First of all, let me say this...whether the sky is falling or not, it is challenging to start and maintain any business, period! Me writing about this won't be as appealing to most people, I get it. Because jewelry, and fashion jewelry at that, is just not as important as masks, water, food, disinfectant, sanitizer, and toilet paper right now. There are so many things going on in 2020. It has been a dismal year to say the least! Andwe're not even sure it will get any better, as we near the end of it. Needless to say, here we all are...sheltering in place. Well...for the most part. But I digress.
Before I get into details on this topic, I thought it would be best if I give a little background on how I started out on this journey of restarting my fashion jewelry business during the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, I had my own virtual assistant business. And I was doing quite okay, and then the world stopped. Business stopped. The world was on pause. And guess what, business slowed down for most business owners. Some never recovered. Some never will. My business slowed too. I lost all, but one of my clients almost immediately. And that one was only bringing me in about $20 per week, doing data entry. Because his business was also suffering and not receiving as much business. Now, I'm a single stay-at-home mother of 3 with anxiety, depression, asthma, HBP, and diabetes. Not to mention my kids are doing distance learning, and my now 5 year old, can't go to daycare. So, I was left with no option but to stay home and figure out another means of supporting my family.
I had to fall back on what I knew...designing mixed media fashion jewelry. As it turns out, it's been a very long time passion of mine as well. But also, having experienced the business side before, I knew that even this wouldn't sustain me. Fine jewelry? Maybe. Because I hear sales for them are skyrocketing right now. I guess no one is really interested in looking good on Zoom with bold statement fashion jewelry right now. Especially when you can just shut the camera off. Sidebar...But listen ladies, we need to do something for #selfcare, even if it's a new pair of earrings to make us feel good about ourselves. Okay...I digress again.
So here I am stuck, clientless! I decide to use a portion of my unemployment to pay for some jewelry supplies, so that I can start making some new pieces to sell online. My first inclination is to go back to Etsy ($0.20 per listing)...even though my first go-around with them was not prosperous in the least bit. However, I'm a creature of habit so I decide to give it another shot. Also, I decided I might as well build a new website for a specific cutting edge jewelry collection that I started ($27/mo through wix.com). I also post on Instagram and Facebook for my business. Imagine...keeping up with all of that social media, trying to run a business, and manage the lives of 3 young people! Whew..it's a lot! Let me tell ya. Not to mention designing DAILY, packing, shipping, post office runs, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, exercise programs, and custom orders from that special client that wants your "creative flare" on her piece!
Hey, I love it, but jewelry sales are just NOT what they used to be! I'll be honest and say, they never were outstandingly good anyway. But really though, unless you have "celebrity clientele", or a "rich following", you probably won't do well in the fashion jewelry business. And that is just a dose of reality that you and I both will have to take to the head. It's a somber reality, because I feel like I'm really good at accenting an ensemble with my affordable statement jewelry! I'm always on-trend with current fashion trends. Definitely have that "celebrity swag". Anyway...here I am. But I will say that I've made a handful of sales...mostly through friends and family on Facebook. More than likely because they are aware of my struggles. So thank you fam for your support!
So what's the plan, you ask? Hmmm...I don't have one except to keep on designing. Keep on in search of regular remote employment, and trying to get new clients for my jewelry design business and my virtual assistant business. It's really crazy because I see like female newscasters or talk show hosts, etc. on TV and think, "Oh, they still have a job...I think they'd absolutely LOVE my jewelry designs." But then you remember they probably have their own sources already. Plus, there are soooooooooooo many fashion jewelry businesses and designers out there already. And being online makes it so much easier to access those fashion jewelry collections.
So...was it wise of me to restart a fashion jewelry business online during a national pandemic? Honestly, I'm not sure yet. I don't really have the answer to that question at the present moment. I know people are struggling just to make ends meat. And I know there are more pressing matters at hand in the world. But I also know that making handmade artisan jewelry makes me beyond happy. It helps a great deal with my stress and anxiety, and a lot of love goes into every piece that I make. Buying a special jewelry gift for her almost always makes it better. Most importantly, jewelry always fits! #quarantine15
Maybe I'll teach a jewelry making class and see what that brings. Stay tuned?! Maybe??? (shrugs shoulders) Signing off now! Ya'll take care now, you here?!