Who or what inspired you to start a business?
I had the idea to start making jewelry about 13 years ago. But marriage, children and just life set that idea back about 10 years. About 3 years ago, when my youngest started school full time I decided I needed to do something for myself, yet still be available as full time mom. So I began my journey into the field of handcrafted jewelry. I believe that God put the idea in my head. As my relationship with Him grew stronger I wanted “cool” jewelry to represent my faith. So I began creating jewelry that was “Faithful, yet Fashionable”
How did you get started?
I was visiting a friend in Ohio who had just closed down her craft store. I was rummaging through her left-over stock and it was full of beads and tools and all kinds of goodies for jewelry making. I told her about my vision of making jewelry and she said “take it”. So I bought myself a book and started teaching myself to make beaded jewelry. My first creations were made after putting the kids to bed I would sit on the living room floor and just create, eventually moving to a small desk in the corner.
I figured I would just keep practicing until all the kids went to school full time, but it all happened before I was ready. My mom bought a necklace for a friend of hers that was battling cancer; it was a pretty turquoise bead necklace with a “Believe” charm and an angel wing. The woman was so touched; she absolutely loved it and decided that she wanted a “Pretty Pretty” necklace for all her family and friends that were supporting her through the toughest time in her life. She ordered 25 necklaces from me. And from there I was in business. It was way too soon, so I thought, but I have been creating one of a kind jewelry designs ever since. Through word of mouth I got a bunch of sales and then started home shows, craft fairs and then eventually my website and Etsy. That was 3 years ago, and I have never been happier in a career choice.
What tip or advice can you give someone starting out who wants to follow in your footsteps?
DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!! Follow your dreams and desires.
If you are given a gift to create beautiful things then use that gift. There is no better feeling than receiving a complement from someone or touching someone’s life because of something YOU created.
And work very hard!!! I have never worked as hard as I do right now. Every free minute I have is focused on Pretty Pretty. Whether it’s designing, creating, networking, updated my website, taking and editing pictures, etc. But I have to say I have never enjoyed a job more.
You can do whatever you want and be successful if you put your mind to it and stick with it!
What inspires you every day? Where do you find your inspiration?
I am inspired each day by so much. My faith, family, friends, nature and my vintage jewelry collection are what inspire me most. Pretty much everything inspires me.
Most of my pieces are faithful, spiritual & inspirational. I love my God and I wear jewelry that represents and reminds me of that. But sometimes faithful jewelry is delicate and simple; my background in fashion helps me to make it hip and trendy. I like to say that I make jewelry for todays “Spiritually Aware & Fashionable Consumer”.
I love to lift people up and heal, so I make jewelry that does just that.
My friends inspire my “rock star” and a “seashore” collection, my daughter inspires me to make little girls jewelry and my husband and my sons inspire me to make men’s jewelry.
Many of my designs are inspired by my collection of vintage jewelry. I started collecting them because I had a few antiques from both of my Grandmother’s and I love them so much. So whenever I am in an antique store and something catches my eye, I add it to my collection. Aside from rings I pretty much only wear Pretty Pretty and vintage. Both are unique and one of kind, I like that.
Who are your role models and why?
I can’t really say that I have a role model. I am who I am because of me. I work very hard not only in my business but on myself personally. I don’t think anyone is ever “done” being the person they are going to be. I strive each and every day to be a better person. I don’t aspire to be like anyone else, just the best “me” I can be.
I actually have a magnet on my mirror on my desk that is an angel and it says “I am my own heroine”. I love that.
How do you find balance for running your business in your busy schedule?
Balance??? Ha-ha, what balance? I wouldn’t say I’m balanced, I’m busy, but in the best way possible. Besides my business I have 3 awesome children, Kohl, 17, Maximos, 9 and “Pretty Pretty” Ava is 8. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband that helps out around the house and with the kids when I need it. I work very “off” hours, especially in the summer. The joy of having my own business is that right now I work when I can.
A typical day for me right now is:
I usually wake up and have my coffee in bed with my laptop and TV. I check my emails, say my prayers watch my faithful TV shows and then start my day. From 8:00 to 11:00 I create jewelry, pack up orders that have to be shipped and whatever else needs to be done for business. And then from 11:00 on it is Playtime!!! We go in the pool, go to the beach or concerts and we hang out with our family and friends. We are very social and enjoy life to the fullest whenever possible. After the kids are in bed it’s back to my laptop to check on my websites, network, and research and plan what has to be done the next morning.
Once the kids go back to school my schedule will be more structured and will have much more “business” time in it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
I see myself having a very successful Jewelry business (God willing) and another business that I have in the works right now. I want to see my creations in “People Style-watch” and “In Style” magazine. I see my jewelry being sold in high end boutiques and on my website. In 10 years all of my children should be out of the house or in college so I hope to travel to awesome locations with my husband to find cool and unique components to work with.
Can you give us some word of wisdom for success? What are your biggest business triumphs, success, and mistakes? Have you ever made a business decision in the past that was a mistake? What are some of the BEST business decisions that you have made?
The best words of wisdom I can give are to work hard and stay focused. I have a very busy life, but no matter how busy I get my mind always has a little bit of business on it. I never put Pretty Pretty completely on the back burner.
My biggest triumph was an order of 65 custom pieces that I was asked to create for a woman’s retreat. I was honored. And being featured in this blog was pretty exciting too.
The most memorable thing for me was when I was asked to make a necklace for a young lady that was terminally ill. She loved her “Faith” necklace and said it was a blessing to her. Before she passed she asked to be buried with that piece. It is so touching to me, to know that there is an angel in heaven wearing a Pretty Pretty design.
I have only been in business 3 years and not to say I haven’t made mistakes but it’s been pretty smooth so far. I take my time with my business. I’m not in a huge rush to be an overnight success. I feel that helps me to make fewer mistakes. I research every aspect of my business before I do anything. I wear my jewelry before I sell it, to make sure it hangs the right way and it that it is sturdy. If I am not 100% satisfied with it, it goes into the redo pile.
I think my best business decision is to not be cheap with my supplies. I don’t mind paying for quality merchandise and that is the consumer I am targeting. And I guarantee all of jewelry. If anything happens to a piece I will remake it or fix it. I have been known to see something on a friend that doesn’t look great and I take it off them and make it perfect.
Most of my customers are loyal repeat customers that I have sort of built relationships with. I enjoy corresponding with my clients, not just making a sale. It’s more special that way; for me and them.
My actual workspace which is just a corner in my house.
A picture of the workshop I would love to have in my backyard some day.
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