How One Jewelry Designer Went From Single Digit Sales on Etsy to Quitting Her Day Job
Today we’re sharing a story on what can be accomplished when big dreams and strategy collide!
When we first met Toby Myles in 2016 she had a love for motorcycles, a passion for jewelry making and a dream called “Ride Like A Girl Designs”.
With no idea how to market her jewelry and a full-time day job, she was afraid she’d never find the time or energy she needed to take her business to the next level.
At the time, Toby had sold a few pieces on her Etsy page, she had no experience with Facebook or Instagram, and her biggest asset was understanding that she’d need help if she was going to succeed and thrive!
Toby was working on her metalsmithing certificate back in the late 90’s when the end of her marriage threw her business dreams off course. She packed up her workbench, put her jewelry making education on the back burner and focused on making an income from her day job.
It wasn’t until years later when she remarried that she found the confidence and support she needed to get back on track! She took a short jewelry making course and fell in love with the craft all over again.
A year later in 2015, she decided to combine her love of motorcycles with her passion for jewelry design and her dream business “Ride Like A Girl Designs” was born!
Toby loved designing and making her own jewelry, and she had the seeds of a great business idea. She threw up an Etsy page on January 31st, 2016 and waited for the world to find her! If only it were that easy…
Unsurprisingly, she sold maybe 3-4 pieces that entire year. (Sound familiar?) Between the money she was spending on materials, and the money she’d invested in her education, she was barely breaking even.
Worse than that, she had no idea how she’d get out of the rut she was in. There was a huge gap between her product and her potential clients, and she had absolutely no idea how to bridge it.
When she first discovered Flourish & Thrive Academy, Toby had some serious reservations.
She wasn’t sure the program was right for her and felt intimidated at the idea of taking one of our courses. Since she didn’t even have a facebook page up, she feared that without more marketing knowledge, the other designers in the program wouldn’t take her seriously.
And worried that with her full-time job, she’d be overwhelmed by all the information and waste her hard earned money by falling behind.
Despite her reservations, Toby faced her fears, took a deep breath and made a leap of faith!
She signed up for Laying The Foundation in 2016. To her surprise, instead of feeling intimidated by designers who were further ahead in their careers than she was, she felt supported and inspired!
She became part of a community of like-minded business owners and with each step into the program, her crazy jewelry making dream started to feel more and more like a reality.
Once she discovered that “Ride Like A Girl Designs” occupied a unique niche in the market she began to visualize her Dream Client. For the first time she could see exactly who her customers were, and as she learned how to reach them, her confidence began to grow.
Even though she had a full-time job, making the investment in Laying The Foundation forced her to stay focused and accountable. For the first time since launching her business, she had a plan, and that plan was working! Her hard work was paying off.
The path from dreamer to doer is rarely a straight line. Despite her best efforts, life got in the way. The first time through the program she made it all the way to the pricing module and stalled.
But here’s the best part. Toby NEVER GAVE UP!
Despite this setback, she stayed committed to her dream and went through the program a second time, seeing it through all the way to the end.
She loved knowing that the material she needed to succeed was always available to her, and she was able to work at her own pace and review anything she needed to at any time.
Within one year, Toby made some huge changes:
- She left Etsy and made a stand-alone website which elevated her brand identity and immediately separated her from the herd
- She started blogging and posting regularly on Instagram, lasering in on those dream clients and keeping them engaged
- She designed her first cohesive collection, which gave her brand focus and continuity, turning buyers into fans and collectors
- She began to price her work properly, valuing her time and appreciating her own worth.
Her biggest takeaway from those early days with Laying The Foundation was learning who her Dream Client was and if she ever loses sight of her, she still revisits that material to keep her customer in sharp focus at the front of her mind.
Today, Toby believes that joining Laying The Foundation was the single best investment she could have made at the beginning of her career.
Because she took the time to build her business the right way from the ground up, she had the solid foundation she needed to grow smart and grow sustainably.
She hasn’t wasted time or money investing in the wrong things and she can focus all of her energy in the right direction.
In SOS, she benefits greatly from the one-on-one coaching calls with some of the best in the biz. The coaches like Anna Shilina and other designers help her stay accountable, keep her eye on the prize and show her how to re-adjust her goal when necessary. She never feels lost and always knows the next right action to take in her business.
And just like that she has doubled her sales in the last year through the SOS program and is on the track to quitting her full-time job this year to focus on her jewelry business 100%!
It all started back in 2016 with one brave step, when Toby invested in her business and her dream and signed up for Laying the Foundation. When we asked her if she’d recommend the program here’s what she had to say:
“I would recommend Laying The Foundation for ANY one who is serious about building a jewelry business. Not only would I recommend it, but I would also say it's almost a requirement to set yourself up for success.
Just the name, Laying The Foundation made sense to me. Why would I wait, build my business all wrong, when I could lay the proper foundation? And I can't even say enough how important this is. I had NO clue all the things I didn't know..
It doesn't matter if you're just starting out (like I was). Why waste years building a business on a flimsy foundation? Or waste a bunch of money on the wrong things.
I have 100% zero regrets about making that investment, even though it was a big stretch for me…And…I can always go back and revisit the information anytime I need it as a reminder or a refresher.”
We love meeting and helping passionate designers like Toby who are ready to make their dreams a reality. She had a vision almost 20 years ago in a metalsmithing course, and she never gave up!
With hard work, determination and a little help from her friends and mentors, Toby proved that it’s never too late to follow your passion and it’s always possible to Flourish and Thrive!