The Maker’s Guide ‘I Do’ – Discovering Portland’s Ringed
Allison Ullmer has been a jeweler and metalsmith for over 16 years. Her business, Ringed, was created from her love for working with jewelry and a passion for teaching. The Portland-based studio offers an intimate and fun space where couples work together to craft their own wedding bands and engagement rings.
“Showing people the step-by-step process to make their own rings always brings me joy,” she shares, “I believe wedding bands – from their first thought to final home on your loved one’s finger – should be a path of joy, excitement, and intrigue.”
Her business, while hinged upon on a clever and enticing process, is a product of years of sharpened skills as an artist and metalworker. Allison, who works on a solid foundation of two Fine Art degrees, has instructed college-level courses, classes for children, and previously owned a jewelry business. But when it came to opening Ringed, it didn’t come as easily as expected. “Portland is an interesting city with respect to how individuals spend their money. As a jeweler, finding a niche that feeds my soul and my pocketbook was quite a challenge,” she shares.
During Ringed’s first year of business Allison learned a number of important lessons for what was, and was not, going to work. “My initial obstacles were learning about how best to get the word out to the right demographic, and learning the hard lessons, such as realizing a very needy client may not be worth my time.”
Now several years into her business, she reflects on her time as a thriving small business owner. “I have so many things I could say, but my past experiences are what led me to this business…Truly, if it wasn’t for my custom jewelry business I wouldn’t l be where I am today. I have no regrets.”
As Allison’s business continues to grow and succeed, she is grateful to have found the right business plan that fits both her hometown and herself. As for her Mercy Corps Northwest support, she shares that the best thing she learned stems from one phrase: “At some point you have to jump off that cliff and try to make it work!”
To learn more about Ringed, check out their website here.