Amber Delgado was following in her mother’s footsteps by working in the television industry. Originally from Hollywood, California, she moved to the Charlotte area in 2001 as part of her job with Speed Channel, a motorsports oriented network owned by Fox. Amber was an associate video producer/editor, as well as a social media manager, and she enjoyed her job. However, in 2013, Fox rebranded Speed Channel, laying off 100 employees.
The rebranding was no secret, and before being laid off, Amber was aware that she would need to be making a career change. She planned ahead and decided to both enjoy herself and intentionally look for direction, by using her severance package to spend a year traveling in the United Kingdom.
Before leaving Charlotte, Amber had spent some time researching gemstones. Her dad had been in the jewelry business, and Amber herself dabbled in making sparkly baubles from supplies she found at craft stores, such as Michael’s. While the television industry may have been in her blood from her mother, so was her dad’s history of working with wholesale gold and silver jewelry.
During Amber’s trip to the United Kingdom, she started learning more about the properties of semi-precious gemstones, and how they tied in with meditation and spirituality. By the time she returned, she knew what she wanted to do. In June of 2014 Amber officially started Purple Girl Designs, and by July she was selling at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market.
Amber believes that Charlotte is a very open minded area. She said that she meets new people all the time, and they are very interested in what she is doing. Amber’s jewelry is different because rather than focusing only on the appearance of the piece, she focuses on what properties the gemstones provide. For example, Amber said, “Tiger’s eye is really beautiful. It represents clarity and grounding. It helps keep you on your path of where you’re going. The more grounded you are, the stronger you become as a person.” She finds this helpful for most people because she firmly believes that, “We have to be strong and we have to have strength in ourselves.”
Amber has learned a lot from joining Created in the Carolinas Artisan Cooperative. It has helped her learn about how to build a small business into a strong Charlotte jewelry brand. Now she has displays in five different stores, regularly attends events, and constantly talks to people about her art. She has also started organizing a Pop Up event at The Dreamchaser’s Brewery. This event features handmade items by local artists as well as local food vendors, every third Friday of the month.
The majority of the jewelry offered by Purple Girl Designs by Amber is made with semi precious gemstones and crystals. Some of the most popular pieces are the 4mm gemstone “stacks” and Mala beads. Mala beads are Buddhist meditation prayer beads that contain 108 beads on each strand. They can be triple wrapped on a wrist, or worn as a necklace. Mala beads are popular in yoga.
The 4mm stackable gemstone bracelets are especially desirable because they can be mixed and matched. “You can wear two or wear ten, depending on the day and how you feel,” she said. One of her special offers is the PGD Stack, which is advertised as “5 bracelets for $45.”
Amber has a website launching soon, but for now, her products can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy, all under Purple Girl Designs by Amber. She also has a wide selection available for purchase at the Created In The Carolinas Gift Shop, in Waxhaw. To contact Purple Girl Designs by Amber, connect through Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.