Astrologer Alicia C. Katz is the artist and visionary behind Wandering Star Astrology Chart Jewelry. For 15 years, the entrepreneurial Cancer (with a Libra moon and ascendant) has offered ways to “wear your universe” by creating charts and readings, custom jewelry, zodiac gifts, books, software, and more, which she sells online.
We recently chatted with Katz about her Academy Awards experience, the origins of Wandering Star, and promoting her small business.
GP: How did you take your “meaningful bling” to Hollywood?
Katz: The company that puts together the pre-Oscar gift bags found me online and invited me to Hollywood. I was excited to finally get some national exposure after 15 years of being in business. I met more than 50 TV and film celebrities and took each person’s date, time, and place of birth. I then created astronomical necklaces, about 25 of which were customized with both an astronomical sky map and an astrology chart.
Who did you meet there?
A few celebrities in particular asked me to help them select the perfect astrology jewelry, so I created custom pieces for C. Thomas Howell, who got a Sagittarius necklace; Tony Dovolani of Dancing With the Stars, who got a Cancer necklace; and Nadia Bjorlin from Days of Our Lives, who got a custom horoscope necklace.
What did this one event do for your business?
Since the Oscars, how has business been?
To be honest, we didn’t get a lasting boost in business, but we did get a great opportunity to talk to celebrities and show them what we can do. We will follow up with many of them soon for holiday gift orders.
How did you get started making astrology jewelry?
While studying astronomy in Santa Fe, N.M., in 1995, I wanted to make jewelry that was not only pretty, but also practical and powerful. I discovered that I could balance the science of astronomy with the art of astrology. The first pieces were made as Christmas presents, then friends started asking for them and a business was born. Wandering Star grew from a tackle box at my kitchen table to a community-based business that now has stores and customers all over the world.
How do you promote your business?
We run print ads in Us Weekly and Men’s Journal and online, but the bulk of our marketing focuses on our website. The majority of our sales occur through Google searches and someone just buying a gift item through our online store. It’s very satisfying to see them come in throughout the day.
How far do you travel to display at trade shows?
I go to holistic expos on the West Coast and occasional large conferences in other cities, as well as astrology conferences like the New Orleans one, slated for 2012.
What’s your biggest challenge?
Educating people about what my products can actually do for them as a power tool or power talisman. In stores, my customized astrology necklace looks like any other necklace, but when I’m able to talk to someone face-to-face at a trade show or via phone after they see my website, I’m able to explain how each bead affects their personality, so they can use it as a tool to break a bad habit or to call on their strengths.
What do you like most about GoPayment?
For trade shows, I’ve loaded all of the options for my gift items into the GoPayment system, so I can actually build a specific product from myriad choices to fulfill each customer’s particular wish list.