Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rylan Van Ginkel, co-owner of Island Meadow Clay, located in White Lake, ON, Canada.

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

I am a polymer clay artist specializing in unique floral pattern earrings that I hope to inspire natural beauty and a love of nature. I have a large demographic of support, specifically those looking for something to fall in love with, either for themselves or for a loved one.

Tell us about yourself

I am a wife and mother, and I recently moved with my family from the city of Ottawa to a smaller community in the country outside of the capital. I come from a family of six, brought up surrounded by beautiful country life while being homeschooled. My fond memories of my childhood often inspire my designs. My husband works from home, and we aim to simplify our life as much as possible to spend maximum amount of time with our three-year-old daughter. To do that, I decided, after much trial and error, to start my own small business that, eventually, my husband and I would be able to operate together as a team.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Honestly and truthfully, it feels like a big accomplishment just to have someone admire my work and wear it for themselves. I also recently launched my own website, getting us off the overcrowded Etsy platform, which feels pretty amazing.

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

Balancing time and, honestly, energy to keep going and keep showing up. Consistency is key, but it's not always easy to feel motivated when there are other things going on in life.

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

  1. Keep going! You will make mistakes and not always know what to do, but that's part of the learning process and how you'll figure out what works for you and what doesn't.
  2. It's not easy to keep up with social media, but it is worth it to be consistent. Have a plan, and stick with it. Instagram is a huge part of how I grew my business to what it is, and the more you show up, the more you'll be remembered and will find the right people.
  3. Find the work-life balance. Working for yourself is not necessarily a 9-5 job. You need to find out what works best for you and your lifestyle. As a mom, it's near impossible for me to find quiet time to create every day. Instead, I make a plan of what I want or need to do for that day/week and work within a time that is best for me. Also, remember you are your own boss, so you are totally allowed to take time away when you need it.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Have fun! It's your business to create, so make it something you love and something that truly inspires you.

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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