Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
When Greg and I met we fused our passion for design and business whilst travelling and living a life of excitement and adventure in Bali, Indonesia, where Carpe Diem Jewellery was first created. We both brought different skills such as design, silversmithing, beading, and business together which over time has developed into a well-established men’s custom jewelry business based in Byron Bay, Australia, and servicing all countries of the world.
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
Carpe Diem Jewellery has grown to a small hands-on team. As business owners, we have managed to delegate some duties such as distribution and customer service, but as a small business, the owners need to wear many hats. The business development and marketing areas have been quite a hands-on job as business owners, but years of challenges have created a great work-life balance.
What are your best selling products, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
Carpe Diem Jewellery products are all hand made and hand finished and has moved into a full custom design service if that is what our customer is after. We are part of the slow fashion movement, where we may sell a lot of a particular cuff, but each piece is hand-finished in the studio and customized for each and every order, offering a more rounded, non-mass produced product.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
Living in Byron Bay, Australia, where the weather is nearly almost always beautiful and there is always a wave to be surfed, the best thing about being an entrepreneur is work/life balance. We take this very seriously and encourage the entire Carpe Diem team to as well. Get the job done always, but make sure life is fun and active. Revolve work around your life, not the other way round.
This has not always been the case, but with the current size of the business, we can finally enjoy these little life luxuries.
Who do you sell to (and how do you get customers)? What marketing tools or strategies you use to boost your sales? Are you satisfied with the results?
We sell men’s and unisex jewelry, cuffs, necklaces and rings, custom and hand made.
We have quite a large database in which we communicate regularly. We also love to communicate with our Instagram and Facebook followers, about designs, features, their orders, and feedback. Having a clear vision of the Carpe Diem aesthetic has been a huge help. Having experience in design and development and trend forecasting has been helpful to stand out from other men’s jewelry brands.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
Love what you do.
Know your customer, once you know your customer you are able to expand your offering.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
There was a point where we had grown in our retail sector and opened 4 long term pop up stores in major malls in Sydney Australia. We were both working in the stores most days, and managing staff and shipping our online orders. This was too much, the work-life balance was out. So we closed the stores and moved everything online and moved north to Byron Bay. It took some time to grow, but we now are in balance.
What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?
We drew loads of inspiration from textures and abstract shapes. We have lately been more inspired by animals and nature and are finding our customers are liking it too.
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?
We send probably 80% of products to international countries, the most popular being the USA. I think having more people in the USA means we have more customers that appreciate the hand made a grungy side of our product. We offer free shipping to AUSTRALIA, USA, CANADA, NZ & UK. We just take on that cost, and we also have a friend who sometimes helps us with distribution as a 3PL in the USA.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Have a business plan and a business mentor.
Update your business plan regularly, and especially if you are making any major business moves.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Write a business plan and find a business mentor. It will help you clearly define what you want to do and achieve.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
Money is obviously essential, but having the freedom to do what love, when you love it is vital.
I think it is good to believe in the worth of your product, it helps you love what you do.
And your staff are your biggest asset.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
Family, kids, emails, tools, gym, surf, emails, tools, marketing, kids, family, repeat.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
We are looking at new and exciting design ideas and customization, which will expand our customer base.
We have been experimenting on new offerings, and we can’t wait to get them out there.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
It took us a while to perfect the photo editing, when it’s online, you need to be able to display your product in so many different ways in order for the customer to feel confident. Jewelry is a hard one for people to imagine, as it is never really an impulse purchase. Also, make sure you have your own website as well.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
Our online store is such a huge part of our business now: