How They Built a Million Dollar Handmade Jewelry Business Without a Massive Team
Starting a handmade jewelry business is challenging and, what's more, growing it to 7 figures. But if you have proper guidance and work “on” the business instead of “in” it, you'll be able to fast-track your growth, even without hiring a massive team. Here's how Amanda and Tiffany Reis of Emery and Opal did it.
Amanda and Tiffany Reis have been making jewelry ever since they were little kids and selling friendship bracelets to all the other kids on the block.
In her 20’s, Amanda used her jewelry-making skill to raise money for breast cancer – a cause she was very passionate about. She sold her jewelry on Etsy, then the sisters slowly added pieces to their collection. Before they knew it, Amanda and Tiffany had started a jewelry company.
In May of 2017, they incorporated their jewelry business and named it Emery and Opal. Emery for Emerald, which is May’s birthstone, and Opal, their grandmother’s birthstone. The Reis sisters said their grandmother’s spirit is the driving force behind their success. She inspired them to be strong, independent, and have that can-do attitude.
They worked hard, despite all the challenges of launching and growing a jewelry business, and eventually grew Emery and Opal to a 6-figure business.
But instead of the freedom that they longed for, their business soon became the cause of stress, exhaustion, and aching hands every day from trying to meet all their orders.
Amanda and Tiffany wanted to hit the million-dollar mark. But with their current status, it seemed distant, and they just could not seem to find a breakthrough.
“We were stuck and we didn’t know what to do next. We didn’t know how to get to the next level”
Then problems began to unravel:
Challenge #1: Shrinking Profit Margins
- As their business expanded, so did their costs, but their profit was not keeping up. They needed to create a simple plan for financial growth. Avoiding the numbers and their P & L was no longer working, but like many makers, they needed to learn how to use the numbers to grow their business and make better decisions.
- As their sales were scaling, their profits were shrinking.
Challenge #2: Limited Production Capacity
- They were scrambling to fulfill orders, but still, they were missing out on a lot of sales. They also needed to properly manage their jewelry inventory and struggled with pricing their products. Inventory management strategies that will increase cash flow for independent jewelry biz owners like them would be very helpful.
Challenge #3 Missed Sales Opportunities
- As their sales grew, they scrambled to fulfill orders because of their limited capacity as a two-person team. They were missing out on many sales because they could only produce “so” much doing everything themselves. They wouldn't be able to hit their 7-figure goal if they continued doing everything the same way.
Challenge #4: Poor Hiring Decisions
- Eventually, they tried hiring some jewelry makers to help with production so that they could keep up with all of the orders they were getting. But unfortunately, they needed to learn how to vet and train these key hires, which added to their stress and overwhelm instead of helping them become more efficient. They were in dire need of key hires so they can scale to 7-figures.
- Because things were snowballing into chaos, they felt scattered and all over their business. They needed to attend to their P&L statement fast and access easy accounting tips specifically curated for jewelry designers and makers.
Challenge #5: Single Point of Failure
- And because their primary selling platform was Etsy, they were constantly worried about sudden changes they can’t control like increased fees, algorithm changes, and site glitches. They’ve already experienced zero sales because Etsy unexpectedly went offline for days… Their business could fail overnight if they lost Etsy as a selling platform. Should they boycott the Etsy platform or use it as a tool for growth?
Challenge #6: Overwhelmed and Burned Out
Amanda and Tiffany realized their dream of scaling their business to 7-figures was causing them to feel extremely overwhelmed, creating big headaches and more aching hands. But they never thought of giving up.
After all, their inspiration for building Emery and Opal came from their biggest cheerleader, who was a strong-willed woman.
They knew that without the proper support and mentorship, they would never break through their profit plateau
So they sought help to solve their expansion dilemma through Flourish & Thrive Academy.
“We chose the Momentum Program because we’ve been a longtime student of Flourish & Thrive. We did Laying the Foundation, we were part of the Diamond Insiders. It felt like the natural next step to a personalized learning system.”
Amanda and Tiffany received high-touch, customized coaching for their jewelry business through Momentum. They were guided every step of the way to become better leaders and business owners.
