Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
My name is Doron Merav, I am a Jewelry Designer, Architect, and a father of 3. I was creating most of my life and my favorite medium was always in the physical object field rather than painting… I started creating jewelry to fulfill the inner need to create beautiful objects that would also carry meaning in them as they attach to people’s emotions and life events. My specialty and greatest joy is to create pieces that are unusual and will allow people to express their unique nature and sense of aesthetics by wearing them
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
I make wedding and engagement rings as well as earrings, pendants, and bracelets mostly from gold, platinum, and precious gemstones. I also specialize in opals and raw diamonds that I developed a great passion for and incorporate them in many designs. The ‘manufacturing’ process changes from piece to piece as each design needs a different process… A sculpted, organic design would work best with sculpting was and casting it into metal by traditional methods while my men’s collection needs to be printed in high-end 3d printers to achieve the necessary accuracy that goes down to the 0.01mm resolution to be sure that everything fits properly.
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
I think the greatest challenge is the need to be far more than a designer.. running a business requires to do so many other things that are not related to jewelry making and still needs to be done. The only way to overcome them is not to be afraid of them and take them on one at a time as they come.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I enjoy the fact that everything is possible… I can reinvent myself and my business at any point and if I am doing well I will be rewarded for it.
The hardest thing about it is that you are never sure… everything you do or don’t do may have a positive/negative effect on my business and that is a constant concern but it also adds some thrill to it.
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
I think that the worse mistake I made at the beginning is not to recognize when it is time to get outside assistance… at the beginning, it feels so natural to do everything yourself and it takes time to let go and give others the chance to help. My best advice to others is to do their own thing.. don’t try to do what someone else is doing because it looks like it is working for them unless you can do it much better. Find your own voice and push hard to get it out there.
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
Everything 🙂 It can be a general composition I saw, a line I noticed somewhere with a special curve.. an interesting place I visited, or just something that came up in my mind. In general, the only remaining guideline is aesthetics and an interesting composition.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I was mostly self-taught at first but as time passed I took courses to fill in the gaps, I find it that the best teachers are actual designers and goldsmiths that can give you the most.
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
Good photography and an accurate description are the two most important elements, once you got these right you can start exploring online advertising and such.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Happy customers are the most important thing. Always keep in mind that someone has trusted you with their money to create what was promised to them.
Always use the best materials you can get and always try to surprise for the best. If you make sure this happens and you stay around long enough customers will come.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
Business success required defined goals.. you can never have it all so you need to define what you want most and how you are going to get it.
If you achieve your goals your business is a success. The goals can and will likely change during the life of your business and that’s fine as long as you make sure that you are the one managing your business and not the other way around.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
Every day starts with customers. I answer inquiries and make sure everything is being taken care of. Once that happens I start going over orders and start making them which usually takes most of the day. Other things like meetings with suppliers and others happen once or twice a week.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
In general, I find that creating new designs and new styles is the best way to grow my business. When selling online you are exposed to the world so it is as big as it gets.