Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
I create modern minimalist jewelry in precious and semi-precious metals and stones. My twin sister and I started our business together as part of a childhood dream to follow our creative pursuits together. I began creating minimalist jewelry over a decade ago because there were relatively few products available in this niche market which has since gained in popularity.
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
I create minimalist jewelry from raw materials such as sterling silver, gold-filled, solid gold, and palladium. I create each piece from conception and design to manufacture. We lovingly package and ship each item in-house as well.
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is adapting to the changing climate, things that are outside of my control. For example, changes within the structure of websites I sell on, the ebb and flow of consumer patterns, adapting to time of lower or higher volumes, etc., and just trying to keep all the wheels running at once.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
Creating my own small business allows for the maximum manifestation of ideas in a way that’s not always possible in the corporate world. Of course, I love the flexibility of structuring my time as I see fit. While I don’t have one single boss to answer to except myself, sometimes I feel like I have hundreds of “bosses” 😉 However, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
I’m not sure if I made any huge mistakes as I was just starting out, I like to think of certain aspects of my business that ultimately didn’t work out as part of the learning and growing process. Part of being an entrepreneur is charting your own path, and that includes taking a wrong turn or running into a dead-end from time-to-time. All of this adds up to experience value and I must say, the whole process and feeling of growth along the way is what keeps me going. Logistically, I didn’t take any huge or crazy risks that were make-it-or-break-it, so to speak. I always try to keep my finances in check and don’t stretch myself financially beyond my means or have everything riding on one single idea. While I do enjoy the occasional high-stakes challenge, I’m more of a slow-and-steady type of person when it comes to building and growing my business. It’s a bit like a fine wine that’s carefully and artfully curated.
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
It’s fun to discover what my next design inspiration will be; an idea might spark from any number of sources. Part of the excitement is waiting and looking to see what will come next. Often I’m quite surprised, almost as if I’m an observer in the whole process. I love the feeling of excitement and anticipation as I work on a new piece, photograph it, and take the idea from concept to reality. Creating a space where I can thrive has always been important to me. I feel that each person’s space should be an extension of themselves and a place that allows one to relax, learn, be inspired, and grow. To me, this includes the things that we choose for our space such as jewelry, clothing, etc. It should all be something that brings meaning and joy to the individual. I’m inspired and honored to be a part of that process for my clients.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I spent my childhood dreaming and creating. I’m so lucky to have been able to keep doing that as an adult! While I put myself through college, I spent time with mentors and drew in their expertise and experience. At the end of the day, sheer passion and desire to do what I do was the biggest driving force in creating my business.
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
Although I haven’t always been very comfortable with sharing a lot of my personal life with clients in an “advertise” way, I find great value and happiness in connecting with individual clients. Each person’s story is in turn like a building block for my own story. I enjoy feeling connected to the people who are wearing my pieces.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
The number one element for running a successful online business is great photos. This is the most important way your customer (and potential customers) are going to get a feel for your product, what it is, how they will use it, and what it means for their life. Tell your story through beautiful photography that’s all your own. Your photography should be an extension of yourself. Beyond, wonderful photos, it’s important to do your research, understand the market, who your customer is, and make a business plan.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
I define success as waking up each morning to do something that makes me happy. I can honestly say I would get up and create things every day, even if no one paid me to do it. I love the freedom this brings me both emotionally and financially. I mean, there are big financial responsibilities that come along with owning a business, but let’s face it, just being alive is rather expensive. 😉 I love the sense that I can create the time I want for my kids, my family, and travel through owning a business. I am currently in the process of experimenting with taking my studio on the road for short periods of time in our family camper we purchased this year during the pandemic. I couldn’t be more excited to see where this path leads!
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
Managing my time with two kiddos is certainly a challenge! I was thick into my business just as my son was born, so caring for an infant and building a business was quite the feat. Fast forward, and I have two children, the youngest of which will be school-age next year, so I anticipate that the waters of maximum chaos should be calming soon. For many years, I had my business and personal space enmeshed and it can be quite a challenge to not feel like I’m constantly working. It was important for me to create a space that was specifically built and organized for work so I could separate my mindsets a bit between work and personal. In answering this need and desire, my husband and I renovated a historic house across the street from where we live where my work studio is housed on the second floor.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
Currently, I’m very content with the level my business has reached. It keeps me as busy as I want to be. With that said, I think goals are always fun, so I’m working on refining some already existing aspects. I love testing out more efficient ways of organizing and running processes. Anything that makes my life easier is deeply satisfying whether it be a new app, a different way of operating, or a more streamlined workflow. Being part of the fashion industry, it’s always important to spot the latest trends and keep things fresh while balancing that with our unique take on classic styles. Meadowbelle Market is like it’s own always-evolving being.
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Thank you for the opportunity to share our story! We truly love what we do and bringing you that process is part of our joy.