With talent that sparkles just like the beautiful baubles she creates, April Soderstrom was born to design jewelry. It’s no wonder her designs have been seen on the likes of Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, author Deepak Chopra, Miss USA, and on TV shows like The Bachelorette and The Today Show.
But, the fun fact we learned after spending an afternoon with the gracious, intelligent, and humble designer is that although jewelry design was always part of her life, she never imagined it was her life’s destiny. Pretty incredible considering her success.
We think a story like April’s is one of the most enchanting types. It’s a story where a hardworking and gifted person is on an assumed path, but unaware that underfoot their life’s passion is leading them toward a fantastic future.
April was always on the road to being a jewelry designer, but she didn’t know it. It took a few sweeps of encouragement from her friends, a broom sweep or two of happenstance, and the continual embrace of her love for creating things to clear the path and reveal it would be her hobby that would lead her to a creative and fulfilling career.
To understand April’s journey, we have to go back to when she was a little girl growing up in Michigan. April always had a love for jewelry and gemstones; two interests that would help found her now uber-popular line of earthy and meaningful gemstone jewelry called “Good Vibes”.
Little April loved jewelry so much, she would use anything for her creations; from Mrs. Potato Head earrings to her brother’s boy scout belt, all household items became part of her material list.
By the time she was in 7th grade, April was stringing seed bead necklaces and selling them at school. For only $3.00 a piece, about 50 friends ended up purchasing an April Soderstrom original! Not bad for the young pre-teen entrepreneur.
However, despite her continued passion for making jewelry, April entered Central Michigan University as an interior design major. During her junior year, an internship brought her to Boston. It was the first time the girl from the Mid-West had been to an urban area, and she absolutely loved it!
In fact, she fell in love with good old Boston so much that during her senior year, she started to look for jobs in the hub. Being the talented and astute young woman she is, she quickly snagged a job. Within two weeks she had packed her belongings into her Pontiac Grand Prix and was on her way to becoming a Bostonian.
Once in Boston, April quickly assimilated and made friends; friends who would encourage her to continue making jewelry. But, also friends with a good sense of humor. One night, a couple of her friends dared April to enter the Miss Massachusetts pageant. She did, twice. And on the second time, she actually placed in the top 5! This foray into the pageant world becomes important a little later in April’s story.
Amidst interior design, pageants, and getting to know Boston, April continued to create jewelry. Only now, necessity was the mother of her creations! April always wanted ultra-light hoop earrings; you know, a pair you could wear all day without feeling your earlobes pulling down and giving you a shoulder rub?
But, she could never find the perfect pair. So, rather than wasting anymore time searching, she decided to create her own using an ultra-thin wire. This was the birth of the “Featherweight Earrings,” which have now been featured in many fashion articles and on TV. But, at this point, they were still just for her own personal use. However, they were quite eye-catching. A close friend who worked for an accessories PR company took notice. She provided encouragement, nudging April, and making that life path a little more clear.
But, April was her own worst critic. Would people like her designs? Would they buy and then actually wear them? She decided to take a calculated risk by leaving her job at the interior design firm to become an executive assistant.
(Just as an impressive side note, April never stops. She not too long ago employed her design degree in Southie, fashioning the interior for the delicious restaurant Copa.)
Her new job allotted her much more free time, and at night she picked up the pace at which she was designing jewelry. Just like with the featherweights, she started to design and create things she wanted. Eventually, as a result of her friend’s encouragement, she built a small website and started to design, create, and sell a few products online. In 2011, she started April Soderstrom jewelry. People instantly loved the featherweight earrings. This was the product that gave her the confidence to stand on that road, get behind her brand, and believe in herself.
We said April is modest, and she most certainly is. But, it is also clear she’s assertive; she’s a doer. Just as April made those gorgeous and sophisticated lightweight earrings out of necessity, she also recognized the need for breadth within her brand. Women do not dress one particular way all the time. There’s a time to shine, a time to be balanced, and a time just to have fun. April Soderstrom Jewelry addresses all of these moods, and accessorizes them appropriately.
April makes some of the prettiest and most brilliant jewels we’ve seen. From chunky adorned cuff bracelets to insanely sparkly and spectacular earrings, they are all stunning! And, they are all perfect for pageant contestants. So, using contacts within the world of pageantry, April started custom designing jewelry for contestants. She now sponsors winners with custom designs, which are then seen glittering on young women from states like Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, California, and Georgia, just to name a few. (We loved looking at the design boards for various contestants and at April’s meticulous sketches and then the finished products!)
The other side of April Soderstorm Jewelry is about “Good Vibes.” These are the pieces we connect the most with April. Perhaps it is because we heard the story about how as a little girl, she and her father (a couple of “rock nerds,” as she put it) would go rock hunting with her mom and brother. Michigan is rich with gorgeous stones like agate and petoskey (fossilized coral), and so she would walk by the lake’s edge looking for stones, spending precious time with her dad, and also learning about the indigenous rocks.
Today, she loves sharing what she learned with her dad in this fantastic jewelry collection. Each stone has a meaning, and so a customer can choose a piece based on what they are feeling or on their own hopes and dreams. It’s a really fun and meditative concept, but besides that, they are some seriously cool bean bracelets.
So what’s next for April Soderstrom now that the undercurrent of jewelry design is now what she lives, breaths, and loves? April’s jewelry is sold internationally, and as we mentioned early favored by some pretty heavy-hitting celebrities. Now, through the end of December, you can find her dazzling line of jewelry at a pop-up shop at 177 Newbury Street in Boston. You can also peruse and purchase products on her website and sites like Joyus.com and Bluefly.com.
But, here’s an exciting little tidbit for you! You can grab a gorgeous April Soderstrom piece for 30% off on her website this Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Just be sure to use the code thankful.
To us, what’s next for April is as crystal clear as a pair of her glamorous bridal earrings. Big things are happening for this hautie, with her combination of talent, smarts, style, and kindness she’s sure to reach the moon and throw a pair of earrings on his head. 🙂 Even the man in the moon could use some April Soderstrom style. 😉
Cheers and Happy Holidays!
The Haute Life