Too often in our society, people picture men in their heads when they hear words like, “boss”, “entrepreneur”, or “CEO”. Being a small business owner has put me in touch with so many successful female business owners and entrepreneurs that when I hear these words, I often picture a woman or I just don’t assume anything at all. Women are obviously just as capable as men when it comes to the business world and it is high time that women business owners and entrepreneurs are more visible in the media in our society. This is where the idea for Women in Business was born. Women in Business is a monthly feature that highlights female entrepreneurs and business owners. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to learn more about small businesses in various fields, but it is a great shopping guide for supporting small businesses.
An Interview with Ashley from Wander + Lust Jewelry
Tell us a little bit about your business. When did you officially start your business? What exactly do you do and how long have you been doing it?
It has always been a dream of mine to work for myself. The visions of setting my own schedule, having more free time for friends and family and doing what I really loved excited me. I officially had the idea that I wanted to start designing, making and selling jewelry in February of this year.
I started designing jewelry I know I would love to own and went from there. It took me about 5 months from the conception of my idea to the launch of my Etsy store.
What goals do you have for your business over the next year?
Right now, I sell my jewelry just on Etsy. However, I am working on expanding my business and creating my very own website! My fiancé, James is creating the website for me which I am SO thankful for! My goal is to have it up and running before the holiday season.
My major goal is to turn my side jewelry business into to my full time career. As I said earlier, it has always been a dream of mine to own my own business and be my own boss. I am hopeful by the end of 2015 I will make that dream into a reality!
How would you describe your personal design style?
Dainty, chic & timeless. I am a fan of layering a few high quality jewelry pieces together to create an effortless, gorgeous look.
What was the best piece of advice you were given pertaining to your business?
After reading #GIRLBOSS, a book by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of a multi-million dollar clothing company, I gained a wealth of knowledge! One of the best pieces of advice that she mentions in her book is to always make sure every aspect of your business (website, pictures, and even packaging materials) are always on point and cohesive with your brand. She mentions to make sure everything down to the shipping label is as perfect as can be. Making that extra effort will impress your buyers and increase repeat customers.
Do you have a favorite project you have worked on so far?
Right now, I am designing my first holiday collection! I love everything sparkly & chic, so I am super excited to create something that I know my customers will love to wear during the holidays!
How do you define success as a business owner?
For business owners, success doesn’t have to be all about the numbers. I feel successful when I receive rave reviews and when my customers praise me for my quality and customer service. Service is something that is near and dear to me and it’s something I really strive for. I truly want people to be 100% happy with their purchase!
What/who inspires you and your work?
I get inspired every day for new designs! Whether it is fashion magazines, my friends, travel, or just ideas I have jotted down. I keep random notes of design ideas in my phone or snap photos and I always refer back to that for inspiration.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start a small business?
Ask yourself why you want to start a business and write that down. Do you want to do what you love for a living? Want flexible work hours? Or do you just want to make some extra cash? Whatever it is, keep that note at your desk, in your car, some place you will see it every day. On the days I feel frustrated or stressed (those days WILL happen trust me) I always look back at my note. It reminds me of the reason why I am doing all of this in the first place. It really helps me stay on track and gives me motivation to keep going.