Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Ruthie Youngman; I am the founder of Love Your Bling®. I am also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who moonlights as a jewelry designer. I am a wife and mother of two.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
After many years working in the mental health field, I turned to the hobby of beading to cope with stress at work. The hobby evolved into a small business that allows me to enjoy two diverse careers. I have now shipped to all 50 states and over 50 countries worldwide.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My products styles have varied over the years, but one thing that has stayed consistent is the bling. I am a verified SWAROVSKI® Elements branding partner, so my customer’s can be reassured that they are receiving high-quality crystals.
What inspires your work?
Color is my biggest source of inspiration. I love to keep up with Pantone’s seasonal color predictions and incorporate them into my designs. I love classic looks and try to go overboard with style trends.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My number one goal in 2017 is to focus on wholesale. It is an area of my business I have not put much energy into but I plan to.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
Etsy is a huge marketplace and jewelry is one of if not the most competitive category. There are many designers that create looks that are similar, however, I feel years of excellent customer service and consistent five-star rating reassures customers that I will deliver exactly what they expect. I have endured the high’s and lows of a small business and I am still here. One thing that frustrates customers is when they find a great Etsy shop, and then when they come back to purchase the shop is gone or on vacation. I am proud to have stayed in business this long.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
When I started making jewelry I did everything on my dining room table. Over the years my family has grown and so has our living space so now I have a dedicated room to work in.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
In the past eight years, I have learned so much about running a small business, and I did so through a lot of trial and error and Google. I wish I had paid for more education early on. The past three years I have attended conferences specifically designed for handmade business such as Craftcation. It has been wonderful to network with other creative small business owners. I also wish I had registered my trademark sooner.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Read the forums daily. Over the years I have so many changes and they literally happen overnight. Checking in with forums is the best way to know what is about to change or has changed. Etsy has been great at providing a lot of education via blog posts, and other series and I highly recommend engaging in whatever they provide.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I have been a life-long crafter, so I dabble in just about every kind of there is. Anything from paper crafts, fiber arts, to painting. At the moment I have revived my love of knitting.
What is your favorite quote?
My absolute favorite quote is by Coco Chanel who said: “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” I believe this is my philosophy is all aspects of my life, but for business, it is critical to stand out.
Where can people find out more about your business?
You can find all you need to know at www.LoveYourBling.com, and I am on all major social media channels as @LoveYourBling.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am also a member of the by-invitation-only, juried celebrity gifting organization The Artisan Group®. Love Your Bling has been worn on seven network television shows including The Vampire Diaries, Jane the Virgin, and Fuller House. Love Your Bling has also participated in elite award show gift lounges such as GBK’s Luxury Celebrity Gift Lounges in Honor of the Golden Globes, MTV Movie Awards, and Primetime Emmys.
I have also been honored to have designs published in two nationally published beading magazines; Bead Style and Create Jewelry magazines.
If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.