Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tina Cannon, Owner of Tytin Jewelry, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

TYTIN is a woman and minority-owned fine jewelry design studio. I specialize in one-of-a-kind and customized wedding jewelry and other fine jewels to commemorate your special milestones. My customers are people who are a little non-traditional, appreciate out-of-the-box thinking, and support the artisan-made process. They range from young couples about to start their life together to older individuals who want to commemorate the journey they've been on so far.

Tell us about yourself

I started off as a fashion design major and was working in New York City at a job that wasn't very fulfilling creatively. I started taking jewelry-making classes on weekends and eventually decided to go back to school for it. After graduating, I moved back to Chicago and began working at a jewelry manufacturing company downtown. While there, I also started creating my own pieces, participating in local craft shows, and meeting other like-minded independent jewelry designers. I thrived on the community between us all and decided to open my own studio, where I taught jewelry-making classes and provided bench rentals to other jewelers.

At the same time, I started receiving a lot of custom design requests and really enjoyed that creative process and the relationships I built with my clients. Eventually, I closed that studio and started focusing on custom design. Fast forward four years, and I now have another space that acts as my studio and showroom. My clients are really what motivate me each day, being a small part of their love story; the joy and wonder that develops during the making process and its finished piece are beyond words. It's what really fuels me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

So far, my biggest accomplishment is that I'm paying myself an actual salary this year and am able to contribute to supporting my family.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

As the only employee of my business, the hardest thing is being in all the roles and having the highest expectations of myself to fulfill each role successfully. I know I need to outsource certain tasks, but it's always a balancing act of finding the right people and deciding when's a good month to actually spend money on that outsourced task.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Make sure to separate your business financials from your personal ones (i.e., get separate bank accounts, and set up an accounting software).
  2. Give yourself grace whenever you can.
  3. Remember, it all takes time.

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.