Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hamaila Qureshi, owner of Hamaila, located in Mayer, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is named Hamaila (huh-my-luh), and I make sterling silver and gold jewelry for creatives. I could never find high-quality jewelry that was worth investing in earrings that didn't turn my ears green. These earrings didn't look like everyone else's but were worth the price. So I started making my own. My jewelry tends to be focused either on geometry and architecture, or it's very organic. Either way, it's very distinct from what you usually see in the jewelry market.
Tell us about yourself
I ended up in jewelry in a very roundabout way. I first went to school for Pharmacy, and I was in Pharmacy School when I realized it wasn't going to work out. So I switched over to a degree in Nutrition. Once I had a degree in hand, I started taking classes in anything that interested me. I started with Graphic Design and Drafting and somehow ended up in Art Metals. I kept making bracelets in my art metals class, and my instructor gently nudged me to the jewelry department at Austin Community College. Once I was there, I never looked back. Within a year of my first jewelry class, I had already made my signature earrings and launched my business. I really love design and creation. I love coming up with a design, making it, and then seeing it in my community within weeks, if not days. It's so rewarding to help customers find those unique, high-quality pieces that they sometimes didn't even know they were looking for.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, my biggest accomplishment is how much I've learned over the last few years. I don't have a background in business. I don't have backers and lots of funding coming in. I make everything by hand still. All the cards are stacked against me, yet I've still been able to slowly build up my business and learn so much from experience over the last few years. It's allowed me to move to my dream place in the middle of the desert. It's allowed me to build community in a way that I'd never imagined before. It's allowed me to feel fulfilled in my creative work, and that's something I had only dreamed of previously.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a solopreneur, the hardest thing is prioritizing the right work. I will never have time to do everything I need to do for my business. I am my own production team, marketing team, distribution team, design team, shipping team, etc. Learning what needs to be done and what can be pushed back to tomorrow, and where to draw the line has been one of the most difficult things I've had to learn over the last few years.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Schedule and plan - Time is a limited resource. As a neurodivergent person, I tend to lose track of it very easily. Getting a good planner was such an important part of my success.
- Know your limits - Energy is also a limited resource. There's only so much you can do, and at the end of the day, you are your greatest asset. Know when it's time to put work away and focus on yourself. You can't help your business and your community when you yourself are depleted.
- Find and build community - Being a solopreneur is lonely. Find a community that you can learn from and contribute to. I guarantee you will grow your business faster that way.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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