Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ezrah Te, co-founder of Pinwheel Clay, with Maggie Land, and they are based in Crofton, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Pinwheel Clay offers bright, colorful, and cheerful handmade jewelry. We make an array of different styles, so there is something out there for everyone: big, statement earrings and dainty studs as well. We are also exploring necklaces and pendants, but the majority of our products at the moment are earrings. Everything we do is handmade, which means each piece is unique and many are one-of-kind. When you shop with a small business, you are supporting the makers directly, which allows us to continue making more art to share and put out into the world.
Tell us about yourself
A trip to New England started it all. While in Maine, we encountered a boutique in Portland that features local artists. We found the cutest earrings that were very lightweight and discovered they were made from polymer clay after a bit of research. We thought we could probably learn how to make earrings ourselves!
I am an avid earring enthusiast and often buy earrings as gifts from my travels around the world. Both me and Maggie (Maggie Land - Co-founder) enjoy traveling; hence each collection is named after a place we visited, lived, and/or has special meaning to us. Due to the pandemic, travel seems a bit less accessible, so we're able to live vicariously through our art and relive those travel moments and hopefully transport our customers to those destinations as well.
We love creating, and both have backgrounds in arts and crafts (I'm a musician and Maggie crochets), so it's wonderful to have this creative outlet and create pieces that bring joy to our customers. We believe that jewelry can impact someone's mood and outlook. We aspire to spread positivity and optimism through our work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Launching our business was a big achievement for us. Neither of us had ever started our own business, so it was really special for us to build our business from the ground up. We manage everything from A to Z. We’ve also seen a lot of growth and improvement in our work over the last nine months (we started in May 2021), so we’re really proud of what we’ve been able to produce, especially being self-taught makers and business owners.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the biggest challenges we face is that we both have full-time jobs in addition to running Pinwheel Clay. So balancing everything can be quite demanding, but there are ebbs and flows with the workload. As things become more familiar and routine for us, we are doing a better job of managing our time and expectations.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do it! Start your business. You may never feel 100% ready, but the way we’ve learned the most is by putting ourselves out there and learning as we go along.
- Make a business plan. This was a bit tedious for us, but we explored and answered some really tough questions. Also, suppose you’re working with other business partners. In that case, it’s really important to discuss who is managing what, which helps keep everyone accountable. If you’re working alone, it’s still really important to make a plan to set goals for yourself and your business.
- Have fun and be creative! We tend not to follow trends since we like to create art that speaks to us and our brand aesthetic. We strive to offer something different (ex., color combinations, shapes, etc.) that we don’t often see because we want our customers to stand out and feel special.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Starting Pinwheel Clay has been an incredible journey, and the polymer clay community is so supportive! This experience has been eye-opening to the world of small business and everything that goes into entrepreneurship. We are looking forward to the future of Pinwheel Clay!
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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