Marissa Hess Case Study Blog Post Featured Image
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Successful jewelry designers make a commitment to their business, but how do you rapidly scale before your savings run out?

Marissa Hess started OSO Design Lab with her husband, Josh, in 2018. At the time, Josh was still working a full-time tech job. Their ultimate goal was to earn enough revenue for him to quit his job and run the business with her, as a team.

They had always dreamed of starting a business together, it was only a matter of when.

For four years, Marissa worked tirelessly as the primary artist behind the brand. Sales grew steadily, but the numbers were nowhere near what they needed to support their lifestyle.

I've always said I can make pretty things all day long,” she shared with me, “but turning that into a business…is a completely different thing.

Marissa couldn’t do it alone. If this was going to work, they knew they would have to take a huge risk.

With an 18-month emergency fund stashed away,

Josh took the leap and quit his tech job in 2022 to focus on their jewelry business full-time.

In the beginning of their business journey, it would have seemed unthinkable to take such a lofty risk. But this was far from a rash decision.

Their business had evolved over the past four years. Marissa watched the business grow every time she implemented proven strategies from Laying the Foundation, and it opened her eyes to a new path forward.

The couple sat down and took a good hard look at their numbers. They had enough money saved up to keep them afloat for 18 months, but the business still wasn’t bringing in enough money to sustain them long-term.

So, they set a goal.

Marissa Hess

They have 18 months to increase sales by 400%. Otherwise, Josh will have to return to his corporate job.

USING THE STRATEGIES MARISSA LEARNED IN LAYING THE FOUNDATION, THE COUPLE CREATED A PLAN.

  • The first step was to reverse-engineer their sales goal to determine exactly how much they need to sell. They broke their goal down into yearls, quarterly, and monthly targets to help them track their progress.
  • The next step was to evaluate their prices. Marissa revisited the pricing module in Laying the Foundation and is using the industry-standard formulas it teaches to test out new prices for their work and increase profitability.
  • One of the hardest parts of scaling a jewelry business is optimizing production. For Marissa and Josh, this may mean outsourcing the work to free up their time to focus on big-picture design and revenue-generating activities. It’s an option they never would have explored before Laying the Foundation.
  • Bringing Josh into the business full-time means Marissa has to train him on the many tasks she’s been juggling on her own for the past four years. They’re working on clearly defining their roles in the business and systematizing everything.
  • Finally, they’re taking their marketing efforts up a notch and diversifying their revenue streams to expand their wholesale and online sales in addition to in-person events.

This is a little bit different from the usual stories we post here at Flourish & Thrive Academy. Marissa and Josh are still in the very beginning of their journey

I wanted to share their story because I was so inspired by their commitment to growth, and I believe it’s important to celebrate jewelry designers in all phases of business.

Marissa and Josh are an inspiring example of how investing in yourself and your business can empower you to chase your highest ambitions.

Taking risks is necessary to succeed as a small business owner, but you don’t have to do it alone. Laying the Foundation is a 12-week online program designed to demystify the jewelry industry and set you on a path to growth that fits your unique business goals.

Book a free Strategy Audit and one of our expert coaches will sit down with you to discuss your biggest hurdles in business and recommend the best resources for your unique situation.

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