From The Dining Room Table To A Personal Studio: How to Quadruple Your Jewelry Business In Just One Year
Today I wanted to share how a high school English teacher transformed into the Creative Visionary of her own jewelry-making business.
I’m sharing Melissa’s story because not only is it inspiring, but it shows you that with the right set of tools, dedicated coaches and a whole community to back you up, any passionate jewelry designer willing to put in the work can get results.
Our story starts with Melissa Camilleri of Compliment, based in sunny Sacramento.
About five years ago, Melissa was close to throwing in the towel.
While she loved her job as a high school English teacher, she had a passion for making jewelry that she couldn't deny. So Melissa pursued this passion on the side, making jewelry for friends and family in her spare time.
But with only 32 paying customers, she wasn’t making the kind of money that could justify the time she spent making jewelry. Her designs and products were all over the place, and her pricing was too low. Combined with inconsistent sales, jewelry-making was more of an expensive hobby than an actual business, especially because she couldn’t even afford to pay herself.
The ongoing struggle resulted in low confidence, but despite everything, Melissa didn’t want to give up and go back to teaching. She wanted to follow her passion for jewelry-making and raising money for underprivileged students.
One day out of the blue, Melissa logged onto her Twitter account and discovered that she had been tweeted at by none other than Flourish & Thrive Academy!
A big believer in signs, especially at a time when she was struggling with her jewelry business, Melissa decided to take us up on our offer to check us out.
It was then that she came across our Laying the Foundation program.
Melissa read about the program, and although she believed in the value of it, she still had some doubts.
The biggest consideration was the investment. Would the program eventually pay for itself? Melissa took some time to reflect, asking herself what she would be able to get out of it if she really put in the work.
This included a look at her timeline. Would she be able to execute everything on a timeframe that would bring in the results she was looking for?
After some back and forth, Melissa signed up for Laying the Foundation. And within months, her business completely transformed.
She went from making jewelry on her dining room table to renting her own studio space within 4 months. Just 9 months after joining Laying The Foundation, Melissa was making enough money to leave her job as a high school English teacher and work at her jewelry business full-time.
During her first year, she worked side by side with her coaches to narrow her target audience and marketing efforts down to her dream client—teachers!
With the basics down, the next step was to get super clear on her sales goals. Melissa was advised to tackle her revenue-generating activities first, creating a sales goals for the year, and then break it down by month, then week, then daily, then calculate the average amount of pieces she’d need to sell each day to get to her sales goal.
Negative thoughts had held her back in the past, but they disappeared once Melissa began to see herself as a business owner and stopped giving away her power.
Instead of thinking that someone else could sell the jewelry better than she could because they weren't so freaked out by selling, she changed her perspective and began to look at selling as a way to be of service to others.
It gave her the confidence boost she needed to start talking to everyone she knew about her brand.
When you join Laying The Foundation, you receive step-by-step instruction on how to brand your business, make sales and marketing easy, and increase your social media following in a way that translates into clients without being constantly chained to your laptop.
Melissa leveraged these amazing benefits, creating a strategy that added structure to her social media and helped her reach her audience with more consistency and purposeful brand messaging. At the advice of her coach, she started sending out a weekly newsletter and a posting at least one blog per week, signed up for new shows and got serious about pitching a certain number of stores each week to carry her line.
These little steps, along with creating a 6-month marketing strategy that made her brand visible, enabled her to grow her mailing list by 1000x—yes, one THOUSAND!
Her brand put an emphasis on the power of words, hence the name Compliment. After some reflection, Melissa decided that in order to make her brand values clear and ensure that her message resonated with her audience, Compliment needed to be about more than just jewelry. She worked to expand her line, offering office accessories, home decor and more.
In the last year alone, Melissa quadrupled her business.
The year before she joined the Flourish & Thrive community, she sold $19K worth of jewelry. The year after she joined, she made $52K.
And the following year? She crossed the 6-figure mark and has been there since.
Today, she has a 700 square foot working studio and a dedicated team of women that help her with production, shipping, social media, website design and more.
She went from 32 clients to over 8,000 paying customers, and now makes consistent 5-figure sales every month doing what she absolutely loves!
She’s expanded into a full gift line and pays herself, a team of 3 other employees and several contractors each month. The business was even able to sustain her 3-month maternity leave in 2017 and a 4- month maternity leave in 2018, all while continuing to grow.
Most importantly, Melissa and her team have been able to raise tens of thousands of dollars for scholarships for at-risk girls in her community who seek to break out of the cycle of poverty through education.
Needless to say, Melissa’s investment in Laying The Foundation was 100% worth it, paying itself off in dividends and giving her the confidence she needed to expand her business, spread her message of kindness to thousands of other people and create tangible results helping young girls receive an education.
I asked if Melissa would recommend Laying The Foundation. Here’s what she had to say:
“I would absolutely recommend Laying The Foundation to other designers, and I have before. Where I am now versus where I was…there’s no comparison. When I first started, I only had a dream. I never thought I’d be able to leave my job because I couldn’t even dream a dream that big. With Robin and Tracy’s guidance, I really had all the tools I needed to succeed.
And even today, Tracy and Robin continue to support me and guide me. The LTF community was also pivotal in helping me stay motivated and encouraged to reach my goals. And it’s amazing to see everyone in the Flourish & Thrive community grow and create amazing companies that are an extension of themselves and their beautiful brands. So yes, absolutely! I give my highest recommendation.”
Melissa, thank you for taking us along on your amazing journey! Your inspiring story is the reason we started the program. So every designer can have the support, personalized guidance, and peer accountability to build a jewelry-making business of their dreams.