Good Morning .. I'm so excited to bring you the first interview of my Friday's Feature series. Every Friday I will be interviewing a jewelry designer that has taken that step into running their own business full time. My hope with these interviews is to encourage, inspire or help you move forward. Have a wonderful Friday!
Our first is with Darrah of OTIS B, from New Jersey, a completely self taught jewelry designer. briguysgirls.etsy.com
How long have you been in business?
Well, I have had jewelry making as a hobby for about 7 years, but have been doing this as a business now only since December officially.
Did you start your business full time? if not, what made you take that leap into running your business full time?
My husband's job does not pay great at all, and he is self employed which makes it harder sometimes...many times, lol! So I had to do something so that we wouldn't be living paycheck to paycheck anymore. IO started on Etsy ion December 2008 with the thought that if I sold a few items a week then it could help pay at least the utility bills. I never expected to be paying ALL the bills, but that's where we are now. Now Brian's income is supplemental to mine.
Did you write a business plan? or do you set regular goals to achieve?
Ugh, no, I'm sucha slacker. Like I said, I really never expected this to work like it is, now I don't even have TIME ot write one!
What selling venues do you use?
Well, Etsy is my primary selling venue, but through Etsy I have had the opportunity to meet other boutique owners who now have my items in their shops as well!
Give us one tip on how you stay motivated (to run your business full time)?
My family motivates me. The very real need for the money to pay for day to day necessities drives me. If you want to succeed, you have to have dogged determination, and I do! If something isn't working, change it until it does!
Where do you draw your design inspiration from to keep coming up with fresh ideas?
I have made a LOT of different styles of jewelry in the past 7 years and so I look at old pics of those pieces and tweak them to keep them fresh. I also look at fashion magazines to see what's hot.
What is your best advice on customer service?
Be super courteous and friendly and helpful. And if you make a mistake, be honest and upfront. What is that saying, You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?? SO true. And treat every customer as if it were your ONLY one!
What is your favorite tip you received from a mentor or someone in business?
DON'T GIVE UP!
If you could offer one piece of advice to someone just starting a business, what would that be?
Definitely budget. I have not been great at budgeting (remember, I have no business plan, lol!) Work well within your means and make the VERY BEST of what you can afford at the moment. And when you are selling that item, whatever it may be, if it is online, take AWESOME pictures of it. OK pics are not going to cut it 99% of the time. They must be GREAT.
If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be? LOL sorry had to add this, I feel like Barbara Walters :)
HA! A weeping willow. Grand and graceful, with super long arms to enfold all those I hold dear to me :o)