Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Twinkle in My Eye

That's what this idea has been for close to a year now, and it's finally becoming a reality.

When I was in middle school, I had a little jewelry design business. Simple necklaces, bracelets and earrings, not bad for a 12-year-old, but certainly nothing spectacular. The important thing was that I had fun doing it, and even made a decent profit when I went to craft shows.

Lately, I found myself missing the creativity that goes into designing jewelry and the sense of accomplishment I got from seeing my ideas become a tangible reality. I'd been toying with the idea of designing jewelry again, but never followed through on it.

Until last week.

I decided to take a little bit of my own money and invest it in some supplies. I took a trip to the craft store and stocked up on tools, storage, beads and findings. I was there at least 2 hours, rather overwhelmed by the vast selection. I started out with about 20 different types of beads made from glass and semi-precious stones, as well as beading wire, earring hooks, head pins, clasps, crimp beads and jump rings in silver, gold and copper.

Thanks to a decent sale and some coupons, I didn't spend nearly as much as I'd expected. I spent the weekend making necklaces and earrings. 5 matching sets, as well as 2 necklaces and 5 pairs of earrings that will be sold as stand-alone pieces. I expect to continue improving, but what I made was a vast improvement over what I'd made with thread and plastic seed beads in the 6th grade.

I made a few more pieces during the course of this week, and last night I made another trip to the craft store to pick up some additional pieces. I wanted to start working with metal chains, since they lay a bit nicer and are more substantial than anything I could make using beading wire.

Working with the chains is definitely more time-consuming, but I've found that the final product is really worth the effort. I'll most likely continue working with the wire as well, since certain styles and materials seem to work better with it, but it's nice to know that I am capable of using either.

Also, it should be noted that an undergraduate degree in business is turning out to be both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, I already have knowledge about accounting, advertising, creating business plans, etc. that will help me make good decisions about my little business. (I hope!) I've already figured out a good method for tracking inventory, revenue, expenditures, etc. and there will probably be much less trial and error involved in my recordkeeping that if I was going into this without a business background. This in turn will make things LOT easier come tax time.

On the other hand, I have been overcomplicating things quite a bit. This is a SMALL business. I have no employees. It's just me, myself and I. I need to stop thinking this is going to be as complex as a large corporation. There are no personnel issues to worry about. I am my only investor(and technically so is my husband, since I borrowed our mutual money for my startup costs). As long as I can accurately track my revenue and my expenses, as well as whatever sales tax I owe, there's not much else I really need to worry about, at least from a legal standpoint.

So here's hoping that I can make my business at least a modest success. 2 weeks until Mischievous Kitty Jewelry is officially open for business!

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