Celina Utley, owner and founder of 4Sdesigns, creates one-of-a-kind pieces that represent who you are and tell your story. Read the interview below to find out who she is, when she got started, and how you can order your own handmade necklace.
When did you start your business and what made you start?
4Sdesigns started in 2009 with unique hair accessories and apparel. What made them so were the embellishments made from vintage and celebrity/fashion designer’s scraps. My aunt was a seamstress at a hotel in Beverly Hills who altered designer clothing for famous celebrities -- even couture gowns during the Oscars! When she retired she passed down many boxes of scraps that I re-purposed into fun hair accessories as well as embellished tanks and clutches. These one of a kind items were different than anything else out there and slowly grew to be a big hit among my friends.
I started the business as a hobby in my laundry room just making and designing a few things for friends. But then their friends and families started asking where they got their accessories because they were so different looking and it just grew from there. It is also attributable to the fact that re-purposing and re-using has become a needed part of our lives and that people would get a piece of another person’s history – a snip of an Oscar gown, the button from a starlet’s blouse and so on …
In late 2010, I stumbled upon a bird’s nest (nest made from wire and pearls) and initials during one of my late night surfing the web. I fell in love with the concept and designed something that is uniquely 4Sdesigns: the original Toggle Necklace. I started giving it away as gifts to friends for special occasions, but then friends wanted to give to their friends and so on.
What does the 4S before designs in your company name mean?
4S stands for my 4 children: Sarah, 19, Sam, 16, Sophia, 10, Spencer 8. Everything I do and create I do for them.
What do you enjoy most about creating jewelry?
I LOVE designing a unique piece that captures each customer. I know the jewelry, as I call it now -- the “bauble,” is uniquely theirs. My customers design their baubles from start to finish. They choose the chain, clasp, length, charms, embellishments, everything! It is 100% customized.
What is one of your favorite pieces you've ever created and why?
I still love the original 4Sdesigns’ Toggle…it’s simple and classic. It’s what started it all! It’s my muse…a nest, a heart, birthstones of my children and celebrations. Of course, I’ve added to the concept and now there is an entire Bauble and Toggle Bar.
What's the best way for new customers to reach you?
I have a 4Sdesigns Home Boutique in Gilbert, Ariz., that is open by appointment, but pretty much open anytime! Interested people may also visit my online store at http://squareup.com/market/4sdesigns, via Facebook/4Sdesigns, or feel free to call or even text me at 480-235-1220 to set up a consultation.
With the thousands of charms that I carry in stock and the option of special ordering almost any charm, clients have endless options to design just the right bauble to “brag” about their life and loves.
With all the different jewelry mediums out there, what made you choose the baubles design?
I chose this design because I wanted each customer to be able to customize and personalize each bauble to capture their loves and lives. “Brag about your Life and Loves through a 4Sdesigns’ Bauble”
What type of jewelry do you offer? Necklaces, bracelets, earrings? If only necklaces, do you plan on expanding?
I offer mostly necklaces and bracelets currently, but am open to customer orders of any kind.
Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your business?
4Sdesigns’ Baubles and Toggles line was created with the sole purpose of making my dream come true; my dream of sending my oldest daughter away to college. Having to put myself through college and not having the traditional college experience, I really felt it was important for my daughter and soon my son to be able to experience the college life of dorms, being away from home, and essentially figuring things out on their own without my constant supervision or approval.
Make sure to scroll through the accompanying slideshow to take a look at some of the fabulous pieces Celina has created!