Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kaining Wang, co-owner of HanJi Jewelry, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
HanJi Jewelry serves those who appreciate minimalist and creative jewelry designs and enjoy learning about the concepts behind them. Newly established in 2020 by a designer couple - Kaining and Shao-Hsuan, HanJi Jewelry is a Seattle-based online jeweler for sterling silver and gold jewelry. They offer jewelry designs created to convey concepts, often inspired by forms in nature or readings of philosophy. Another passion of theirs is to create custom-designed jewelry for individuals, where they get to bring the customer along on the journey. A proportion of their jewelry is made by Kaining in their studio in West Seattle.
Tell us about yourself
My childhood dream to learn about jewelry and metalsmithing came true when I was enrolled in Rhode Island School of Design. There I was trained to develop wearable designs based on concepts and realize them using my own hands.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to take my passion and turn it into a business with my partner. Our goal is to express concepts in the form of jewelry and share our inspirations with our customers. While my partner is often inspired by forms in nature, I tend to find ideas when I read and write. The poetics in the translation of concepts into wearable objects and the joy when someone shows appreciation of our work are what motivate us to do what we do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is that I started Makers Art Market - an arts and crafts market featuring local makers. It provides an opportunity for PNW makers to showcase and sell their work to the public. In the process, I have met so many talented makers who are passionate about what they do and see how supportive people are of the local creative community.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Often times I run into issues I have no clue about and need to figure a way out by myself. However, that is a rewarding part of being a business owner because I constantly get to learn something new.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Talk to your family or friends about your idea. You do not have to take in every piece of advice, but they might offer you some interesting insights or share lessons learned from their experiences as business owners.
- Build a minimal viable product. You do not need to invest all your money all at once or build anything perfect in the beginning. Putting your minimal viable product in the market will give you the most valuable feedback on the features of your products, who your target customers are, what the customers look for, etc.
- Join communities, associations, and any groups where you find others who have started their own businesses or plan to start. Share ideas and support each other.
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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