Happy Domain-aversary to Leo and Lynn Jewelry!
I’m not sure that’s a real thing, but I’m making it a thing! I say let’s find any reason to celebrate small business success.
This week was the one year anniversary of purchasing my domain name for Leo and Lynn Jewelry. I actually own two domains to make sure web traffic gets to the right site, so maybe two reasons to celebrate? My domain was one of the first investments that I made in my business and while it may seem small, it was the first step in investing in myself.
I still remember opening my Shopify site for the first time to start building my website and the overwhelming feeling of the unknown. It took me hours to build or change anything on the site at first. It felt like it would never become intuitive or quick. But like all things that we work hard at, it did. Now some website edits take mere seconds and others still require a tutorial video view and some trial and error.
I was recently catching up with a dear friend and business genius (Max, I’ll deny I said this if you read it, haha!). I shared that I’m focused on scaling my business as I near the one year anniversary but I’m struggling with scaling. He asked me one simple question - “do you want to make jewelry or do you want to run a business?”. That question rocked my world because the answer perfectly describes my last year in business and the lessons I’ve learned.
I’ve spent the last year learning to do it all for my business - designing, making, marketing, website design, shipping expert, packaging, customer service, social media, photography, sourcing materials, inventory, pricing, networking, story telling, sharing, and selling…
And I fell in love with all of it. I started my business because of my love of jewelry making, specifically jewelry that is high quality, accessible, and easy to wear, but I’m growing my business because it’s growing me. That’s my answer to the question - I want to make jewelry and run a business. It means I’ll need to focus on scaling to be able to do both, and find support in the right areas.
But growth can't happen without reflecting on lessons learned, so what have I learned in my one year of having my own e-commerce site -
- Take a chance on yourself - Last year when I started Leo and Lynn Jewelry I told Mike, “I know that I can make this work if I give it my all”. I knew that I had the passion, skills, and ability but I had to match it with action. Somedays the action comes very easily and other days I can’t get it moving. I’ve showed up every day committed to giving my business what it deserves because it’s what I deserve and it’s worked. The same level of support I give my friends, is the level of support I’m committing to myself. If something has been on your mind and your heart, take the chance on yourself.
- Invest in your business - I learned quickly that the right investments in your business will create the change you’re seeking. Don’t over invest without making the action for yourself. Your investments will only work if you make them work. I invested in branding photos with Goss Boss and those photos have given me a website visual, social media content, communication visuals, profile pictures, and so much more. Take the time to evaluate what you really need, don’t get caught up in great pitches for things you don’t need or won’t use.
- Fail forward - You can think about quitting, but don’t ever do it. You will fail, we all do at some point. Let me tell you about the Valentine’s Collection, it’s now the running joke for failing in our house. Like flopped completely. I was so excited about the Valentine’s Collection, the designs were beautiful but it did not sell (check out the Last Chance section of my site for the remaining designs). I’ve hypothesized all the reasons - right after the holidays, commercial holiday, wasn’t a personal connection...but in the end, it just didn’t work.
Say no - Not everything is right for your business. I wish I knew this earlier in my business journey. I used to be so afraid to say no to any project or request for fear that another opportunity wouldn’t come along. Now I evaluate every opportunity with a fine tooth comb - Does it align with my mission? Do I have the bandwidth? Can I guarantee the same high quality product for my designs? Does the partner meet my ethical standards?
I’m definitely a recovering people pleaser but saying no is getting much easier because I know that I’m enhancing my business and my personal happiness by evaluating all of my projects.
Plan, Plan, Plan, Pivot - I love to plan. It’s evidenced by my two paper planners, family whiteboard planner, and online planner system. This has been an interesting year to start a business but planning and creativity to pivot has been critical. I plan all collections months in advance in terms of concept, launch plan, but the designs are often changed and improved in the making process. Embracing my natural tendency for organization with the freedom for my creativity in the design process has been critical for success.
Pivot feels like the word of 2020 for small businesses. But there's a reason for that. Small businesses are run on passion, talent, and the desire to do more for an industry. Pivoting is extremely difficult for small businesses but it's amazing what we will do to make sure our beloved customers are getting the best products, services, and experiences.
I wouldn't be celebrating the domain-aversary or any milestones without you. Thank you for believing in me, my jewelry, and my business. It makes a difference to me, my family, and I hope that Leo and Lynn Jewelry makes a difference in your life too!