Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carrie Khodanian, Owner of Stella & Tide, located in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Stella & Tide, we offer dainty and modern Catholic jewelry that’s made with love! Our goal is to help women represent and share their Christian faith through our jewelry. The lovely necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings in our shop are intricately crafted with 14k gold, sterling silver, and rose gold, and though our jewelry is delicate, it’s all designed for daily wear!
We’re a small family-owned business, and most of our pieces are handcrafted in Florida. Since 2018, we’ve handmade and shipped over 20,000 beautiful Catholic pieces worldwide!
Tell us about yourself
I started Stella & Tide over five years ago with a search for dainty jewelry that didn’t break the budget. In the midst of my failed searches, a new business was born. I began to create pieces for women who were looking for exactly what I had failed to find—elegant, feminine jewelry. Somewhere along the way, I decided to take a chance and incorporate my Catholic faith into the jewelry of Stella & Tide. The rest was history!
There’s something so special about a handcrafted piece that I’ve always loved. I spent many afternoons during my childhood with my mom and sister creating our own jewelry with friends. These special memories have kept my passion for jewelry-making alive over the years! Every day, I’m motivated by the knowledge that our jewelry is having a positive impact on the lives of the women who wear it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is running this business full-time with my husband! When I started Stella & Tide, it was a small side project, and my husband was still working a full-time job. As the business grew, the operational needs continued to increase, and in 2022, my husband, Gary, stepped away from his job to join me in working on the business full-time! I can’t imagine anything better than running this business with him—we really love working together!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
For us, a big challenge has been to find a healthy work-life balance. We love working on the business, and there’s always something to work on! It has taken a concentrated effort on our part to create a schedule and set boundaries so that we can continue to have a happy life while still growing the business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find the cheapest and fastest way to prove your concept BEFORE investing a ton of money in your business.
- Be open to changing your concept, business model, and even your personal skill set based on the market and customer demand.
- Check your motivations. Do you really enjoy the work and care about the mission? As a business owner, you’ll eventually run into some big challenges, and if you don’t really want it deep down, it will be easy to quit when the times get tough.
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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