Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stacie Florer, designer, and owner of Stacie Florer Jewelry, located in Roanoke, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an artisan jewelry designer, but I feel like I am actually in the Self-Expression business. My customers are primarily creative themselves, and my style reflects that essential aspect of their personality whether or not they are artists as well.
Also, my work is very original. I was not trained in any traditional manner and consider myself self-taught. As a result, the way I use materials and tools is a little different, and it shows in my work. So I have noticed over the years that people really resonate with wearing something different because it honors their own uniqueness in the world, and they want to express that to those they interact with.
As an object, those that wear my work tell me that it attracts interaction with others, and I LOVE that. We need more connection, and if my work facilitates that, the better off I feel the world is in general.
Tell us about yourself
I was working in the corporate field in Oregon and had this nagging whisper that I wanted to work with my hands and heart instead of my mind and mouth. So, I have always loved jewelry and started beading in my spare time. One thing led to another, and I eventually left the job and started my journey with metal jewelry.
I have so many ideas in metal that I can't get to them all during my lifetime. So that is pretty motivating to get into my studio. I also love the other aspects of running my little business, such as photography, website work, and keeping up with all the technological advances that are happening to allow creative makers to continue to create and market their work to the world. We live in a golden age as far as being a maker and actually making a living at it!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It's not just one thing...it's much more wholistic for me as far as how it has improved the quality of my life. I have met some amazing people by virtue of being in creative environments such as galleries, studio spaces, craft shows, and online. I am also a technical writer by degree. I've written about a dozen tutorials in jewelry publications over the years, sharing what I have discovered about metal with a national audience. I have taught at art retreats in person. I have witnessed people discovering that fire and gas can allow them to make amazing personal jewelry for themselves and others, with some of my students far surpassing me technically as time has moved on. And I love that I was there for their beginning. The stories of experiences people have had while wearing my jewelry have allowed a piece of me to be with them as they live out their own dreams.
My jewelry business was directly responsible for a life-changing experience for me when I was introduced to the Human Design System while vending at the conference in Tennessee. So, the connections I've made with others and the impact I've had on them and they've had on me has been the biggest accomplishment of my business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, I love what I do so much; it has to be carving out time for other things. I could be in my studio 24/7 and be perfectly happy. But that's not healthy, is it? I mean, I have to eat, exercise and live my life with my family and friends. But my business is my life...it's really futile to try and separate the two, so I gave up trying.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
This is easy! My work as a metalsmith has taught me that figuring out a Process that is repeatable and reliable while maintaining an attitude of Patience while you learn, adapt, and grow will naturally lead to the Progress you need to succeed. You can take those three P's to the bank!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
My business was on hiatus in 2021 while I cared for both of my parents before they passed away. They both died of cancer, and it was my honor to help them both transition. Having my own business allowed me the flexibility I needed in such an extreme circumstance. For that I am grateful. I am in the middle of a complete reboot of my business and am excited about where this next chapter will take me. Thank you!
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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