Hello Adorn: Looking Back On 2021

Hello Adorn: Looking Back On 2021

Let's take a little walk down memory lane, shall we? 2021 was a BIG year for the Hello Adorn team including all kinds of firsts. Well, that has been true of every year since Jess first decided to try her hand at minimalist jewelry design, but no question 2021 was on for the books.

January: Hello Adorn finds a new space!

Hello Adorn fits out their new headquarters in downtown Eau Claire

The team was growing at a furious rate. The square footage of what was known as 2.0 that once seemed so spacious was quickly feeling more and more like a closet. Between outgoing order boxes piling up and desks for new team members squeezed into less than ideal spaces, it was time for another upgrade. After much searching, Jess + Adam found the perfect spot a block and a half from the retail studio (aka 1.0). It had history: Once a thriving department store, then an office for a tech company, and, most recently, a gaming and arcade...thing(?), it had the location, the space, the natural light, the exposed brick, and that x factor. It also had some very...bold color choices (peep that picture on the right), but nothing that Jess's always designing eye couldn't see past. After a competitive process, a deal was struck and work to refit the place to be the team's happy place began in earnest. We really should have hung on to that retro carpet though...


The Big Move:

After a few months of intense work, the new HQ was ready for the team of what was now 13 (not including several important canine team members). This space was only home for a short while, but it was home to some iconic moments in HA history. It was where the first ever Hello Adorn ear cuff (code name deer muff), was created and surprise dropped by Jess one afternoon while she waited for something to finish in the tumbler. It was home to the first custom Hello Adorn mural designed and painted by not-yet-but-soon-to-be-maker Britlyn. It was the location where GM Lau did her first ever day as GM. The list goes on. No doubt Eau Claire will one day designate it as a Historical Site. But enough about the old place. The new HQ was immediately dubbed the Dream Factory. From the slat wall to the plant-filled maker mezzanine to the 5-star snack area (and espresso machine), to the table tennis arena, it was a dream manifested (and designed to the last detail) into reality. 

The Hello Adorn team saying goodbye to the second ever headquarters in front of the custom mural on the wall

The Dolly Necklace Is Born: 

It started as an accident, as many great things do. As the makers experimented during Hammer School, Hello Adorn's weekly jewelry making training time, maker Britlyn stumbled onto a design that looked...familiar. Immediately, the team knew this unique (and unmistakable) symbol could be harnessed for good. With a bra, you ask? Of course not. The Dolly Necklace as it would be named was launched, with all sales proceeds (aka every single dollar of sales) was donated to The Body Positive, a fantastic organization whose mission is to increase self-compassion, reduce anxiety and depression, and foster a positive relationship with one’s body image, food, and exercise. It is a cause near and dear to the hearts of the Hello Adorn team, so it was a natural fit. Sales of the Dolly raised $6,320 from launch for International Women's Day. This was Hello Adorn's second piece entirely focused on social good. In 2020, the Entwined Necklace was launched with all proceeds going towards the cause of racial justice and other similar causes. As of writing this sentence, that pieces has raised over $18,600. And there are more pieces like these coming.

AprilHello Adorn UPS Our Shipping Game

Gabe, our UPS rep, doing his daily pick up of Hello Adorn jewelry

We have love for USPS and we always will. They were our trusted partner for years and years. They were cost-effective and we loved our post-person (Shout out to Courtney!). But as delays continued and more and more packages were lost during what was no doubt a challenging year for logistics, we owed it to Hello Adorn nation to do better. So in April, we made the call to exclusively partner with UPS. Why? Bottom line: to get Hello Adorn jewelry out to customers faster and with more reliability. With our team of makers now having jewelry ready to ship when ordered, why should you all wait unnecessarily for jewelry that you could have lightning fast. It was that simple. The response was and continues to be incredible. Shoutout to Gabe (see pic), our UPS driver. The amount of packages this guy can carry is a thing of legends.



A Team Growth Spurt

New team members added to the Hello Adorn team in July including Steph, Jess B. Bella, Cait, and Adalyn

Once again, the Hello Adorn headcount jumps. And this round came with some real superstars to an already star-studded roster. Joining up, we had Cait, Jess B. (still needs a nickname to distinguish her from OG Jess), Stephanie, Bella, and Adalyn. It is impossible to imagine the team without them now. Want to learn more about them and the rest of the team? We thought you might. Feel free to peruse likes, dislikes, and hot takes from the whole crew on our Meet The Team page.

