How One Jewelry Maker Changed Her Mindset For Growth To Scale Her Sales From $400k To $750k [With On Track Projected Earnings Of $900k]

F&T - LITA SEA GLASS Case Study Blog Post

Lita Sea Glass

by Carla Garro


How It Began

Carla Garro has been making jewelry her entire life. She started her jewelry company at 17 when she jumped on the jewelry home party bandwagon. After experiencing success on the home party circuit, the logical next step was to open up a jewelry retail store in Rhode Island. She sold unique jewelry and accessories at her brick-and-mortar location, and the Lita Sea Glass Jewelry line was born. Fortunately, her retail store was very successful, and in her best year ever, she decided to shift course.

In 2009, before online selling began to trend, she took a risk, closed her retail store, and launched She saw a trend and wanted to focus more on the parts of the business she loved, selling and making her beautiful jewelry. When her daughter was born in 2012, she found having an online business worked great for her as a single mom. She aimed to build her company so that her business could fully support herself and her daughter. That really changed my mindset.

Carla Garro of Lita Sea Glass

Eventually, the business evolved into an omnichannel brand where Carla now sells her sea glass designs to retail stores and online – through live selling events and e-commerce. 

Shop 100% authentic sea glass jewelry at

Her Challenges

Even though Carla is a badass, like many creatives, growing a small and agile company had its challenges. Plus, she’s a creator and visionary at heart, so the business part for her was never any fun! But, most importantly, Carla is a single mom with no additional financial support. She needed her business to be structured so that she could care for her daughter and support her financially.

Challenge #1: Lack of Business Structure 

When Carla came to Flourish & Thrive, she claimed that she lacked structure in her business. Like many artists, she loved creating jewelry, connecting with the audience, and selling her products. But, on the contrary, building business systems, managing her operations, and structuring her back-end technology were not her forte. She needed to solve this problem if she wanted to keep growing, or else her business would need to be more organized to scale. By understanding her limitations, she knew she needed help.

Challenge #2: Lacked Clarity and Focus for Marketing Direction

Although she was an early adopter of selling on her website and Etsy, she knew there was so much more she could do to grow her business. In her words, she says she was all over the place regarding online selling. She wanted to focus on just a few strategies that would create a lasting impact on her online sales and help her move her Etsy audience to her website. Relying too much on Etsy was starting to feel risky for Carla, so she wanted to build a solid business with a direct line to her customers. 

Challenge #3: Had a Weakness in Operations, Delegation, and Team Management

When Carla started her business, she knew she loved selling and making jewelry. However, training, managing, and leading a team were not her strong suits; quite frankly, she didn’t enjoy this part of the business. Yet, as her business grew, she needed more support from a team. The company she loved started feeling like a chore when she had to balance wearing so many hats every day. She became a bottleneck to her growth. Even worse, she spent most of her precious time sorting sea glass for new designs, which was an essential part of her production process but not the best use of her time. Even though she KNEW that she needed to delegate this part, it became VERY challenging because “no one could sort the sea glass as well as she could.”

Challenge #4: Mindset of Success

A challenge for many creative business owners is their point of view and perspective. That can be limiting if you’ve only experienced their way of doing business. And Carla realized that her limited viewpoint about her business and how she needed to show up on it was probably holding her back. When she acknowledged that awareness, she started seeking mentorship and support.

Aqua Smooth Pastel Sea Glass Crab Necklace by Lita Sea Glass

Awareness is the first step to change, leading to long-term growth when you’re smart about it. Carla saw that early on and realized it was time to start looking for mentorship and outside eyes on her business. That’s when Carla saw an ad on Facebook from Flourish & Thrive Academy. She had been feeling overwhelmed and unfocused and didn’t know how to move past her current conundrum.

That’s when she joined us for Train Your Customers to Buy Online and later joined Momentum, and Private Consulting.

Here's How Carla Grew Her Business

Hired Her Second in Command Inside the Company

Sometimes what you're looking for is right in front of you. For example, after taking our suggestion to hire an “Integrator” or Operations Lead, Carla seriously started looking around. When she recognized that her part-time shipping manager had some serious raw talent, she took note. Sam was excellent at all of the parts of the business that Carla struggled with, like the technology and software, managing and training team members, documenting systems and processes, and basically anything that had to do with operations. Plus, they got along incredibly.

“Our ‘Aqua Oasis' studio, as we refer to it due to the natural light, soothing aqua color, and nautical theme is filled with a happy team of skilled craftsmen and women, who are passionate about the jewelry we create.” – Carla Garro

Carla slowly started promoting Sam to a more significant role. After implementing my suggestion of having Sam manage the team, Carla felt tremendous relief, knowing she could save her creative energy to work on strategy, sales, and product development. Most importantly, Sam is really good at all of the areas of business that Carla struggles with, so they make a great team.

Developed SOPs and Team Training Materials to Delegate and Hire Team Members

When you start your business, it's normal to be the doer of everything. After we pointed out that Carla was taking on tasks in her business that were not the best use of her time, she knew something had to change. But it took a lot of work to delegate specific tasks like the sea glass sorting and particular production design and management tasks that required a keen eye. Carla leaned into our delegation strategies to get low-leveraged tasks off her plate and to think through her system of how she designs, sorts, and makes things. Together, they started building a team based on the tasks that Carla wanted to get off her plate to free up time to work on business development and sales.

