Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Danielle Malone, founder of november clay, located in Lewes, DE, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own november clay which is based in Sussex County, DE, in the comfort of my home with a wild two-year-old boss. I create unique handmade clay earrings that range from simple studs & dangles all the way to one-of-a-kind wedding pieces. I release once a month to focus on a specific theme and give that my all. My customers are ALL OVER the United States constant consistent supporters as well as new ones every month. Locally, I stock a few amazing small business shops, and that, too, is extremely humbling.
Tell us about yourself
I took the leap on this business in June of 2020. I had been (and still am) a stay-at-home mom since November of 2020. COVID happened, and as busy as my little guy kept me, I needed more. I’ve had a few little ventures in the past that my husband has always pushed me to pursue, and this was another fire he fueled that led me to put myself out there. A simple “look what I made” post on my Instagram turned into what I have grown today. I have a couple of motivators. One is definitely my son. Finding something that brings me joy but allows me to continue to stay home with him gives me so much fulfillment. My second motivator is one I never anticipated, and that is the beauty these customers feel when they wear my earrings. I’ve had women who have reached out to tell me their job/family takes so much priority & time that throwing on a simple, unique statement piece like my earrings brings them so much confidence. What tugged at my heart most was a customer reaching out for her mother-in-law that was losing her hair to chemo. She came to ME to find her MIL pieces to feel as beautiful as the world still sees her. What more could I ask for?
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is being asked by these hard-working, insanely talented small businesses if I want their shop/store to carry my pieces. I know the pride I take in everything I do; to be asked to be a part of their pride and joy by these men and women is something that makes my heart so incredibly full.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is having to say “no” for whatever reason. I am so blessed to have the shops reach out to me that do, but I have had to make the tough decision to decline. I would love to accept every person, especially because of my answer to the previous question, but there’s only so much time in a day while still being a mom & wife. There’s also the tough “no” that comes when customers missed out on a release and ask if I can just make “one more pair”.. my heart tells me to say yes, but the time management side of my brain knows I have to say no. The no feels selfish, and that makes it hard.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be your biggest fan. You could have every loved one and stranger cheer you on, and that means the world, but YOU have to believe in YOU, too.
- Keep it fun. No one wants to wake up and not enjoy what they do. Always remember why you started and why it brings you joy.
- Get an accountant, LOL!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I’d just love to say THANK YOU to every person who has supported me, believed in me, offered advice, given me grace, and trusted me to deliver a product worth their hard-earned dollar. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to raise a small business. My tribe grows every day, and for thank, I’m incredibly thankful.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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