Phyllis actually started Long Lost Jewelry by accident. She started making jewelry at a young age and had an amazing art teacher who let her make jewelry instead of the assigned art projects all through jr. high. His advice advice stuck with her as he told her to never stop making jewelry and now she has turned that into her career. But it didn’t start out like that as when she moved to California at age 18, she took a job at a financial company to make ends meet. She kept her accounting job until she had kids and moved. Then as destiny would have it a jewelry maker a few doors down, got her back into it. It was purely a hobby at first. Then friends and family kept requesting pieces and a shop in Laguna Beach took her on as their main jewelry line and so Long Lost Jewelry was born. Hopefully this article is inspire those of you who are also looking for a career change and going down the same path.
Business building tools for Mums
- Make sure that it is something that you are most passionate about. When times are tough and they will be, (think super long hours & stress) you will have the energy to keep going because of that passion.
- Find your niche audience and constantly work on building it. If you make cute original coffee cups go to the best independent coffee shops and offer them free mugs that have your website on them or ask them to sell them on consignment at first and then if they do well, ask for the payments up front. Are there bloggers you follow who constantly take photos of their morning cup of coffee? Send them some free cups.
- Be ready to switch gears if need be. I thought that getting my jewelry into boutiques would be the key to my success so I put all my energy into it at first. I later found that promoting our own site and doing direct sales proved to be our biggest money maker. We still stock shops and work with other sales websites too, because it’s never good to put all your eggs in one basket. The tides could turn again.
How to grow your small business…
The key to expanding your business quickly is GETTING IT OUT THERE. Do whatever you can to get it in front of people. You could have the best product in the world but if no ones sees it, it won’t sell.
Once you have a little demand going you can’t grow unless you get more help. I learned this the hard way, after over a year of staying up until 3am and getting lots of stress related illnesses. It’s hard to know when it’s time and when you can afford help. You may see a little less money at first but trust me, with the right help your business will grow. You will have more time and energy to put into expanding it if you’re not doing every little task. Get rid of the tasks you can pay someone the least to do first. You might even be able to get free help in the form of a family member or an intern.
How to juggle ‘you’ time/the creative process/being a wife and mother of 2?
Because I love what I do I consider working time to myself, as I enjoy it so much. For me the creative process is constantly going on no matter what I’m doing. I get ideas in the pickup line at my son’s school and type them in my phone. Or I will be looking at materials on my work desk and ideas will pop into my head.
My biggest personal obstacle was when my business started getting busy. I felt like my quality time with my kids was slipping away. When I was with them I was exhausted and irritable. Something had to give, that’s when I hired help. I also set up boundaries with my business. I am available during work hours now, not 24/7.
Hiring and training help was a huge professional obstacle for me. I think it was just a mental block I had that I should do everything or it won’t be done right. Turns out someone else can pack orders and answers emails just as well as I can.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Pretty much the same advice my art teacher gave me, “Don’t ever stop making jewelry. Even if you have to work, don’t give up on your day dream.”
Ladies it’s clear to see that having a job you’re happy is one way to allow so many other things in your life work for you rather than against you. Phyllis is such a big inspiration to us here at the Empowered Women’s Channel, not only is she super stylie, business minded, a mother who makes beautiful pieces, but she has followed her passion, even if it took her a while to find it again. If you found this article useful, please comment below and by the way you look beautiful today!