Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Catherine Chandler, founder of Catherine Chandler Jewelry + Objects, located in Portland, OR, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Hi there! My business is Catherine Chandler Jewelry + Objects. I make one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry for women who love adventure, the outdoors, and the Pacific Northwest.

Tell us about yourself

Growing up, we spent a lot of time outdoors, and my father took us hiking often, which is still one of my favorite activities. Hiking gives me a chance to really soak in my surroundings and find inspiration that can be translated into jewelry. Originally, I fell in love with making jewelry while studying abroad in Australia, where I also happened to fall in love with their indigenous flora and fauna. Since then, natural elements have been incorporated into my work wherever possible--whether it is a gorgeous gemstone or cutouts of ferns and hummingbirds. I find these motifs often speak to other women who have a love of nature, and it is always a joy to connect them to jewelry that speaks to their hearts.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've been making jewelry for 20 years but finally took the deep dive into making full-time in 2021. Knowing that my creations inspire people near and far makes my heart sing! I am so thrilled every time I connect with a new fan or customer. I work very hard to create unique jewelry that inspires not only me but those who see it and wear it. Being able to do that every day is such a gift.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being a business owner right now means that I am wearing all the hats, which can be quite the balancing act! I am definitely looking forward to being in a position where I can hand a few of the responsibilities (bookkeeping, photography, etc.) off to someone else.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. I would advise to absolutely take some business classes. Even just the beginner courses will set you off on the right foot! Look at community colleges or local small business support organizations. You can also get great mentorship through
  2. Find the time management that works best for you. If you get more computer work done at a coffee shop, do that. If you are a night owl, organize your schedule to fit. As a small business owner, you are in charge and should set yourself up for success.
  3. Really focus on who your audience is! Your product or service will not be for everyone (nor do you want it to be!)--don't take it personally. Instead, hone in on who you really want your ideal customer to be, make sure your product/service matches that, and go after it. Make connections, and put yourself and your work out there. It's a lot of work at first but will become easier over time.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Customer's needs and wants change with what is happening in the world. Be ready for fluctuations, and have a plan in case you need some backup support. Having a community of fellow business owners or creators can help when you need connection and advice. There are many business owners who have come before you, so don't be afraid to ask for help!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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