Twenty years ago, artist Ronna Lugosch began incorporating a basic design, the peapod, into her jewelry. Today, the simple form is the backbone of her entire line, which includes such inspired hybrid designs as the “Podster” (a lobster-peapod combination) and the “Peapod Lighthouse.” Thanks to a clear message and successful marketing, business is booming for Lugosch; her sales are up 10% from last year.
Lugosch first developed her peapod design in the 1980s when a colleague commented that her sculptural cast metal form looked empty, and suggested filling it with pearls. Although she continued to create peapod-inspired pieces, Lugosch also focused on other lines.
It wasn’t until 2000 that she opened her own gallery in Round Pond, Maine, finally retiring from a wholesaling career. Lugosch initially named the gallery Natural Expressions, combining the name with her peapod logo, but was met with confusion.
Some customers thought the store was a hair salon or a cosmetics store. “I found that my customers were calling it the Peapod Gallery already,” Lugosch says. “It’s so much easier to remember!” In 2008, she made the name change official, re-launching it as Peapod Jewelry.
Today, when customers come into the gallery, she asks them why they stopped by. More often than not, people just have to find out what the jewelry looks like after seeing her inspiring signage. This type of draw is critical to her business, she says, since it’s off the beaten path.
Lugosch has completely re-branded her store, carrying the peapod image through every element, including her wrapping paper, website, business cards and postcards, and soon, aprons and a catalog. She calls herself the “chief peasmaker,” who is “bringing peaple together.”
What she’s not worried about is stifling her own creativity. “I feel that being memorable is the key. I knew that the focus needed to be peapods, but that other jewelry would sell as well,” she explains.
To learn more, visit www.peapodjewelry.com.