It was time for them to increase their impact and profitability and get their life back without sacrificing growth!
7 Decisions Amanda and Tiffany made that grew their jewelry Business
Separated Their Roles Between Visionary | Marketing and Operations | Integration
Previously, both Tiffany and Amanda were working in all of the departments. They got a lot more done using Tracy's advice to sit in distinct seats and roles for the company. Amanda became the Visionary and Director of Marketing, and Tiffany became the Integrator and Director of Operations. Without the redundancies in their tasks, things started to fall into place, they found the right groove, and their business felt the positive impact immediately.
Executed 90-Day Strategic Business Planning
Planning is the CORE of the Momentum program, and by using our 90-day strategic planning framework, they built a solid growth plan for their business. In addition, their plan was easy to follow because it was broken down into yearly, monthly, and weekly steps.
Creating a Simple-to-Follow Marketing Calendar
By working with our coaches on content planning, they were able to have their marketing calendar planned out a year in advance to make posting on social and sending out emails to market their website (instead of just relying on Etsy) easy. Amanda fondly recalls…
“The call(s) with (coach) Ana about content planning completely changed the way we planned our content. We were able to do the whole year in a week, like so many things.”
Used Their Financial Statements to Make Better Business Decisions
They also went granular on evaluating their P&L statement to make better business decisions. The coaches showed them how to assess their statements, which key factors to look for, and how to move forward to hit their goals successfully. By accurately tracking their inventory, they were able to get bulk discounts on supplies, eliminate redundant buying decisions, and pocket more profit. Tiffany said…
“We had this huge Excel sheet that listed all of our products from Etsy and our website. We evaluated how each product did last year? Was it up or down? And that helped us determine what materials we should buy.”
Changed Their Pricing Strategy
With clarity, they also realized how having “affordable” pricing was actually hurting their handmade jewelry business, as reflected in their P&L statements. After an in-depth pricing analysis with our coaches, they raised their prices to align with the value they deliver using the formula from our program. As a result, their profitability and revenue increased without producing more products. Tiffany says…
“I think raising our prices was a hard thing for us to do. We were super nervous about it yet, but in the end, like it was the right thing to do. And it benefited us for sure.”
Hired and Trained a Small Team
With a better approach and the tools they needed to properly vet, hire, train, and manage their team, things were lining up. They had an effective sounding board and their coaches’ expert feedback showed them their blind spots. Amanda says…
“The coaching has been amazing. They’ve really opened our eyes to see the business as a big picture. They’ve solved every little issue that we’ve had. They’ve just made everything more clear!”
In fact, their team is so streamlined that it’s only composed of two shipping people who work part-time, two full-time production hires, and a social media manager. Having the right people in the right seats has been a game-changer for the Reis sisters.
Diversified Revenue Streams to a Branded Website and Wholesale
Since they knew having their eggs in just the Etsy basket was not a good idea, the Reis sisters invested in building and marketing their website instead of waiting for Etsy sales to roll in.
As Momentum students, Amanda and Tiffany are also currently getting expert mentorship on launching and growing their website and expanding to wholesale without needing to enroll in new courses because Momentum has the expert coaches and resources for their specific jewelry business needs.
Slowly but surely, their website became a significant revenue source for their business, and their wholesale accounts started growing.
Where Amanda and Tiffany Reis are now
Amanda and Tiffany found clarity because of the program tools, coaching, and their willingness to apply what they learned. They focused on the right things that move the needle for their business.
Amanda says, “Yeah, we took your advice. The main thing is working ‘on’ the business instead of ‘in’ the business.”
Success in handmade jewelry and fast-tracking your growth to 7 figures is possible if you have the proper coaching and structure. In fact, Amanda and Tiffany just crossed the 7-figure mark for Emery and Opal within a year of joining our Momentum program.
Handmade jewelry business can be challenging at first. But, if you're passionate about it, you should start getting the proper tools and guidance to have financial security doing what you love. You'll see it'll be worth it!
If you’re ready and willing to do the work to show up for your business and hit your jewelry business goals… our Momentum coaches will be happy to help and support you. Just like they did for Amanda and Tiffany of Emery and Opal.
So, if you’re ready to be our next success story…