Sure, Charlotte has hundreds of people peddling their handmade wares, hoping to make a buck in this economic mess, and while Moazen Jewelry is a part of that figure, there is something that is setting Moazen apart from the rest. With the yin and yang twin dynamic, and such a personable, inviting atmosphere, the business is making waves in the Charlotte boutique scene. Blame it on the location (right inside Charlotte art scene's Area 15), or on the sassy/classy attitudes of the owners, Hope and Faith Rivers, but something is bringing in the customers.
Upon walking into the tiny office space that is now occupied by Hope and Faith, you are bombarded by not only enormous amounts of handmade jewelry and accessories, but also by artwork, nature, and two beautiful, bubbly sisters with personality and heart. Even in such confining walls, the girls have managed to make their store a place to sit down, relax, and share your life histories with each other. Have some water and snacks, leave with some new earrings and some new friends. How many jewelry stores offer you that?
Moazen, which is the Hebrew word for balance, is the perfect name for this partnership. With such differing personas, what aspects one twin may not be strong in, the other picks up the slack. Hope bounces around, beaming, and steadily chattering with every customer, while Faith sits behind the desk, focused on beading, creating, and smiling, enjoying her surroundings and welcoming everyone new. And as far as working with family? "We wouldn't have it any other way," Hope shares. "You have to understand that you aren't going to agree all the time, and you'll have differences and you just have to embrace it and work together," Faith adds.
Hope and Faith have always been creative children. They recall that while in school, they would make jewelry out of paper, as well as painting and spraying bleach on their jeans for a customized effect. That is what could easily be called the start of their entrepreneurship. They would end up customizing classmates' jeans for around $10 a pop, because everyone wanted what they had made. Still not taking it 100 percent seriously, the girls continued on, eventually going to CPCC for degrees in design (Faith) and business (Hope). The marrying of those two fields into a business is essentially a perfect combination, and when adding in the family dynamic, success can certainly, at the least, be expected. So, even while tackling being full-time students, as well as full-time employees, the twins became full-time entrepreneurs and launched a catalog of their goods. Moazen was becoming their go-to for school projects, which beautifully incorporated building their business into their study time. Much of the marketing and design work came from assignments given to the twins by their college professors, who never knew what a lucrative project their hard work would end up being.
Slowly Moazen transformed from print, to Web, to a real-life retail environment ... in an old office. All of the twins' hard work has begun to pay off. Now they freely own and operate Moazen without the need for supplemental jobs (though Hope does also have a small night bartending gig). Customers flock to the store, not just for the unique, personalized jewelry, but also for the companionship and loyalty that they know they will get with their purchase. Hope and Faith offer a warranty on their jewelry, something most have never seen in the jewelry market. Usually the attitude of accessory vendors is that if you bought it, and it breaks, it's your problem. Not with Hope and Faith. The girls will fix any broken piece for free, first time only, with a small restringing fee of $5 for any occurrence after that. And let's be honest, we live recklessly and forget how delicate jewelry can be, so having such an affordable service is quite the business strategy.
That exact idea is only one of numerous reasons why you will see people hanging out in Moazen. The beautiful, semi-precious stone and wood jewelry is definitely something to behold. With three main lines in Moazen (Urban, Signature, and Earth), there is plenty to pick from to compliment your personality. You can even begin to see the girls' personalities seeping through into their works as well. Faith employs the use of wire ("I love it!" she exclaimed) in most of her work, while Hope just likes to play with whatever is in front of her. But no matter what techniques or materials they choose, the personality and ambiance of Moazen will keep the customers coming through that old office door.