Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alise Morales, Founder of Jasper & Elm, located in Jacksonville, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Jasper & Elm is a handmade accessories business - I specialize in making jewelry out of polymer clay, resin, and other mixed materials. Polymer clay is my favorite material to work with, but lately, I have been really inspired by crystals and pearls. While I am based out of Jacksonville, FL, I have customers all over the US (and even some outside of the US!).
Tell us about yourself
I started Jasper & Elm in 2020 when I was working my way through grad school with a variety of side gigs. I wanted to have more control over my schedule, as well as have a creative outlet. After a year, I was ready to go full-time with J&E! I eventually left grad school to focus on my business. That is what keeps me motivated every day - I am working to make this dream a reality! Choosing one path over another keeps me focused and inspired to continue to strive for success.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being interviewed on a local TV show last summer was a huge accomplishment for me. I had the opportunity to share my business and my passion with a much larger audience, and for a few weeks, I had people coming up to my booth at art markets to tell me they saw me on TV and came to check out my jewelry!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It can often feel lonely running your own business. I work alone, and due to the nature of my business, I have to work from home because I need all the space I can get! It also forces you to rely on yourself a lot, which can be difficult when you are trying to learn something new, like best practices for SEO or a new social media format.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do it scared! The fear lessens as you get more experience, but don't let it hold you back.
- Seek out other local business owners if you have questions - I have learned a lot from attending free events!
- It is possible to make a living out of running your own business, but be ready for anything! Social media is volatile, and managing a website can be tough, but if you go into it having an idea of the challenges that could pop up, you will set yourself up for more success (and less frustration!).
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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