Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shanna Kuhn and Virginia Rideout, Founders of Traveling Stones, located in Leggett, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We make handmade silver jewelry. Start with a rough stone, then cut, shape, and polish each stone and set each piece in silver. We make the ring, pendant, bracelet, or earrings around the stone. Our customers are people that love healing stones, their properties, and handmade jewelry.
Tell us about yourself
V (Virginia) has always loved rocks. She collected rocks, and then she inherited buckets and buckets of rocks from her grandmother, who had passed, and her cab machine. I always had looked at rocks as...well, rocks. However, V showed me all the different types, and I got hooked. We decided to take one jewelry class in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah; the rest was self-taught. We wasted a lot of silver in the beginning. It was a lot of trial and error, but we are still learning new techniques as we grow each year. I believe you're not an artist if you're not learning new things as you go. Since then, we sold our house and almost everything we own, bought an RV, and set out traveling. We worked camping for the first 3 years, and now we are working for ourselves, and we LOVE it!!!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to work for ourselves finally. It's a goal that we set out for ourselves when we set out on our travels. We would have reached it sooner if the pandemic hadn't put a halt to everything. Now that festivals are going strong again, we were able to get invited to the biggest Reggae festival in the nation, CALIROOTS! It was the best feeling - getting the email that we were accepted! Seeing all the small faces and the best vibes at CALIROOTS is one of the best feelings.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Keeping up with social media. With the algorithms out there, you have to post often and be strategic, which can be difficult. One post, we may get a bunch of hits to our website and make sales, and the next post... nothing. Social media and advertising is probably the hardest thing as of right now.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't wait; take the risk!
- Don't let what you love stress you out! Always have fun with it!
- Be patient! Know that success doesn't happen overnight, but you will get there.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We love making jewelry! We love seeing our customers with smiles on their faces as they get the piece of jewelry they want. We have customers that will walk by our table a few times and then finally buy that one piece that they have been eyeballing the whole time, saying that the piece spoke to them. We always say the stone picks you! Always treat yourself!
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.