Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michelle Gulden, Founder of jack & ginger, located in Ashland. MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I handmake jewelry for those that love endless summer. My pieces are for all ages, and my demographic is quite varied, which makes it fun for me to see what jewelry speaks to certain people. I dabble in custom work where customers send in a stone or sentimental piece, and we make something together, giving it new life. Each and every item is custom-made to order, which feels extra special to the person receiving it. They have something made just for them.
Tell us about yourself
Making jewelry and being crafty has always been in me. From friendship bracelets in grade school to hemp necklaces in high school, I was always making something. A pair of guitar pick earrings I made for fun started what has now become jack & ginger. As cheesy as it may sound, my customers motivate me. They are my cheerleaders every day, and it blows me away to receive support from some people I have never even met. Having them be excited about a new launch or even just encouraging me when I ask for input pushes me to do more and be better. I love that I work with jewelry because trends are always changing, and I'm always learning new techniques. It keeps my day interesting.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Taking my business full time. It's been 3 years now and each year has shown growth, so it's very motivating to see where I can take jack & ginger. Shipping jewelry coast to coast and to other countries is just a dream, and it makes me very proud to see my baby growing!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Oh, where to start? There are so many pros and cons, and they truly balance each other out, or I wouldn't keep doing this. But if I have to pick one, I would say it's hard to turn "off" work mode when you run your own business. I catch myself answering emails or checking inventory when it's something that can wait. It's something I'm working on, but I have to say it's hard to shut off that part of your brain.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- The best advice is just to go for it. There is no harm in trying to take your talents to the next level and see what you can do. Have fun with it since you have the flexibility, in the beginning, to try new things and see what grabs your customer base.
- Don't rely on friends and family. They mean well, but many won't take you seriously in the beginning. Strangers from the internet will become your biggest supporters. They are the ones sharing your posts, telling their friends, and purchasing your product.
- Connect and collaborate with other small businesses on social media. The knowledge and friendship I have received from other women I have met have been so beneficial to my business. It's been so helpful to have other small business owners to talk to because they have been in similar situations.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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