Good as gold
Inspiring Texas jewelry designer earns time to shine on QVC
Marcie Finney Ditto launched Mustard Seed Jewelry from her kitchen table in 2014 with an idea and a prayer. In the past seven years, the North Texas faith-based company has grown exponentially, just like the "mustard seed" philosophy behind every piece. Now, thanks to an upcoming appearance on the TV shopping network QVC, it's getting a chance to shine globally.
Mustard Seed Jewelry was named a winner of QVC and HSN’s The Big Find Search, an annual contest to discover the most unique and innovative products around the world. The prize is a personal appearance and product launch on QVC, which will be broadcast live from Ditto's Fort Worth studio on Tuesday, June 22. She announced the big news live to her social media followers on June 15.
"It's been like having a baby and a college crash course all crammed into one," Ditto says by phone, excited and breathless from finally getting to announce something that's been in the works for nearly a year.
The contest launched in July 2020, and moving forward through each round, especially mid-pandemic, she says, has been an exciting, rigorous, eye-opening, faith-testing, wild dream come true.
"The special thing about the contest is it really gives smaller brands a chance to be on this network, where it's not easy to come to," she says. "It's kind of like their version of Shark Tank and an incredible opportunity for you to be in front of their audience."
Mustard Seed is one of five winners in the jewelry category of the contest, which also includes apparel, accessories, footwear, beauty, electronics, and more.
QVC has hand-selected several Mustard Seed pieces — a mix of exclusive debuts and classic favorites — to sell as part of the collection. Just like all Mustard Seed jewelry, the QVC items will be personally designed and crafted by Ditto's Fort Worth artisans using actual mustard seeds, the hallmark of the brand.
Ditto doesn't yet know the time her segment will air on the 22nd, but it will be be sometime between 3-5 pm local time.
"I definitely want to inspire people who have watched us grow and loved us to watch," she says.
From kitchen table to QVC
Ditto gets choked up talking about how far her business has come since she launched it with the idea to inspire others to give generously and grow in faith — like the mustard seed (a parable from the Bible).
As part of her goal to inspire "mountain movers," Ditto includes a small amount of "seed cash" inside each box, intended for the recipient to use it toward a kind gesture. During the COVID-19 shutdowns, her employees wrote "love letters" to customers as a way to ease their loneliness. Mustard Seed booths are a regular fixture at nonprofit events, and she regularly hosts charitable shopping nights at the studio.
With its big-hearted business plan and unique designs, the company has grown about 200 percent each year.
Ditto says people kept mentioning QVC, but it seemed like too big a mountain to climb herself, "bigger than what I could do," she says. Then last year on a beach vacation with her mother-in-law (herself a successful entrepreneur who owned the company that was the precursor to Glamour Shots), Ditto got messages from a client and a friend saying, "You have to enter this QVC contest." And that was it.
"A lot of people think when you own a business, you can't have downtime, that when you're not working, you're not making money," she says. "God can be working while you're resting. Seasons of having rest are equally important as the busy part."
High-profile QVC is a new "wonderful, exciting partnership," Ditto says. But Texas customers shouldn't worry; she plans to continue business as usual from her home base. In fact, she says, people can still make appointments to drop by and shop any time.
But the prospect to reach a new, global audience is more than a little thrilling. QVC and HSN form one of the world's largest video commerce platforms, reaching more than 90 million homes in the United States and 380 million worldwide via broadcast channels, streaming, web, mobile, and social platforms.
"It's exciting to see our message go out to so many people," Ditto says. "To me, that is the why — to touch a lot of hearts — and it's going to be fun to see our beautiful jewels go out to that many people. We are incredibly blessed."