Retail Store Glow Up:

Hello Adorns retail shop in downtown Eau Claire fresh after an update

What is affectionately known internally as 1.0 is named as such because this was the first ever Hello Adorn "studio", if you don't count Jess's dining room table back in the day. Okay, the first ever studio that was just for making and selling jewelry. This charming little shop where all of the making used to take place became Hello Adorn's retail shop. It has longtime been a must-stop when in downtown Eau Claire. In June, Marla took over as lead on the retail shop and she and Jess gave the shop a major glow up. From new paint to new decor to new merch to updated lighting and more, the space was transformed from great to amazing. If you find yourself in the area, you're going to want to pop in.


The Summer Summit: The team gathered for the big yearly summit. Multiple days of festivities and good vibes were enjoyed. Traditional (or soon to be) events were enjoyed. Events such as the Deep Fry (everything you can imagine and then a few more things were deep fried and consumed). Events like the river float of the Chippewa River with a floatzilla that struck fear into the hearts of other river floaters for miles (see pic). And of course, some classic Midwest #lakelife. The only thing bigger than the head count was the amount of fun had (and possibly White Claws consumed). It did not suck.

The Hello Adorn team summit floating the river and the beginning of Endless Bracelets at the retail shop

Endless Bracelets: The Worldwide Phenom Begins...

Endless Bracelets started as a simple idea. A chain bracelet attached by one of our shop pros right to your wrist, no clasp. It is a forever thing. Well, until it isn't. It can be removed. So it may not quite be a tattoo, but what it was (and still is) is a fan favorite. As of February 2022, over 1,900 Endless Bracelets have been put on to extremely excited wrists. How can you tell a wrist is excited? It has an Endless Bracelet on it. Duh. Farthest traveled to get an Endless Bracelet put on? A 6 hour drive as far as we know, but that's just what's been reported. Who's going to beat that? See you on Sunday.

September / October

Endless Hits The Road:

We couldn't keep Endless Bracelets to ourselves in Eau Claire, so we hit the road and popped up in two of our favorite stockists’ shops. First stop, HeyDay in Bozeman, MT. Fun fact, Jess went to school at MSU in Bozeman and has had an undeniable draw to the town ever since. So when HeyDay started stocking Hello Adorn's jewelry, she forever had an excuse to visit. When the idea to do an Endless Bracelet pop-up event somewhere was discussed, it was an obvious choice. How'd it go? Ummmm...pretty "holy wow" good. Lines out the door down the sidewalk good. Luckily, Jess had a crack team including Hello Adorn marketing lead Kimmie and daughter / clone Bella. It was a big day.

Endless Bracelets pop ups in stockist / retailers HeyDay Bozeman and Sister Golden

Next up, Jess + Adam traveled to the other side of Wisconsin to Sister Golden, another incredible Hello Adorn stockist and a store that oozes charm. Nestled in gorgeous Door County, it is a little slice of heaven. Once again, the people showed up. The team worked through lunch and stayed all the way past closing. What did we learn? The Endless Road Trip isn't over. I guess that's implied in the name.


Grab Your Coats

The Hello Adorn collected coats, gloves, and hats to keep those in need warm during the not-so-forgiving midwestern winter. It was a huge effort that resulted in lots of warmth, both heart and body.

Hello Adorn collects coats for the coat drive and launched a new website

New Website Launches:

After nearly a year in the making, Hello Adorn launches a new website just in time for Black Friday & shopping season madness. With the goal of making the store easier to shop the way customers want to shop it, the team worked with a boutique web design agency out of California to help realize the vision. From better design to endless customizations to different ways to browse and shop, the difference is night and day. We think so anyway. And based on how you all are shopping it, it seems like you agree.


Spoiler Alert: We Survived The Mad Dash

The Hello Adorn team in December 2021 during the mad dash to the end of the year.

In years past, we're not going to lie: Late November through the end of December has been a crazy time. Hours historically have been long and there is generally a feeling of "we'll never catch up". And though this impressive team of stone-cold heroes always answered the call and made it happen, this year was an impressive one. It was by far the busiest 6 week period that Hello Adorn had ever seen. But from impeccable planning to incredible team work to master organization, the team came into the season ahead of the game and more or less stayed there. We were able to push back the holiday shipping deadlines and STILL not feel completely run ragged. Were a few more cups of coffee consumed? Sure. Were hours breezie? Excuse me?! No. But this team of champions made the impossible look easy and got everyone their jewelry when they needed it. It was a cliche but true "thrive, not survive" kind of time.

2021 was one of the biggest years of change for Hello Adorn to date by most any measure. These are only a small selection of what it took to make this year. But what's the recurring theme? The people make this place and everything it is capable of. From nailing the quality of all the handmade jewelry to giving back to the community to having fun together, there's nothing this team can't handle. And as the team continues to grow, so, too, do the possibilities. Look out 2022, we've got big plans.