ROCHESTER — Driven by a special bond and a dream of creating something together, a pair of Rochester women is making their mark in the permanent jewelry business in Rochester.
Firefly Rochester Permanent Jewelry was started last August by sisters Caree Spratte and Catherin Fischer alongside their good friend Nikita Douglass.
“We were just pondering one evening in my backyard, and Nikita had the idea of permanent jewelry and maybe we should travel to go get something so we can always remain close,” Spratte said. “She knew that eventually she’d be moving away with her husband due to his job. We thought permanent jewelry was one way that we could kind of all stay connected and thought of bringing to the community as well.”
The trio wanted something that would last as long as their friendship and permanent jewelry seemed like the perfect thing for them. Since starting the business, the trio has seen multiple friend groups, family members and couples come and get things together much like they had wanted to from the beginning.
“We saw it in the bigger cities like Denver and the Minneapolis area and it was just something trendy that we hadn’t seen any exposure to in Rochester,” Spratte said. “We were gonna get them elsewhere but after doing research, we realized this would be such a fun idea. It’s something that we’re very capable of doing so that we can share it with the community.”
Douglass has since moved out of state and left the business, but the two sisters have continued on.
Firefly Rochester Permanent Jewelry offers customers to pick a chain from their rotating collection and create a necklace, bracelet or anklet that is welded on, eliminating a need for a clasp. However, if the chain does need to be removed, the wearer can just cut the welded link. The business also offers a free reattachment in case the chain needs to be removed or if it happens to break.
Bracelets seem to be the most popular form, but during the warmer months anklets become more popular. The chains are all gold-filled or sterling silver and they rotate their collection often.
“I think our biggest thing that we really focus on is just the quality (of our products),” said Spratte. “We have some rotating chains and we have our staples from our signature collection. I feel like we spend a lot of time just trying to gather what’s sort of trending.”
The business started out by doing pop-up shops at different places posting the time and locations on their social media page. Social media and word of mouth has been their main source of advertisement and Instagram is where most of their bookings come from.
“It’s been fun to be connected with a lot of other communities even outside of Rochester by word of mouth or social media or different things like that,” said Fischer. “We’ve had the privilege to go there and meet other people as well. So it’s been really fun.”
The duo has taken a small step back from pop-up events to focus on private events. Spratte just had a child and the duo still works full time, doing their business in their spare time. Plus with Douglass’ departure, the sisters have had to fill the workload that was previously Douglass’ responsibility.
When there were three of them, each of the girls took on a certain role in the business. Doing it that way allowed them to bounce ideas off of each other without stepping on each other’s toes.
“We’ve been very fortunate that our personalities kind of complement each other and like the best ways,” said Fischer.
Still their business does not feel like a job and they have found true enjoyment in what they do.
“We really want the experience to be individualized, so we really want them to enjoy the process as much as we do,” said Spratte. “We’re willing to always work with people and we just want to bring positivity to the community.”
“I feel like it’s been very fun to create, like memories with people and ourselves and truly just enjoying being with others,” Fischer added.
Even though the duo does this business in their free time, they always want to make themselves available to their customers.
“I’ve had several people come to my home personally that I couldn’t get into like a private event or a bigger pop up,” said Spratte. “So we just really want to be available to the community. One guy reached out and we didn’t have any pop-ups coming up, but she wanted it for her wedding. And so I found a date and time that works for her to come so that I could put that on to have for her special day.”
The sisters began this journey as a way for them to stay connected with each other and with their friend who moved away and they hope that others can use this to stay connected with their loved ones as well.
Sara Guymon is a Post Bulletin business reporter. Guymon grew up in New Ulm, Minnesota. She graduated from New Ulm Public High School and went on to attend college at the University of Minnesota Duluth. While at UMD, Guymon pursued a major in journalism and a double minor in photography and international studies. Prior to coming to the Post Bulletin, she worked as a staff writer for the Brainerd Dispatch. There she covered the City of Baxter and business.