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Blog

Filtering by Category: small business

So you want to be a jeweler?

Lisette Fee

Over the past several years, I've seen some of my best and favorite customers turn into burgeoning jewelers.  And some have contacted me with interest, asking for advice and insider tips on how to become a jeweler.  And it got me thinking, why not give you, my dear readers insight and thoughts on what it is to be a jeweler and what our world is like. 

In my old studio at Art Avenue.

In my old studio at Art Avenue.

Have you seen that Portlandia episode, ages ago where she decides she's going to make jewelry and then realizes it's a whole lot more work than it appears?

Often times I feel like that is how HUGE the profession of jewelry has become.  It's a very big market and it seems to continue growing.  Of course, that was sort of me ten years ago, however I knew that I wanted to be a long lasting and distinctly different jeweler.  So I made the big decision to go to a school and learn metalsmithing and jewelry.  In addition, I took the advice from my father, that once I made this career and life changing decision that there was no turning back, it was either all or nothing.  Because honestly, it was a big investment in my future (taking out student loans and debt).

With that said there are some points I want to make on what it is to be a jeweler and a small business owner.

  • It doesn't happen overnight or even within three years to five years.  It takes a long time to establish yourself, build credibility and gain a following of customers.  I used to get so frustrated in my first year because I wondered why I wasn't making as many sales as I hoped.  But if you preserve and constantly work hard you will be successful
  • LEARN, LEARN and LEARN some more, not just from jewelers but from other small business owners and those that are successful. 
  • My no. 1 biggest piece of advice in regards to jewelry is to hone in on what you love and what you're good at and make that your centerpiece of your jewelry/business.  Whether it's beading, casting, working with wood or whatever it is, make yourself an expert in that. 
  • Learn as much as you can about running and maintaining a business.  My favorite place to get this information is from podcasts and business blogs.  And if you're not good at accounting or marketing, hire someone, it's well worth the money.
  • Talk to jewelers and those that you admire, ask them for advice.  I am always super honest and frank about my struggles and success, so feel free to ask me if you want!
  • LOVE and nurture the supporters and customers that buy from you.  These are your cheerleaders and they will share your work with their friends and family.  It's all about quality versus quantity.  Your first customer is likely to be your second customer. 

I could write a book on this...but I'm not a writer! I hope this helps and you enjoyed my brief post on the life of a beginning jeweler.  If anything, I hope you love the clip of 'She's making jewelry now'!!

Happy Monday folks.

Ritual, Ritual - boutique feature

Lisette Fee

One of the best parts of being a small business owner is meeting all the other amazing makers and bossbabes of the world.  And I've met so much fierce owners out there that I have to highlight them - because without brick and mortar shops it'd be much harder for someone like me to get my jewelry out in the world.

Such a welcoming entrance to RR!

Such a welcoming entrance to RR!

So without much ado I want to highlight one of my favorite boutiques on the East Coast - RITUAL, RITUAL.  First off, I LOVE the name of their boutique because wearing jewelry is a ritual in and of itself and secondly it's in one of my favorite east coast cities - Philadelphia.  Angela Monaco, an amazing jeweler herself of Concrete Polish, initially opened RR for her jewelry but soon decided to rebrand the shop as a collective representing over 60 independent designers.   The shop also provides studio space for rent and a reiki and message therapy space.  One of these days I've got to visit this amazing shop because they are rare gems (pun intended)

I'm especially excited to share RR with you because they are celebrating their third year anniversary this weekend! You can check out all their fun events on their own blog.

I hope that if you live or are visiting Philly you take the time to visit and shop at Ritual Ritual, not only will you love all of their amazing jewelry, gems, clothing and objects you will be supporting a local small business that helps other artists and makers thrive.

Thanks as always for dropping by and reading!

Why you should sign up for my newsletter

Lisette Fee

I'm sure you get inundated, like myself with lots of emails.  And half the time you may not even open them.

However I will tell you that there are probably a handful of newsletters that I truly enjoy getting and that I KNOW I'll learn something new.  And that is what you get when you sign up for Eilisain Jewelry Newsletter.

Taking the time to smell the flowers....that's what my newsletter is about!

Taking the time to smell the flowers....that's what my newsletter is about!

