“My online sales went up to 197%. And so I really think it was implementing the marketing strategies that you taught us. You know, I was consistent with that.”
Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.
Tracy: Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast, Episode 306. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy and the host of the thrive by design podcast. And I'm excited to be here today because I've got a designer that I really admire and adore. Her name is Meghan Boehm of Meghan Bo Designs and we're going to talk about how she transitioned from having pretty much all of her eggs in one basket, from the majority of our sales coming from one wholesaler to building a thriving online omni channel business. And for those of you who don't know what omnichannel means, it just means that you're selling on multiple platforms.
So I'm excited to share her story because as a graduate of our Momentum program last year, in the middle of COVID, when none of the stores were opening, and everything was on lockdown, she was kind of panicked and stressed about like her business kind of going away because she had this one massive account. And I remember in April in May, she sent me a text and a message saying, Oh my gosh, Tracy, this is exactly the reason why I joined Momentum. And she showed me a side by side screenshot of how her sales had catapulted, I think, online, maybe they tripled in that short period of time.
So I'm really excited for you to listen to Meghan’s story. And with that being said, I also want to mention that our momentum program is open for enrollment right now. And for those of you who don't know what Momentum is, it is basically our coaching program over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy. It is designed to help you grow a business that's doing multiple six, or even seven figures and beyond, online and off building an omni channel business without you having to be the doer of all the things in your business. So the point of this program really is to help remove you from the overwhelming things that you're doing, and help you get into that flow state of moving through your business with ease and grace. It's structured around individualized coaching, 90 days strategic planning and online strategies that have helped over 223 jewelry and other creative brands.
Because not just jewelry designers are in this over the past three years scale their results online and off. My ultimate goal with this program is to help take the frustration and especially the overwhelm out of growing your business by being a sounding board that you need to overcome any obstacle that you happen to face in business over time. Because let's face it, growing a business is not easy. As much as you see all these people online, saying like, Oh, you know, put systems in your business to scale, you always need that extra support. And that's exactly what he meant in the sport. So it's open for enrollment. And I'll give you a little bit of requirements. And you can decide if this is for you or not. It's ideal for people who are doing at least high five figures in their business, we have two levels in the program.
One is called Accelerate and one's Elevate. We work with brands who are doing anywhere from high five figures to, we help them scale up to seven figures. So there's different kinds of levels of coaching depending on where you are in business. So if you're anywhere in that range, and you want to get some consulting, and coaching and outside eyes on your business, definitely apply for this program. It's designed for designers and makers and other retailers. We do have some boutique store owners who we work with that are trying to make a huge splash online and are ready to take action now. So if that sounds good, and you'd like to learn more about the program, head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/momentum/ that's https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/momentum/
All right, so I am going to dive into today's episode with Meghan Boehm. She's the founder of Meghan Bo Designs, a jewelry brand for multifaceted moms who want to look stylish in yoga pants while dropping off the kiddos at schools to transfer into flip flops and jeans or even going out in an LBD for date night. Her jewelry is designed to elevate your mood and make you instantly feel put together. Meghan sells her jewelry online at MeghanBoDesigns.com At select retailers and small boutiques and specialty stores. Let's dive into this episode today and hear about how Meghan transitioned from having all of our eggs in one basket to thriving online with her jewelry business.
Tracy: I am thrilled to be here on the show with Meghan Boehm. Meghan, welcome.
Meghan: Hi, Tracy, thank you, thank you for having me.
Tracy: I am thrilled to have you because you are just doing such a great job with your business. And I wanted to just kind of share your journey and your story. You are in a Momentum program last year. And you started you wanted to join for a lot of different reasons, which we're going to talk about here. But more importantly, the reason why I wanted to have you on the show was to talk a little bit about your journey and your reasoning for investing in maybe different kinds of revenue streams in your business, which I think is going to be a fun conversation.
Meghan: I agree.
Tracy: Okay, so before we dive in, I'd love to hear a little bit more about your story and your journey into jewelry design.
Meghan: Okay, well, I started as a young, you know, girl, I started collecting beads when I was little and you know, doing it at home. So I always had an interest in it. And then, you know, as I grew up and went to college, that kind of got set aside, and after college, after I had kids, I started to make jewelry again and I started out just doing it, as you know, for fun is kind of an outlet. And then my friends started wanting to buy it and it kind of turned into more of, you know, more than a hobby. So I had had an Etsy store years ago where I made purses and, and sold them on Etsy too. So I reopened that store, started selling my jewelry, and it was, you know, a few pieces here and there, nothing crazy. And it just grew from there. So friends and family went to Etsy, and then I started getting wholesale. And then I, you know, had started my own website and started selling there too. So it really, you know, turned from a hobby into a part time job within, you know, two years or so.
Tracy: So a part time job within two years. Yeah, that transition, like because you're doing your business full time now. And how long ago was that? Just so we have some context.
Meghan: So I started selling probably in about 2000, you know, making it for friends and family 2014-2015 and then kind of towards the end of 2015 is when it started to pick up and I saw a noticeable change in income coming in from the jewelry.
Tracy: Okay, cool. And you're doing it full time now. So what was that transition, like to kind of get to a place where you could actually leave the job and do all the things and how long ago was that?
Meghan: Well, um, so I had been working when I started doing jewelry, I was part time because I had two little kids. So I worked part time from home and, and you know, and then with doing jewelry on the side, just for fun. And I continued that for a few more years. And I was still part time at my my corporate job that I had had for I've been with the same company for 10 years by that point. And then about two years ago is when I stopped working in the corporate world and started doing jewelry full time. And it was definitely a hard transition. My husband and I talked about it for years, like should we and I just I'm not a risk taker so it was it was nerve racking even though I had the income coming in. At that point, it was though starting to get jewelry was starting to become much much more than a part time. Part time, you know, jobs, it was beginning to begin to be a lot so it kind of perfect timing because 2019 was a great, great year jewelry wise for me.
Tracy: So since we work with your brand, and we know I know I personally know about your brand, but I loved I was reading your About page before this interview and I would love for you to just kind of describe your dream client because you have it so clearly. Like like basically described in your about page. So let's talk about who your dream client is. I think this is a this fun?
Meghan: Yeah, I would, you know, I would say my dream client is someone who you know, might be going into an office every day might be working at home might be staying home with kids. I mean, it could be anybody doing that and your jewelry you can wear in any of those situations, whether you're, you know, working from home, whether you're going into an office or you know you're running back and forth doing all of the above and picking your kids up from school. It's kind of flexible jewelry, that you can wear, you know, date nights or during the day or even you know, to a wedding and so it kind of my dream client is you know, someone who wants to be fashionable and feel good about themselves. And even if they're wearing, you know, their workout clothes all day long, they can throw on some bracelets and instantly kind of feel better. That's so great. For me, that's what I needed. At that time of my life. When I started the business, I was like, earrings make me feel put together or a bracelet or, um, you know, even just like, even if my hair hadn't been washed in a few days, and I'm had two little babies with me all the time, I felt better about myself when I was a little bit more put together. And jewelry did that for me.
Tracy: Yeah, I was reading something about like jewelry to start conversations, blah, blah, blah. So it's a conversation starters. But it's also about like, being that busy mom, which you are, and this is I wanted to talk about this because you're a busy mom. And I think a lot of people go so deep and trying to figure out who their dream client is, or like, who their market is, when sometimes is just like, a rough version of who we are.
Meghan: Yes, yeah, definitely. Um, I mean, we're all busy in our own ways, whatever we've got going on, especially, you know, nowadays, I feel like now that everybody's working from home, we're, it's almost like we're juggling more, you know, because we're at home all the time. So we see the stuff that needs to be done around here. But we also have to work and manage our kids and if they're home or not, but yeah, the jewelry is a really easy thing to just throw on when you're going out the door, even if you're not leaving the house. And makes makes me feel much better when I have a pair of earrings on versus not.
Tracy: Exactly. So you have a really great wholesale business and one of the reasons you came to us in the momentum program was, was because of this, and I'm not going to spill the beans, why in a minute. But I'd love to know a little bit about how you went from going from selling on Etsy, to landing wholesale accounts. Because you you were just we were talking in the pre interview, and you're like, yeah, today we have 50 bracelets to ship like by tomorrow, or whatever it is, and you're like really passionate.
Meghan: Yeah, you know, I am personally I got I feel like I got really lucky with the wholesale I had, when I first started, I was doing some trunk shows, and one of the trunk shows that I was doing, and got the attention of local boutique at the time who was online, but they also had a local store. And so they were my first wholesale customer, they reached out to me, and I started working with them, and they've grown into a huge, huge store now. And so I've been growing with them, you know, we started out with like, a few every style, whatever style they chose, like, you know, ordering a dozen or two dozen, and in quantities, and now it's in, you know, the hundreds. So they've definitely kept me busy over the years and really started that wholesale business. And then from there. I just whenever anybody reaches out to me, you know, we, we I get more information about them, if it's the right fit, I send them my wholesale information, and we kind of go from there. So I've been I've been really lucky in that way. And I think, you know, all of my wholesale clients are great, whether I have small nail salons, you know, all over the US that is a franchise, they they buy my jewelry, up to a department store that I've been now I've been in the department store in the Midwest for about two years. And that's been growing too. So I've kind of got to diversify, you know, accounts in different clients in different sizes. And yeah, it's it's been a lot of fun. So it's definitely different than direct to consumer. But I love it. I love it amazing.
Tracy: And, you know, there was a certain time that you were selling on Etsy and you wanted to start selling outside of Etsy, why was it important for you to actually get off of Etsy at that time?
Meghan: Well, I had listened to your podcast. You know, it really influenced me to create my own website, because you know, a lot of what I was reading and learning about and that's how I learned to do everything at first was podcasts, and just researching and listening, reading blogs and things like that. Etsy owns all of your customer information, they have everything they can shut you off with, you know, at a moment's notice. And you can't recover from that. So that's kind of when I figured, okay, I need to kind of diversify my, my sales channels. And I, you know, have no idea how to make a website, not my thing. So I hired someone, they helped me create a really basic website to start and since then, I think I started my website in the beginning of 2018. I've learned how to tweak things a little bit, but I hire someone to help me when it needs anything. You know, that's above my, my paygrade I don't understand technology that well. And so that's it Kind of what really influenced me and, and then, as my clients and customers started really, you know, I think I built a really good trust on Etsy with all my reviews. And I think, you know, consumers are savvy, they'll go, and they can see where you sell your stuff and the different if there's different prices and discounts and things like that. So I think a lot of people started to see, okay, here's her reviews on Etsy, but you know, her websites over here, and then people started to transition that way. So I still have an Etsy store open. It's not my like first priority. So it does get a little bit of a backseat. But I still get a few sales here and there, and I still have tons of reviews. So it's just another way for people to kind of verify that I'm a legitimate business. And you know, they're not sending their money into this like black hole when they're never going to get what they ordered.
Tracy: Well, I love that you said that, because I feel like one of my favorite strategies for Etsy is to have it as like just a passive channel where you capture leads that you can work on transferring them over to your online sales channels. Yeah, your own branded website, right. My favorite way to utilize Etsy in this day and age. I think people miss mistake what I say sometimes about not to sell on Etsy, and I'm not anti Etsy, what I what I'm anti is giving your power to someone else, and put giving, putting your controls of your business and someone else's hands because that, that overtime can be really dangerous. Because at any given moment, like you said earlier, Etsy can shut you down, and then your business is gone.
Meghan: Right. And also, you know, I'm getting into email marketing, that all of my customers on Etsy, I don't have their email addresses that I'm allowed to use. So if you want to start email marketing to you need your customers to buy from your website, so you can send them you know, updates and things like that if they opt in for that. And so that was another avenue where it's like, Okay, I need to move things over.
Tracy: And over time, I think it's really important to because that way, like you're able to, like really build that repeat sales base, which is like, I'm gonna use this as a segue to talk a little bit about growing your online sales. Because when you came to us, I think it was about two years ago, maybe right after you went full time in your business. Yeah, you had a really strong a lot of wholesale accounts, but like, mostly like all the eggs in the majority of one wholesale basket. And you were worried about that kind of going away. Now you're a little bit more diversified with the wholesale. So let's talk about that. Why was that a little bit scary to you? And why did you want to start reaching customers directly online?
