How Two Sisters Built a Million Dollar Handmade Jewelry Business Without a Massive Team or Investment Capital
Emery and Opal
by Amanda and Tiffany Reis
SCALING A HANDMADE JEWELRY BUSINESS TO 7- FIGURES CAN BE CHALLENGING. BUT IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT GUIDANCE, TOOLS, AND GUIDANCE, YOUR BUSINESS CAN GROW QUICKLY, EVEN WITHOUT HIRING A MASSIVE TEAM OR GETTING INVESTORS IN YOUR COMPANY.
How It Began
Amanda and Tiffany Reis have been making jewelry ever since they were little kids. Their first business was making and selling friendship bracelets to all the other kids on the block.
In her 20s, Amanda continued making jewelry to raise money for breast cancer – a cause she was very passionate about. That's when she started selling her jewelry on Etsy. The sisters slowly added pieces to their collection as their Etsy business expanded. Before they knew it, Amanda and Tiffany officially launched their jewelry company.
The name “Emery and Opal” was chosen by the Reis sisters to symbolize their bond and the influence of their beloved grandmother. Emery represents the emerald, the birthstone for May, while Opal signifies their grandmother's birthstone, associated with April. According to the sisters, their grandmother's spirit is the driving force behind their success. She always inspired them to be strong, independent, and resourceful. As a result, they adopt their “can-do attitude,” which has served them well along their journey to scale their handmade jewelry company.
Many creatives believe that growing a handmade jewelry company is HARD and too COMPETITIVE. Although the Reis sisters didn't let that dissuade them. They created the Desired Brand Effect in their business, put in the work to grow their business, and before too long, Emery and Opal grew to a 6-figure business.
Shop 100% empowering and inclusive jewelry at emeryandopal.com
Growing a 6-figure brand is a dream for many handmade jewelry companies. Still, instead of having the FREEDOM they desired and longed for, their business became a cause of stress, exhaustion, and tired-aching hands from fulfilling the influx of orders.
THE STRUGGLE WAS REAL FOR THE REIS SISTERS, AND THEY KNEW THEY NEEDED TO SHIFT THEIR APPROACH AND SHOW UP DIFFERENTLY IF THEY WANTED TO GROW TO A MILLION DOLLARS IN SALES.
Tiffany and Amanda knew that their current approach to their business was keeping them stuck, and their goal of a 7-figure company seemed like a distant dream. As hard as they tried, they struggled to break through their profit plateau.
“WE WERE STUCK AND 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. 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. They also needed to properly manage their jewelry inventory and struggled with pricing their products. As their sales were scaling, their profits were shrinking.
Challenge #2: Limited Production Capacity
As their sales grew, they scrambled to fulfill orders because of their limited capacity as a two-person team. There was only So much they could produce without getting some outside support.
Challenge #3: Missed Sales Opportunities
At the same time, 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.
Challenge #5: Single Point of Failure
Since they were primarily selling on Etsy, they were constantly worried about sudden platform changes that they couldn't control, like increased fees, algorithm changes, and site glitches. They were VERY concerned when Etsy went offline, which resulted in zero sales for days. Their business could fail overnight if they lost Etsy as a selling platform.
Challenge #6: Overwhelmed and Burned Out
Because their business was inefficient, their hands ached, they felt scattered, and they lacked the focus and clarity to move forward. Things were snowballing into chaos, and they needed help.
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. They knew that without the proper support and mentorship, they would never break through their profit plateau.
Leaning into the strong-willed and inspiring energy of their grandmother and biggest cheerleader, Tiffany and Amanda decided to get some help.
They had participated in some Flourish & Thrive Academy's programs, like Laying the Foundation and the Diamond Insiders.
They wanted a more individualized, customized coaching and mentorship approach, so they joined the Momentum Program.
In the program, they received expert, customized coaching for their jewelry business to streamline and structure their jewelry business for scale, diversify their sales strategy, and become better leaders and business owners so that they could multiply their efforts.
They were ready to get their life back without sacrificing profitability, impact, or growth!
How They Grew Their Jewelry Business to Reach Their Goal
Seperate Their Roles Between Visionary | Marketing and Operations | Intergration
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 “affordable” pricing hurt their handmade jewelry business, as reflected in their end-of-the-year P&L statements. After an in-depth pricing analysis with our coaches, they raised their prices to align with the value they deliver. As a result, their profitability and revenue increased without producing more products. Tiffany says…
“I think raising our prices was hard for us to do. We were super nervous about it yet, but in the end, 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 have a small team comprising two part-time shipping people, two full-time production makers, 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. With the support of the Momentum coaches, they're now selling to more wholesale accounts. Because everything is covered, they don't need to hire a different coach for each business model. Slowly but surely, their website became a significant revenue source for their business, and their wholesale accounts started growing.
They found clarity and focused on the right things because they were willing to change, apply what they learned quickly, and methodically execute their plans for 7-figure growth.
Emery and Opal's Results
Tiffany and Amanda worked diligently to grow their business from 6 to 7 figures in a year with the right mentorship, coaching, strategy, and approach.
Now let's talk about the results…
Result #1: Scaled Their Sales from 6 to 7 Figures in a Year
The compounding effects of operating their business by the numbers, motivating and inspiring their team to be more productive, and following their plans allowed them to grow much more quickly than they ever expected.
Result #2: Increase Their Profit Margins
As their sales grew, they increased their profit margins by increasing their prices, managing their inventory better, and streamlining their team functions to reduce redundancies in this business. Running a more efficient business has a massive impact on their profit margins.
Result #3: Tiffany Was Able to Take Time Off To Have a Baby
One of the core urgencies in streamlining their operation was allowing Tiffany to be a mom and a business owner. Creating better operation efficiencies set her up to take time off without the business falling apart.
Result #4: Removed Their Blind Spots to Work ON the Business, Not Just In the Business
As a business owner, sometimes we don't know what we don't know. By having a sounding board and a team of expert coaches, they got the insights they needed that were previously blind spots. With that, they started seeing the bigger picture and turned that big-picture vision into a plan, hired the right people, and expanded their business into additional revenue streams.
“THE COACHING HAS BEEN AMAZING. THE [COACHES] HAVE 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!”
Growing a handmade jewelry business can be challenging without the right strategy, structure, and support. However, when you do it right, you build a financially secure company, which gives you the freedom of entrepreneurship, and supports your creative side.
“WE CHOSE THE MOMENTUM PROGRAM BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN A LONGTIME STUDENT OF FLOURISH & THRIVE. THE PROGRAMS WERE PIVOTAL FOR OUR INITIAL GROWTH AS A JEWELRY BUSINESS.
MOMENTUM FELT LIKE THE NATURAL NEXT STEP [AFTER LAYING THE FOUNDATION]. WE KNEW THE PERSONALIZED COACHING AND MENTORSHIP WOULD BE INCREDIBLY HELPFUL FOR OUR GROWING BUSINESS.”
If you're ready to scale your jewelry business, we'd love to help you grow in the Momentum Program or one of our other growth programs.
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!
Listen to Emery and Opal’s Story on the Thrive by Design Podcast
Listen to Acid Queen Jewelry on the Thrive by Design Podcast
Listen to Lita Sea Glass on the Thrive by Design Podcast
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