Here are some very good reasons as to why you should sign up for my E-LIST.

  • I'll tell you how to take care of your Eilisain Jewelry, as well as all of your jewelry.  Such as, how to remove tarnish on silver or repair it yourself.
  • You'll understand how to wear your jewelry - new and fun ways to be creative with adornment
  • You get special invitations to shows and events across the country
     
  • Learn about tarot, herbs, essential oils and more from other artists and people in the local NC community.
  • Find out more about our future collections and what we're doing in the studio 
  • YOU get FIRST dibs on new collections and SALES
    Whoops, last and BEST reason why? You get 15% off your first order when you sign up!

I provide to my subscribers the first chance on sales and first pick to new pieces.  And also I won't spam you, yes I email about once a week which pales in comparison to the deluge of emails you will probably get from other sources.  

So I hope these reasons will only further encourage you to sign up
As always - stay golden!
xoxo
Lisette

Why you need less jewelry

Lisette Fee

Yes and yes I actually wrote that! You may be thinking, but Lisette you SELL jewelry why would you tell us we need less jewelry?  I'll tell you why.

Last week I watched this documentary about minimalism and about living with less 'stuff' and it resonated with me.  Over the course of the past years I've been trying very hard to be more ethical in all aspects of my life.  Whether it be through my eating or what I buy for my home.  With that said, I'm a firm believer that it's so much more worth it to buy good quality products regardless of the cost.   So thus, purchase less but make investment purchases.

With that said, you do need MORE jewelry that is better made and less jewelry that won't serve you or isn't something that you aren't madly in love with.  I want you to INVEST in good and beautiful jewelry.  Adornment that is going to make you feel good every time you put it on.  That is the most important aspect, that it makes you feel good and empowers you. 

Thus, I urge you to wait and bide your time and money until you can really purchase that dream ring or bracelet.  I know many of you have told me that, and you sock away your hard earned money until you can buy your dream piece of jewelry.  And I suggest you apply this to all of your purchases.  In the long run you'll be much happier. 

As always, thank you for reading!

Love & Light - Lisette

My favorite new PODCASTS

Lisette Fee

I've been saving this post for awhile now so I could research new podcasts to share with you.  And the ones I've been listening to are so inspiring and honestly super helpful to everyday life.

I feel like podcasts are the new 'radio stations' not that radio has been completely replaced.   They're fantastic for me, as a working mom, because I can listen to them while I'm doing stuff around my house or working in the studio or feeding Ms. Tulah (Tallulah).

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So here goes - my new favorite podcasts:

1.  Stuff Mom Never Told you - Bridget Todd and Emilie Aries break down all sorts of topics from Congresswoman Maxine Waters to Latina feminisim and the power of Beyonce in the world.  I love how they aren't embarrassed to share their own stories but that of women from all backgrounds, cultures etc.  Bridget and Emilie also do their research and provide interesting facts and knowledge about being a girlboss to current politics.

2.  Dream, Freedom, Beauty - I just recently discovered this new podcast via Empress of Herbs (as she was a guest not to long ago) and I LOVE IT, I'm learning so much about esoteric, magic, meditating, witch related topics and my favorite part is that Natalie Ross is local and based out of Durham.  Natalie is so down to earth and relatable and asks her guests all the questions we're thinking in our head.

3.  The Courage Makers - this is a fantastic podcast to listen to when you need uplifting stories and interviews of people that have risen from the ashes to become stronger and wiser.  I love listening to this podcast in the morning. 

4.  Work Wives -  Because I primarily work from home, I don't have a work spouse but I remember what it was like.  These women keep it real and get down to the nitty gritty of being a woman AND it's hosted by two women that work for my favorite magazine, Glamour!

5.  The Mythology Podcast - As a major fan of mythologies and ancient stories this has to be in my top five favorite podcasts.  It's like a history lesson every time and I become majorly inspired by all the grand and epic stories.  In addition you can help but feel a wonderful sense of calm listening to this podcast, I'd have to say this is a perfect nightcap. 

6.  2 Dope Queens - When you need a good laugh and want to be silly, listen to Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams talk about everything from sex, race, romance and living in NYC.  They feel like your two besties that you want to hang out at a dive bar and get tipsy with!

So get crackin' and add these amazing podcasts to your lists.  Thanks as always for reading!