Meghan: Well, yeah, 90%. So I think I joined Momentum in, was maybe early August of 2019. So I was having a really busy year, and it was great. But there was a lot of things like I didn't know how to do. And I didn't really know how to get the advice to figure out how to do it. You know, it was beyond reading about blog, reading on blogs, and things like that. I needed like a business manager or someone who was really skilled in, um, you know, I didn't even know what just in all these different, I didn't know how to go about finding that person. I'm in 90% of my business. And that at that point was in wholesale. So yeah, I thought, okay, if if something were to happen to wholesale, you know, I really need to grow my direct to consumer so that it's a little more balanced, at least. And that was my main reason for joining Momentum.
Tracy: That's awesome. And so throughout that year, you were in it, you. I mean, I feel like, luckily, you're in it during COVID because some great things happen sales online. Let's talk about what happened during the pandemic. At the beginning. I think everyone was kind of shell shocked, like what's going on here. So bring us through that journey of what was happening with your wholesale accounts and, and your online sales.
Meghan: So at the beginning of COVID, you know, January and February are always a little bit of interesting months or a little bit quieter. I feel like so, January and February, were quiet, I was kind of gearing up getting organized. I spend those kind of months, you know, organizing and things like that. And then as soon as COVID kind of happened in March, I did notice that wholesale had started to slow down quite a bit. But I really had been implementing what I learned in Momentum since I had joined. So when I joined in August of '19.
You know, I started implementing and sending out a newsletter once a week, I set Tuesdays as my days. So every Tuesday I would send a newsletter out and I was pretty consistent with that, um, you know, August that 2019 or September of 2019, through December, January, February. And and then COVID happened in March was a little bit maybe it was definitely quiet on wholesale and on direct to consumer, I think it was quiet too, because people didn't know what was going on. I mean, like me, I was worried, okay, I'm not going to spend any money because I don't know what's going to happen with anybody's jobs or, you know, whatnot. And then I started to see a change. April and May were like two of my biggest months. And then I think I texted you that day. It was Mother's Day last year. And I'm like, I don't know what is going on. Things went nuts. And it was like my best month. And then after that, it was really consistent from basically from when I joined Momentum from the previous year, so the year that I was in it from the previous year, my online sales went up. I wrote it down, 197%. That is crazy. Yes. And so I really think it was like implementing the marketing strategies that you taught us. You know, I was consistent with that. And, and I really had to focus on the direct to consumer because that was where I was going to make my income point. And it really, I think it really saved my business last year.
Tracy: It really did. I mean, I love here. I mean, I don't love hearing that, you know, anything when something doesn't go right in the beginning, but at the end of the day, like you were one of the people I was cheering on so hard, because you're like, look at this, I can't believe that I'm blown away. And you were like sending me screenshots. And it was just so so exciting.
Tracy: How long did it take for your wholesale to kind of pick back up because I know, they backed off for a while and then placing orders again?
Meghan: 2020 was pretty quiet, um, wholesale overall. And things really started to pick up in, I would say, January of 21. Okay, so yeah, and so it's kind of gearing back up to what it was in 19. And I think it's going to be, it seems like it's going to be even stronger than 2019, which is great. So I'm really trying to, although my wholesales picking up, I really want to stay focused also on my direct to consumer. So trying to find that balance again. So I'm almost back in the same place that I was, you know, in 2019, were just trying to find the balance between the two.
Tracy: Yeah, and we were talking before, I'm like, you need a marketing assistant. This is like a no brainer hire for you right now. So I'm gonna get on you for that, because this is the power of so I'm just going to walk through the journey. When Meghan came to us. She was like, doing great, like her business was good. She had really strong sales and great wholesale accounts, but she knew that having so much concentration in one place was dangerous overall over time, because if that account went away, I think at the time you most it was focused on just a few accounts. Right?
Tracy: Yeah. If that account went away, then she wont have business. And so she worked really hard on the direct to consumer, which is great. And now that you have both it's time to leverage, you know, the benefits and the, you know, the resources that you're getting from that to invest in team. So that's my little coaching feedback.
