Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry and accessory but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jonathan Hunt, Owner of JBeads, located in Branford, CT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
J Beads- small batch, handcrafted bead bracelets. Products are made with high-quality, natural materials like semi-precious stones, shells, crystals, metals, and glass. My customers range across all demographics and appeal to all ages and sexes, as the styles are very versatile and unisex.
Tell us about yourself
I began my business a little over two years ago, during the fall of the first year of COVID; I was online shopping one evening and was about to click checkout on a bead bracelet retailing for $90 when I thought, "I could probably make this myself." After researching and lots of YouTube videos, I bought some supplies later that week and began to experiment. My first creation was given as a birthday gift to a friend, and little by little, I began to grow the line, moved to an online shop, and started doing local shows.
My motivation comes from this being a creative outlet for me. It has been and continues to be an escape and a way to clear my head, but also fun learning about new materials and creating new styles. Most times, the bracelet is named before I even know what it will look like, and the name shapes the design.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would have to say becoming a recognized brand has been a huge honor, but more so has been being able to use that brand to give back. J Beads is very involved with local and national charities and has raised thousands for causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness, efforts in Ukraine, Pet Rescue, and many, many more.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think the biggest misconception about working for yourself is that you don't answer to anyone. There are many entities involved with starting your own business and lots of learning curves along the way that can often take you off track from doing what you love. You just have to keep your on the end goal and treat every hurdle as a learning experience.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research and plan accordingly- whatever you think your budget and timeframe will be, double it.
- Create your team and surround yourself with a diverse network of people who have knowledge in the areas you lack in. No one can possibly be an expert in everything- accept input from those who are knowledgeable in the things you are less passionate about.
- As much as you'll want to, you cannot do it all on your own. Take help when it's offered.
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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