EP337: Help and Hope for Start-Ups and Makers with Full Time Jobs with Candice Eve Padro
“I always wanted to have my own business ever since I saw Betsey Johnson’s fashion show when I was 13. And I was like, ‘oh my god,’ she’s so much fun with her blue hair and tattoos. Her clothes and jewelry were so much fun, and I wanted to be like her, so it’s a lifelong dream.”
Candice Eve Padro is a trained jewelry designer and metalsmith, working a demanding full-time job with Avon while carving out the time to fulfill her childhood dream… to start and grow her jewelry business, Abstracted Reverie.
On today’s episode of Thrive by Design, Candice shares her story of launching her website in January 2020, right before the pandemic, and the unique challenges she faced when the entire world shut down. Candice’s persistence and commitment to building her jewelry business led her to seek out support and coaching at Flourish & Thrive.
HOW IT STARTED
Candice Eve Padro, owner of Abstracted Reverie, studied jewelry design and metalsmithing at RIT. After graduating, she went to work for a Korean jewelry company as a product developer, sourcing materials. A short time later, she was hired by Avon, where she’s worked for more than 7 years designing and managing 40% of the company’s jewelry business, including all of the sterling silver and stainless steel jewelry and half of the fashion jewelry.
But even with Candace’s impressive resume, she’s never forgotten Betsey Johnson with her blue hair and tattoos, and she’s never lost sight of her childhood dream to become a jewelry designer, build her own brand and work for herself.
Launching a Business While the World was Shutting Down
Candice’s first taste of business ownership was in college, doing local craft shows. This native New Yorker from Queens said, “who knew Rochester, New York was such an artistic city?”
Later, In 2018, while still working full-time for Avon, Candice decided to take her side hustle more seriously so she sought out some online business and social media courses, which were helpful but not specifically for jewelry designers. But none of that could have prepared her for what happened next when she took the leap in January 2020 to launch her website and grow her side hustle into a serious business.
Candace was finally going to make her lifelong dream a reality. While living in Brooklyn, she identified manufacturers in nearby Manhattan to produce her work. But the universe had other plans when the pandemic changed life and the world as we know it.
When everything shut down, Candace faced mounting frustrations as she struggled to get quality work when she needed it from her Manhattan vendor. When the vendor eventually ghosted her, she knew something had to change.
Ironically, Candace had developed excellent working relationships with her overseas vendors while working at Avon. “Why did I wait so long to use my existing connections?” is a question she asked herself after losing time and money. But once she identified and reached out to her overseas partners, the manufacturing part of her business was set.
The business side of things was a different story.
Guidance Specifically for Jewelry Businesses
Candice knew she wanted more than just an Etsy shop. She wanted a serious business. She scoured the internet for business and social media courses but couldn’t find anything specifically for jewelry designers until a family friend saw her jewelry on Facebook and said, “you should join Flourish & Thrive Academy.”
Finally! Candice found the focused training she needed inside the Jewelry Brand Makeover Bootcamp.
In the Bootcamp, Candace got a broad spectrum of guidance on how to:
- Set up her wholesale jewelry business
- Register her jewelry business as an LLC
- Apply for her tax ID number
- Manage an online e-commerce jewelry brand
- Grow her side-hustle into her primary source of income
Her dream was becoming a reality and Candace was more excited than ever about her potential to grow her side hustle into a full-time jewelry brand.
Mindset Shifts, Productivity, and Growth
When enrollment for Flourish & Thrive’s signature course, Laying The Foundation, was announced, Candace immediately signed up because she thought, “If the boot camp was THAT good, then the program must be incredible!”
Before Laying the Foundation, Candace, like many designers wanting to start a business, struggled with money mindset. She knew what she wanted but didn’t know how to make it happen or if it was possible.
“I'm a true artist. I’m a very dreamy person, so if I’m left to my own devices, nothing will happen because I’ll just eat, sitting and dreaming up my dreams, and never implement anything. I need accountability.”
That’s where the training and accountability from our LTF coaches helped Candace significantly grow her business in less than a year.
Candace learned how to set revenue goals, plan and launch collections and build marketing and email campaigns that actually got her sales. One of Candice’s favorite things was the time-blocking training led by Coach Dawn. This alone has been one of the biggest factors in growing her business while working a full-time job!
Every day, Candace blocks off time to do the work that is moving the needle in her business.
She says, “strategy, planning, and more structure have definitely helped get my mind straight.”
How She Got Support
Candice attributes much of her success to the support from the coaches and peers in Jewelry Brand Makeover Bootcamp and Laying the Foundation. Knowing that the coaches are also jewelry business owners with real-world experience gave her the confidence that she could trust and follow their advice.
Additionally, inside the private Facebook community, Candace found answers to her many questions, “there was always someone in the group willing to share advice and ideas.”
Specifically, Candace has been inspired by the designers and her accountability partners, who’ve already grown their businesses to 6-figures and beyond. Seeing their success confirms what is possible, and it motivates her to keep on going.
“I have so many more options now to grow the business that I wouldn’t have before. So if you want to take it seriously, I would definitely make an investment in yourself and in your business.”
After 6 Months
“As creatives, we come up with all the ideas. It’s just how to reign it in and implement it, that’s what’s needed. It’s definitely been a huge help.”
Candice has been realistic about setting goals for her business while still working full-time.
In less than a year, Candace has:
- Paid her manufacturing costs with her business revenue, not out of pocket
- Set up her email marketing on Klaviyo and has a plan to grow her list
- Grown her Instagram following by 60%.
- Monetized her blog
- Launched her Tik Tok and Pinterest accounts.
- Increased her sales by 300%
Candice attributes her progress and growth to the training and community inside Flourish & Thrive.
Invest in Yourself and Your Business
“LTF opened many doors for me… I have so many options now, like growing the business in different avenues that I wouldn’t have done before. So, if you want to take this seriously, I would definitely make an investment in yourself and in your business.”
Listen to the full episode above to hear Candice’s inspiring story about Help and Hope for Start-Ups and Makers with Full-Time Jobs.
Jewelry Brand Makeover Bootcamp 2023
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