How This Artisan Jewelry Maker Grew Her Business to 6 Figures by Serving Comic-Con Fans
“You’re gonna go into debt to learn how to make beaded necklaces?!”
That’s how Stephenie Denault’s stepmother reacted when she told her family she’d decided to study jewelry making.
Stephenie’s family assumed she’d never amount to much in life because of her dyslexia and ADD.
Stephenie was determined to prove them wrong.
Despite the total lack of support from her family, she persevered and stuck to a meager $7,500 yearly budget just to finish her studies.
Stephenie promised herself she would be a successful jewelry business owner someday.
When she finally finished school, she worked for a couple of years in repair shops, eventually becoming a system manager and technician at a retail store.
After six years, she was faced with some unfortunate health issues and had to quit her job.
But Stephenie had a plan.
While she was employed, she had slowly been building up a jewelry workshop and inventory. She was already doing shows, and leaving her job presented an opportunity to focus on her jewelry business full-time. It was a blessing in disguise.
As an avid Comic Con attendee and self-confessed lover of all things geeky, many of Stephenie’s pieces were inspired by sci-fi, anime, and video games. She also made sure that her pieces were free from cheap metals like zinc, nickel, and cadmium because she’s allergic to all of them.
So with a stock of artisan-crafted jewelry, Stephenie started joining craft shows, juried events, church fairs, and almost any in-person events she could find.
There was a problem, though. Like many budding entrepreneurs, she didn’t have a clearly defined dream client. She was trying to appeal to pretty much anyone interested in jewelry at all.
Then one day, Comic Con owners noticed her work and offered her a table at one of their events.
Stephenie was ecstatic! Not only does she get to grow her biz, but she gets to be immersed in her interests, too! This was the moment she found her audience. She would focus on creating handmade precious metal jewelry serving Comic Con enthusiasts just like her.
But when the pandemic hit, Stephenie’s artisan jewelry business, which mostly relied on trade events, was in jeopardy. Would it survive the sudden economic shift?
Stephenie had built her business from scratch, but no matter how hard she worked, she wasn’t able to create the financial security she longed for.
And although she has found her ideal customers, her jewelry was severely underpriced and burdened by the high fees imposed by Etsy.
Stephenie needed to solve her dilemma fast so her business could survive. She needed to know…
- How can she create a simple plan for financial growth and pay herself appropriately so her business would survive in the long run?
- How does she drive traffic to her website and overcome terrible Etsy sales and fees when most of her buyers are on Etsy?
- How can she train her customers to buy from her online and become raving fans who are willing to buy and promote her pieces over and over again?
- How can she recession-proof her business?
So she decided to go digging for mentors and experts who can best help her and her jewelry business. That’s how she found our Momentum program.
“Before joining Momentum, my business looked like pure and utter chaos. I wasn’t paying myself, I wasn’t valuing my work, and I was underpricing my work. And I spent more time working in the business than on the business.”
One of her coaches in Momentum guided her to re-evaluate her pricing and raise her average order value to properly compensate for her work. Although she was hesitant at first, the tools and pricing formula from the program clearly showed her that she was underpricing and undervaluing her work.
This was the root cause of the low-profit margins stunting her growth and hurting her business. She finally acquiesced and raised her average price by 20%.
Stephenie said… “I was a little hesitant because I was afraid. I’m like, okay, I’m gonna lose all these customers… But they kept on coming!”
And because Stephenie was already clear on her niche, the program tools easily helped her to authentically connect with her ideal customers. In fact, one of her artisan rings became viral on TikTok that she was able to supercharge her sales online.
She went from selling only one to two pieces a month – to selling 20 to 30 a week! It was insane!
Stephenie also followed our advice to diversify and slowly drive buyers from her Etsy shop onto her website. Etsy’s fees have been much higher, averaging 10-20%, which considerably shaved off her profits. So she started to build her email list and optimized her website with the help of her coaches.
She’s also a big fan of our Momentum retreat, just like many of our top-tier students, because it’s where she gets to connect and network with experts in the industry to learn the latest tips, hacks, and best practices to help her gain an early advantage and boost her jewelry business growth.
In this retreat, Stephenie learned hacks on how she can drive buyers from Etsy to her website, which she implemented right away.
In all her order boxes from Etsy, she placed gift cards with her social media accounts and shop info, plus an incentive for buyers to purchase from her website instead of Etsy.
Things were starting to look up for Stephenie. She also learned how to organize and track her jewelry inventory like a pro. As a result, her money is not tied up in raw materials and inventory, even though her processing time takes about a week or two depending on the items. And despite the waiting time, she found that she has trained her customers to be loyal to her brand so they’re willing to wait for her custom pieces. In effect, this allowed her to have an optimized inventory and pocket more profit.
Using the tools and resources we share in Momentum and Laying the Foundation, Stephenie learned to easily and properly divvy up her profits so that she’s paying herself first, and the right percentage of money gets churned back into her business, including taxes and overhead.
After learning the lessons and being guided by her coaches, Stephenie said…
“It was a struggle when I started off. But by the end of August of 2020, and for the entire 2021, I paid myself and made enough money to be able to squirrel away and pay for my vacation to Disney! It’s the first time I didn’t have to borrow money to go on vacation. I was really shocked at the end of 2021. I ended the year at $268,000!”
Now, Stephenie Denault of Le Dragon Argenté, whose relatives thought would not amount to anything, became not just the first person in her family to have her own business, but grew it into a 6 figure brand!
She was also able to buy a house and take her family on vacation trips they couldn’t otherwise afford.
But when asked what was the biggest thing for her about joining Momentum Stephenie said…
“Honestly, the biggest thing for Momentum for me was having a community of jewelers who were in the same boat I was. The same thing with the coaching program. It’s so nice to have an open atmosphere to share information and help you along and people are happy to help you become successful.”
If you also want to be part of this community that not only gives you the right tools and resources to grow your business… But deeply care that you succeed in creating financial freedom by doing what you love…
Take your Free Strategy Audit and we’ll guide you on how you can best succeed with your jewelry business.
Want the proven system that Stephenie used to supercharge her sales online?
Join my free Masterclass, so you too can grow your audience and turn them into loyal raving fans.