In a digital age of tweets and texts, where everything happens in real time, Sandy Simpson believes that handcrafted items with personal significance are more important than ever. An accomplished graphic designer, Sandy designed publications for more than 20 years before she saw the opportunity to use her design skills in a new way. In 2008, she redirected her love of design and typography into creating handstamped sterling jewelry and accessories that connect people to what they treasure—the people, events, activities, places and ideas that matter most. She called her new venture Punky Jane, after the nickname her mother had given her years before.
A simple idea takes flight
Like many successful businesses, Punky Jane started from a simple idea. As a mother of two little girls, Sandy wanted to carry their names with her in jewelry pieces that would serve as touchstones to her daughters. Using a jeweler’s hammer and letter stamps, she stamped each name into a sterling piece that she turned into a necklace. In the process, Sandy fell in love with sterling silver as a medium for playing with letters and was delighted when the necklace drew admiring comments and questions. It seemed that others shared her desire to stay connected to the people they loved through handcrafted jewelry, so she tested her theory on Etsy®. Before long, Sandy was selling more than 100 original, handstamped designs through the site.
Two paths merge
At the same time, Sandy was also channeling her graphic design skills into scrapbooking, which included making monthly calendars that marked her family’s big events. One day, the two paths merged and Sandy decided to stamp her wedding month onto a small piece of sterling silver, with an oval around the date. The little calendar was a big hit, launching Mark Your Calendar™ as a first-of-its-kind collection that continues to grow in scope and popularity.
Mark Your Calendar™ goes global
Sandy still wears her calendar necklace every day, as a reminder of her wedding day and how far Punky Jane has come. Since painstakingly stamping that first calendar on a makeshift bench in the corner of a one-car garage, Sandy has stamped months with special days marked onto a variety of sterling jewelry pieces and accessories. Mark Your Calendar pieces sell around the globe today, helping thousands of people celebrate life’s special moments in a tangible way.
Personal focus remains
Sandy’s corner bench is now a fully equipped artist’s studio in a converted water tower on the family’s Northern California property. Her Mark Your Calendar collection has found a home, too, on PunkyJane.com, a website featuring more than 200 of Sandy’s fun, meaning-filled designs. But while demand for Mark Your Calendar and other Punky Jane pieces has allowed Sandy to hire administrative help, upgrade her tools and improve her processes, Sandy’s personal involvement remains unchanged. As a typography buff, she’s always finding creative uses for the letters she loves. And as a dedicated craftsman, Sandy still works on every Punky Jane piece. She knows how much the necklace with her daughter’s names and her original Mark Your Calendar piece means to her and wants each Punky Jane item to carry that same handcrafted quality and deeply personal sentiment to its wearer.