Linda Blatchford has been in business for the past eight years as a Jewelry and Accessories Designer.
Here is her “story:”
Tell us about your business…
I design women’s beaded and wire wrapped jewelry to wear every day, for holidays, and special occasions such as weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and more. My clients have a chance to design their own jewelry selecting colors and type of beads used so the piece is uniquely created just for them.
My clients are Jewish women who want to wear unique jewelry creations for holidays and headcoverings for bat or bar mitzvahs and to synagogue services.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
It’s all about the beads and wire. Making jewelry is an obsession, er, passion I mean. It’s so fun to help a client get the exact look she wants for her wedding, bat mitzvah or holidays.
Another part that I enjoy is social media, I’m a Facebook addict. I’ve reconnected with friends from grammar and high school. I also write a blog and an ezine, The Joys of Jewelry.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why? At least 4 people
My mentors are Tim Adams of Handmadeology who provides successful tips on running an online shop.
Tracy Matthews and Robin Williams of Flourish and Thrive Academy – a class about my Dream Client really got me focused in what products I love to create and I’m still working on where to find her online.
Andreea Ayers of Launch Grow Joy who teaches classes on Product Marketing – she helped me confirm my target market and after taking a course, I am working to implement some of the business strategies I learned.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Helping people get the jewelry and accessories they want for lifecycle events, (such as weddings, bar or bat mitzvahs) give me such joy.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Plan and set goals for: sales, marketing, ezine/blog posts, and promotions – use a planning calendar. Nothing will happen unless I take action.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
For me, it’s a combination of promoting my online shop using blog posts, ezine articles, and Social Media (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Wanelo.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
If I’m not happy with the way a design turned out, I do it over. The client won’t be happy either and she’s the bottom line. Making customers happy is my business.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I couldn’t live without Hootsuite for scheduling Tweets and seeing team member’s tweets. I’m on several Etsy teams and we retweet each other. You set up different columns and can manage it all from 1 dashboard for different channels (Twitter, Facebook, G+).
Plan everything out – from listing new products to writing tweets to special campaigns. Plan as far ahead as you can comfortably. I use Excel spreadsheets.
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it.
Producing jewelry and wine charms for the Jewish New Year and the holidays. I’m also planning out my website redesign.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Read, play with cats, and create jewelry, watch movies: comedy, action, and thriller.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Focus my product creations to my ideal client and learn more about where she hangs out online.
I’ve written part of a book about cats and how they train us. It’s about the cats in my household and their quirky personalities. It needs to be edited and then who knows?
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Always ask for the sale on Facebook – the worst case is that people can say “no.” Every creation will eventually find its way to its owner who connects with it.
What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you?