Francisco boutiques, along with features in WWD, Lucky and InTouch, here’s how she did it.

I met San Francisco-based jewelry designer Adrienne Wiley on the set of TLC a few years back. At the time, she had already experienced quite a bit of success with her distinctive hand-crafted jewelry line – Frolick Jewelry.

She brought her collection to the set and people couldn’t wait to snatch up her distinctively vintage and modern designs. One thing that really stuck out about Adrienne – a go-getter attitude. She mentioned that at an early age she was motivated by her parents to express herself creatively and follow her dreams.

Frolick Jewelry is a vibrant line of hand-crafted jewelry that combines a wide spectrum of color and a variety of styles. Adrienne’s distinctive design style is expressed by mixing unexpected colors and mediums.


Source: Frolick Jewelry

She uses elaborate materials to develop her line, including: vintage Japanese glass, Italian bone feathers, Freshwater pearls from Brazil, Jade from Thailand, vintage cameos from Paris, and Swarovski crystals. Each season, Adrienne creates approximately 80 pieces that can be found in over 200 stores nationwide.

Adrienne’s startup story is impressive.

She topples the excuse that so many people use to avoid starting a business, “I work full-time and just don’t have the time.” Adrienne, proves this excuse is simply an excuse.

From startup online retailer to running two San Francisco boutiques, along with features in WWD, Lucky and InTouch, here’s how she did it.


Company: Covet &  Frolick Jewelry

Founder/Age: Adrienne Wiley, 32

Location: San Francisco, CA

Startup Year: 2005

Startup Costs: $1500


How I Got Started

I started my business as a creative outlet from my corporate insurance job and began making jewelry and selling it to my friends and co-workers. From there I began selling jewelry to stores.

I would use my lunch hour to go on appointments. After I had a few stores selling the line I realized that it could be a viable wholesale business. So I saved up enough money to pay off my credit card bills and startup cost… then I quit my insurance job and started running Frolick full-time. I recently opened a retail store last May and plan to open a second location in San Francisco on February 8, 2010.


Best Success Story

I am very pleased with the recent opening of my first retail store. It happened really quickly. I decided to open it on a gut feeling that it was something that I could bring to the market to fill a void, especially in the current economy. It has been going very well so far and we are now opening our second location only 9 months later.


Tip for Entrepreneurs

Don’t be afraid to try. In the years since I started my business I have had to take numerous risks in order to grow the business. It is important to research before making decisions and get as much information as possible to make an educated choice. However, don’t let anyone else make the ultimate decision for you. Their experience may be very different from yours.


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