International Women's Day

Lisette Fee

It feels very crucial this year, to celebrate such a day.  Political upheaval is swirling around us - the world is changing and so is our involvement.  Typically I don't get too political with my business and my blog but I do feel it is very pertinent to refer to several themes in my business - such as animals, wildlife, conservation and women - because it is part of the ethos of Eilisain. 

Yesterday I read a great article on one of my favorite websites, Refinery29, regarding the history of how International Women's Day got started.   Back in the beginning of the 20th century much was changing in the world, as it is now, with a new labor movement growing in North America and much of Europe.  And women from both sides of the globe convened in 1910 in Denmark for the second annual International Conference of Working Women.  It was proposed at this meeting, by Clara Zetkin for countries to celebrate International Women's Day.  The purpose being is to advocate and put pressure on our countries to expand women's rights. 

Thus finally in 1913 it was declared that March 8th be International Women's Day and has been celebrated ever since.  In some countries it's a holiday!  And today, the women that organzied the uber grand world wide Women's March also organized a Day without Women to signify how much of a force women are in the workplace and beyond. 

So how can you celebrate this day - even if you truly have to go to work- because many of us don't have the luxury or privilege of not working or fighting the system?

Here are 5 Ways you Can Celebrate International Women's Day:

1. Wear RED - In solidarity with women striking work today.

2.  Make your VOICE HEARD - Call your representatives, Congress people and local officials.  Do you want equal pay for equal work? Better child care services and PAID MATERNITY AND PATERNITY? Do you want to better access to health services? Improved education?

3.  SHOP and SUPPORT Women owned and small business' - ALL day erry-day.  Let's say you're running around town and you need a quick coffee or sandwich, skip Starbucks or Arby's and hit up your local women-run business.  You may spend a buck or two more BUT that money will go back into your community. 

4.  Use social media to spread the word - Not just today but as much as possible about women's history, women making a difference.  It may not seem obvious on a daily basis but there is a true lack of knowledge and awareness about the HUGE part women play in our society. 

For your Galentine

Lisette Fee

I'm a big believer in female friendships; sounds corny to say but I love quality time with my girlfriends.  We can talk, and talk and talk and get complete understanding from each other when we may not get that from our boyfriends, husbands or significant others.  And it's not just that but it's more that understanding of what it's like to be a woman.

Cate, myself and Caroline, two of my favorite Galentine's!

Cate, myself and Caroline, two of my favorite Galentine's!

So I propose that we show the love and appreciation for our girlfriends just as we would to our male counterparts.  Even if it's just a card, why not let them simply know that you love their friendship?  I grew up watching my Mom send thank you cards, little gifts and momentos to her own friends and family.  She made it a point to remember peoples birthdays.  And it has rubbed off on me.  And nowadays with the written word dwindling in favor of electronic correspondence it means even more to get that piece of snail mail.  I LOVE getting an envelope from a friend of family - because it's the first thing I open other than another bill!

Okay so to the point of this post, I have some suggestions of small yet memorable gifts to give the best babes in your life and the best part? They're all $20 and under!  So here they are:

1.  Cat claw earrings - This one is a no brainer, most of my girlfriends are cat lovers and these are super affordable and sweet. 

2.  Sage & Palo santo smudging - Aroma and scents are very powerful, and what woman doesn't need a good cleansing of the spirit and home? These are only $10 and smell so earthy and good!

3.  A beautiful print - Just as much as I love a good scent, I also adore hand drawn prints.  It's calming to soak in an image of a powerful animal.  And Nest and Burrow prints have gorgeous detail.   I really love the Quietus of Munin crow print. 

4.  Wine profile card set - I got this for one of my girlfriends for Xmas and she loved it.  Most of my lady friends are wino's and it's fun and sweet.  Plus it passes on the point of sending out cards.  You could even use these to send to your galentine!

5.  Gem and Honey infused bath salts - I just bought these on my last visit to Everyday Magic and I love them! I'm a big bath person, it's my self care ritual and most women enjoy a good soak, with a glass of wine of course!  Your galentine needs that self care too. 

It's not too late too order any of these items and get them to your bestie - show her you appreciate all the times she listened to you and gave you advice or rescued you from a bad date!