People often ask me how/why I started my own small business. I figure, it’s Small Business Saturday so what better day to explain how it all came about! Here is a link to my Etsy shop
I’m a surfer girl, and like all mermaids I know, I have a shell collection.
One day’s loot on the north shore of Oahu.
A friend of mine (and my Miss Hawaii pageant sister), Nicole Fox, asked me if I wanted to go to a jewelry-making class with her one day. I’d never, ever, ever thought about doing something like that but it sounded interesting and with Christmas coming up I could make a few things in class with my shells as gifts for friends and family. Why not?! Sounds fun!
Collecting shells for my jewelry line on the Big Island.
We actually never ended up going to a class together! But, on Christmas that year my husband (then boyfriend) got me a gift certificate to Bead It! for 4 classes… he even made a makeshift necklace out of hemp string and a shell he had found on the beach! (I still have it – so cute)
I went to my first class and I was hooked! It’s an EXPENSIVE hobby… boy! By the time you get done buying all of the equipment and supplies you need to make things, you are breaking the bank! lol I continued taking classes and building my collection of tools for my “jewelry studio” when one day I decided to post a photo of something I had made on Facebook.
Some of my very first creations.
Working in my studio after a surf session.
One day I came home from my TV weekend meteorologist job and my hubby was working on “my website.” I was floored that he thought my creations were good enough to “sell” and start a business with. It was a huge undertaking to build a website from scratch so we decided to start small by posting my creations on Etsy. Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage items. It was the perfect fit. I often shop on Etsy myself and to see the backend as a business got me very excited. Etsy keeps my books for me, shows me stats, etc… Click HERE for a link to Etsy and $5 toward your first purchase at any store!
This (above) is the first item I EVER sold! I was beyond excited and happy to have my first item find a happy home!
My business doesn’t lose money… it doesn’t make money either! lol BUT, I LOVE it. I love using the other side of my brain to create things. I love working with my hands. I love the relaxation it brings me to sit and be completely immersed and in the moment as I work. I love making things for friends and family – I enjoy doing “research” on them on Facebook and Instagram to see what jewelry they wear usually, the colors they wear and whether I think it will match their skin tone and hair color. There is an *art* to jewelry creation that really fires me up and gets me excited. I love doing giveaways and announcing the winner… especially when it’s someone who claims that they never win anything! I love gift wrapping each piece so that even if it isn’t a gift for someone, it always feels like a gift when they open their package. It makes my heart smile to see the look on someone’s face when they receive a piece I’ve created. I love getting photos from my clients wearing their Surfer Girl Jewelry creations. It blows me away that I have a “piece” of me adorning clients that live in 5 continents across the globe and in 35 states.
My French girls wearing their Surfer Girl Jewelry Maui necklaces and rings :)
I still haven’t started that “website” for my jewelry line… but I started this blog and an area on the site is dedicated to the latest news, creations and reviews of Surfer Girl Jewelry. Next year, I’m hoping to go to Japan and do a fair or trunk show of some sort at a Hawaii event. I don’t ever intend to “grow” my business past that. To me, the reason my items are special is because each piece is a part of me, a little piece of my soul, my heart, my spirit… I’m so excited that my Etsy is about to reach 1000 orders!! That is INCREDIBLE. Thank you to all of my clients, customers, family, friends and supporters for helping me to maintain this amazing hobby of mine that brings me such joy and peace.
Code: BLACKFRIDAY for 40% off of the entire shop through Sunday 11/30/14 – Headed out the door with a bunch of orders that have found happy homes Yay!
Each order comes gift wrapped and with a cute little gift tag
I wore Surfer Girl Jewelry on Hollywood Game Night on NBC and all four ladies – Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Jane Lynch got ho’okupu from me and thanked me for my creations. :)
Thea Andrews wears Surfer Girl Jewelry on The Insider.
My new logo and cards! LOVE it!