Meghan: Definitely, definitely. I mean, I have so many takeaways from Momentum. And that, you know, is definitely another area that I'm always like it, it cost me more for me to learn something than just to hire someone else to do it. They have the expertise, you know, like with coding, even on my website, or website maintenance, things like that, like it takes it's much easier to hire someone who knows how to do it, than for me to just try and figure everything out myself. You know,
Tracy: That is such a that's a great insight. I'm, I'm right there with you. I'm someone who definitely needs a lot of support, and I take it when I can get it because I don't like the amount of time I think sometimes think people think okay, this is going to cost me something instead of thinking like of the cost, reward benefit, like sure there's going to be an investment there. But how much more money can you make? Or where does this for your time up? If you have other things that you enjoy doing? We're consulting for a company right now that it's a million dollar fine jewelry company million plus, and this person is trying to like bring on team because she's designing fine jewelry. And it's always a struggle to like that, that first moment to like, let go and like handover things to someone else. But when you do it right, it ends up being like so liberating. So I'm really proud of you because you now have people making your jewelry and helping you want to follow up with you to make sure you hire this marketing.
Meghan: a marketing assistant.
Tracy: So is there anything that you want to share about the last couple of years In your journey from Etsy to selling online, that are selling wholesale and online that you'd like to share with our listeners.
Meghan: Yeah, I mean, I just think, you know, there's so many people out there that ask, you know, how did you do it? Or, you know, and it's like, I just, I figured out in the beginning, you know, what to do, and I wish that I had known about Flourish and Thrive when I was first starting out, because it would have made my life a lot easier to start with Laying the Foundation. Yeah, you know, but um, you know, I just kind of bootstrapped it, figured it out and worked really hard. And it was, you know, if something that I was really passionate about, and I think, you know, I tell my kids this all the time, like, I never thought that you, you know, people say do something that you love, you know, you'll you'll enjoy it so much more. And I always thought, okay, Work is work, like, I want to do something where I'm making a lot of money to live the life that I want to live. And then when I started my own business, I realized you can have a job that you really like that you're really passionate about. And it makes a huge difference. Because I worked in the corporate world for, you know, almost 20 years and had good bosses, bad bosses, good jobs, bad jobs, you know, and I think that if there's something out there that you're passionate about doing and you want to start your own business, you start exploring that idea. Don't be scared, you know, and try it and see what happens.
Tracy: That's amazing. Well, Meghan, thank you so much for being here today. Where can everyone find you?
Meghan: So I am at MeghanBoDesigns.com and on Instagram @MeghanBodesigns.
Tracy: Thank you.
Meghan: Thanks, Tracy.
Tracy: Thank you so much for listening to this episode today. Make sure that you go check out Meghan and give her some love. We adore her. And I'd actually love to share just a short snippet of Meghan's results in the Momentum program so that you can kind of check out what it's all about.
Meghan: From joining Momentum, my direct to consumer sales went up almost 200% so 197% from the year prior to Momentum to the year that I was in the Momentum program. So obviously it jumped my salary or you know, my income went from two figures to six in that year. And so I saw a huge, huge change obviously, like a very good return on investment that year from joining the program.
Tracy: And just like Meghan people like Karina (Harris) had amazing results Karina lost 57 of her in person shows last year, she leaned into the Momentum program and increased her online sales by 430% and had an overall 6% increase in sales in 2020. Even though she lost half of her revenue last year. And I have to be honest with you Karina had a very successful multiple six figure business when she was coming into the program.
So that was a lot for her to recoup last year. She is a rock star. And then there's Alex, who is just another rock star when she came into the program about it's about been about three years now. She was in the program for two years. When she came to us she was doing about $65,000 in annual revenue. And throughout that period, she bought a house she took a month off to go to Thailand. She got married, went on a honeymoon. And all at the same time. Well, she increased her sales by 407%. She ended 2020 with $330,000 in annual revenue. And I'm sharing this because she shares it in her testimonial tape. And she did this by reaching more of her dream customers and replicating what she was already doing well online to get that to scale. And just these designers are killing it. If you want to get results like that. I'd love to invite you to head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/momentum and check out the program today. Thanks so much for listening to the show. This is Tracy Matthews signing off. Until next time.