Las Vegas-based jewelry brand Dee Berkley Jewelry has been pushing through during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner, Dee Berkley had unfortunately contracted the virus herself but is now recovering. Her work to create a fundraiser during this time has raised over $70,000 for nearly 30 charities.
"During quarantine, I was working from the exact same living room where I began my business before I ever had a studio space—talk about things coming full circle," said Berkley in an interview with JCK regarding a question on her work environment during quarantine. "My daughter was an infant in a bassinet back then, the furniture was different, and our apple tree was much smaller. But here we are, 17 years later, creating designs from that exact same space. It’s pretty wild. Quarantine really forced me to organize my home for work. I’m a bit obsessed with aesthetics, so our house is pleasing to the eye—but it wasn’t designed for a creative work space. I’ve had to rework the space for energy, creativity, and flow (as opposed to solely focusing on what looks the prettiest). I’ve moved furniture around, found the right lighting, and opened up the space a bit. I’ve also become incredibly mindful about where I place things and how that will affect my ability to create in this space. We reopened our studio in April, so I’m not 100% working from home like I was at the beginning of quarantine, but I still try to create from home when I can. I learned there were certain things I did much better from my home space, sitting in my courtyard with my hummingbirds. Now, instead of rushing right into the studio in the morning, I take some time to ground myself creatively, catch up on calls, and find inspiration at home. My hours are about the same as they were before—morning through evening—but I now take time to myself to rest and reground (this unfortunately came as a result of getting sick). Typically, from 2:30–3 p.m., I now meditate, take a power nap, and focus on my inner self. It’s helped dramatically. Taking those 30 minutes to myself every day has been so vital to my focus and creativity…even though getting ill with coronavirus is what originally forced my hand to do that."
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When asked about how the pandemic has changed her future plans, Berkley said, "If there’s one lesson I’ve learned, it’s that we’re all in this together, and we need to get through this as an industry together. I truly believe that, and it’s since become a belief that’s pivotal to our business plans. Prior to COVID-19, we were on the path to work with Make-A-Wish Foundation for a fine jewelry collaboration. The photo shoot and efforts that went along with that were unfortunately put on hold (but will be resuming soon!), But I knew I wanted to continue to help communities, even if that looked a little different than we’d first imagined. Our focus shifted. It became about finding a way to help retailers through this crisis while also supporting the communities that so need our help. We wanted to empower our retailers to become their own hometown heroes, and we wanted to make it easy and seamless for them to do so. Our Community Support Program [see more on that below] was born to serve that goal, and it’s since been so successful that it’s now abundantly apparent to me that this will be a part of our business plan going forward."
Information originally sourced from JCK.