Plus, when a core team member left suddenly for medical reasons, and another was fired for not being a culture or company fit, the duo was stretched thin. With our advice and support, Carla and Sam created training materials, standard operating procedures, and systems to train team members in all parts of the production and making process. This allowed them to hire a production manager, assistant designer, and a sea glass sorter to take hours of daily work off Carla's plate. Additionally, documenting and updating these materials as they go allows them to train new employees without reinventing the wheel.

Taking this calculated and strategic approach to hiring and training a team has paid off because Carla and Sam can spend more time growing the business and working on it instead of in the business.

Doubled Down on Live Selling – Which Transformed Her Sales

Taking this calculated and strategic approach to hiring and training a team has paid off because Carla and Sam can spend more time growing the business and working on it instead of in the business.

She's had over 350 people attend her quarterly “live” virtual trunks shows. Her weekly “What's New Wednesday” live events are 45 minutes of new product features. During her live selling events, Carla regularly “sells out” of her products because of her raving fans of sea glass collectors. Another benefit to weekly lives is the community aspect she's built. Her fans take their lunch break, leave work, and sometimes “fight” over the pieces they want. Carla mentioned one of her customers has purchased more than 30+ pieces in just a few months. 

Found Additional Manufacturing Solutions

One of the ways that Carla has increased her profitability has been her approach to making the product. Lita Sea Glass is produced in–house, locally, and overseas. Unfortunately, earlier in the year, Carla had a setback with a shipment from one of her manufacturers – the box was tampered with, and the product was missing upon delivery. For a brand like Carla's, this was devastating because she knew her numbers would be affected with no product to sell.

We put our heads together and introduced her to a new manufacturing solution so she could double down on her manufacturing capabilities. She knows that if she has the product in her studio, she can quickly sell it. So the introduction helped her diversify her production capacity because if she had the jewelry in hand, she could sell her pieces quickly.

Upgraded Her Mindset, Which Allowed Her To Focus On What's Important

The most significant upgrade for Carla was her approach to and her mindset around her business. When she first came to us, she operated out of a “maker mindset” instead of a success mindset. When you start showing up differently for your business by working ON your business instead of just IN your business – everything changes quickly. 

This internal mindset shift created more focus for Carla to work on the areas of her business that would help her reach her goals. Her previously “scattered” approach was inefficient and wasted time and resources on non-important projects. More focus increased efficiency, which directly impacted the company's bottom line.

“I feel like my company as a whole [..] it's so much different than where I was mentally, emotionally and definitely physically [my physical surroundings] then when I started

I achieved a lot more structure [and] organization. And a different mindset and way of thinking. I've been able to pull myself “out of the business” a lot more and really be able to focus on doing the things that I love [the most] as an entrepreneur. […] Like coming up with all the ideas and being the Creative Visionary (as Tracy likes to say) of the company.

I achieved a lot more structure [and] organization. And a different mindset and way of thinking. I've been able to pull myself “out of the business” a lot more and really be able to focus on doing the things that I love [the most] as an entrepreneur. […] Like coming up with all the ideas and being the Creative Visionary (as Tracy likes to say) of the company.”

The Results

Result #1: Nearly Doubled Her Sales From $400K to $750K In 2 Years With On Track Projected Earnings of $900K In 3 Years

Once a jewelry business hits the mid-six figure mark, scaling and growing quickly becomes a LOT harder and growth is typically slower if the founder doesn’t get out of her own way. Making the structural changes, focusing on the marketing initiatives that matter, and bringing on the right team members, including her Operations Manager, Sam, significantly changed how quickly Lita Sea Glass could grow.

Keep in mind, it took Carla 8 years to grow from $0 to $400K so nearlyb doubling sales in two years is HUGE. Her numbers are remarkable and I suspect that in a few more years, she may double again. 

Result #2: Bought Her First Home

At the beginning of this case study, I shared that Carla has been raising her daughter solo since she was born. It was very important that she create a good life and home for her daughter. Over the past few years, she was able to save enough money from the profit of her business to buy her first home. 

This was a HUGE milestone for Carla who has been working hard for years to provide a great life for her daughter.

Result #3: Freedom to Raise and Spend Time With Her Daughter 

Hiring a leadership position and team members has made it possible for her to spend significant time with her daughter from an early age. Many people who start a business end up making a job for themselves. Being able to pick her daughter up or meet her at the school bus every day is very important for Carla. By optimizing her business, she doesn’t need to be there every second of every day for the business to grow. It doensn’t technically need her to scale to the next level anymore. 

Result #4: Creatively Aligned With Her Skillset and Goals

Out of balance creative founders often find themselves resenting their business over time. Carla was able to find a way to get back into her flow and get creatively aligned with the help of Sam, her operator. Having a sounding board and understanding what a great working relationship looks like has helped Lita Sea Glass scale quickly.

Carla thoroughly enjoys showing up for her business every day because she gets to do the parts of her business that she loves. She feels creatively inspired and that’s everything! I’ve interviewed Carla (and Sam) for the Thrive by Design podcast several times and love hearing their stories of growth. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read these case studies! I hope you feel inspired and energized! Scan this page for a few ways that we can help you grow your business – fast!

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