Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lauren Richardson, founder and CEO of Radiance & Romance, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Radiance & Romance is where art meets science to create delightfully unexpected jewelry, unlike anything you've seen before. Crafted in Brooklyn, NY, from durable, lightweight titanium for a lifetime of comfortable all-day wear.
Each timeless silhouette is uniquely hand-painted using a magical technique of manipulating light to form colors so you can be the trendsetter, the head-turner, the one who earns compliments from strangers with one-of-a-kind finds you can be guaranteed no one else has.
Tell us about yourself
I fell in love with jewelry after taking my first metalsmithing class in high school. While studying it at the Maryland Institute College of Art, my interest in jewelry's power to extend, amplify, accentuate, and transform ourselves grew. I believe jewelry is more than just a piece of metal or a string of beads. It is about our identity. It is that little extra sparkle that gives us the confidence to be ourselves. I started Radiance & Romance as a way to empower everyone to love and express their natural beauty.
My designs stem from my passion for merging the feminine and masculine by transforming an industrial material, titanium, into delicate organic forms such as flowers and feathers. Using a magical technique and a little electricity, I manipulate light and trick your eyes into seeing painted patterns, even though there's no paint involved. I believe in appreciating the little things in life and all the beauty that is in everyone. Each one-of-a-kind piece celebrates the strength of femininity and inspires self-love.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When I hear a story or get a message from a customer about how wearing a piece of my jewelry inspired confidence, that's when I feel I've achieved my mission. Whether it's a friend who bought a custom piece and texted me how excited she is to wear it for luck on a first date after getting over a devastating heartbreak or a customer who bought a special piece for her daughter who was really struggling in her freshman year of college or even a mom who sent me a DM about how her daughter gifted her one of my pieces, and it made her day. These are the stories that remind me that all the hard work is worth it.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
To stop getting in my own way. Being a perfectionist introvert means I never feel like I've done enough; nothing is ever "perfect" enough to be put out into the world. I loathe being in the spotlight or pitching to strangers. It took me a long time to realize that one of the biggest obstacles to growing my business was myself, and that's when I knew I had become my own coach instead of a critic. I started to notice when I would spiral into a list of excuses, I would work through and reflect on why I was making those excuses, and then I would create small manageable actions that would get me closer to my goals but not feel so scary.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It's scary putting yourself out there, especially if you're an introvert like me, but there's a big mindset shift you experience when starting your own business. If you keep focused on your goals, the fear seems less important, even if you have to conquer it with baby steps, and the more you do it, the more natural it feels.
- Find your people. Know who you can go to when you need support and who is going to celebrate your wins just as much as cheer you on when it gets tough.
- Join groups of other entrepreneurs like you. That way, you'll have a place to go if you have questions and share resources.
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.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.