We all want our kids to find their passion in life, and maybe that’s why we love hearing about successful young entrepreneurs like the young woman behind Métier Essentials. Launched by Darien native Tierney Schiff when she was only 15, it is a rapidly growing jewelry, bikini and perfume company—all designed by Tierney herself. If we didn’t know a teenager was behind it, we would still love these chic pieces. But the fact that it’s owned and operated by an amazing girl with a vision makes us want to not only buy from her, but share her story. So we sat down with Tierney and had her tell us about how she went from high schooler to businesswoman.
Can you please describe your business?
The jewelry is my main line but my bikini line which just launched will be a huge part of my life this summer and advertising has just picked up. My jewelry is all handmade, majority of the pieces being 14k gold filled which has the appearance of solid gold but it’s much cheaper because it is a layer of solid gold bonded to sterling silver! Overall, my pieces are super dainty and layer-able and the gold filled material ensures a shiny, tarnish-resistant look!
Fantastic—how did this all start?
I have definitely always been interested in fashion and have been designing ever since I can remember. I used to make purses out of leftover felt scraps I found in my basement and I have always been drawn towards designing clothing and jewelry, too. I started my business my freshman year of high school. It was a very natural step to me and kind of just seemed like the right thing to do at this stage in my life. I was making jewelry from string and beads in my house anyway and the idea to sell them just seemed to made sense!
Who has helped you get to where you are?
My cousin, Ashleigh, has helped me immensely. She was the first to want to sell my jewelry and gave me so much exposure the first summer I started Métier! She had a pop-up shop in Montauk, NY and saw a picture of some jewelry I had made and asked if I wanted to sell it at her shop. From that moment on, she has been an incredible role model for me and has helped me make tons of connections.
And anyone else that has given you great advice?
One of the bloggers I worked with early on in my career told me not to rush progress! I had a very small following on social media but she reminded me a small following of true supporters is so much more impactful than a large amount of people who are not truly interested in what you are doing. It was such simple advice but I find myself thinking about it all the time!
I love your delicate jewelry–so perfect for daily wear. Do you have a go-to piece you wear all the time?
My all-time favorite piece is actually a new one! It’s the Boelyn Necklace. I have not taken it off since I made it. I work with a small factory is NYC to manufacture the unique letters and I am obsessed with initial necklaces because of how sentimental they are. I also never take off my Daley Hoops (I wear the mini version) or my Elliot Hoops! They are the most essential earrings, both super lightweight and add a little somethin’ to any outfit.
Love! And how did you decide to expand to swimwear?
This is my favorite project ever! I just released these bikinis after a long process of designing and manufacturing. I learned so much when designing these and am still learning as I try and get them into stores and get exposure for my line. I worked with a factory in New York who offers small batch orders. I am not sure if the story behind my line perfectly encapsulates who I am as an entrepreneur, or if it’s extremely embarrassing, but I’m going to tell it anyway…One night, I was sketching in a notebook and began designing some bikinis (this was nothing out of the ordinary, I love pretending I’m a big-time designer). What was out of the ordinary, however, came the next day. I decided to email a manufacturing company while walking the crowded halls of my high school between first and second period. Surprisingly, they emailed right back and I was immediately pulled in to the whole process! I spent the next few months looking through countless fabric samples, but I was set on a unique terry cloth that my manufacturer had to search the ends of the earth for. She finally tracked one down in Columbia and samples were made right away!
What an amazing story! What’s next for you?
My newest hobby is graphic design. I have been selling my designs on Society6 and absolutely love doing graphic design because it is something I have always wanted to do, but never did until recently! But my main focus is marketing my bikini line and getting it in stores, on models, etc. I have been sending packages all over to different photographers and bloggers that reached out to me on social media to get more content and I am so excited to move forward with my line! It is a full time job but I still have tons more creative juices flowing and can’t focus on just one project!