Meet the Maker – Ievgeniia Zlotar of Moondome Jewelry

Meet the Maker - Ievgeniia MoonDome Jewelry

Meet the Maker - Ievgeniia MoonDome Jewelry

 

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker interview series, we’re getting to know Ievgeniia Zlotar of Moondome Jewelry, a Ukranian designer who resides in Livingston, Scotland and creates the most stunning line of jewelry and accessories using raw gemstones and wire. Welcome, Ievgeniia!

 

LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?

Ievgeniia: There was a long, long road to where I am now, but through my life, I knew three main things: I like to study, I like to be at home, and I like to live in my own rhythm – to choose when to work, and when to spend time with my family and kids. So the idea to start my business came naturally, especially after my kids were born – I wanted to stay with them at home as long as they will need me. At the same time, I was struggling to find my own personality after having been just a mum – to be somebody beyond the daily routines.

 

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Ievgeniia: I had no clear vision of what my business should be. In the first stage, I was making a lots of different types of crafts – from pencil rolls to crocheted jewelry. It was just a crazy random mix that you could hardly imagine were made by the same person. One day, I saw a pretty wire-wrapped copper hairpin with green gemstones, and it changed my world. Ever since my childhood, I’d wanted to create something just as beautiful, natural, and long-lasting.

 

Meet the Maker - Ievgeniia MoonDome Jewelry

 

LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Ievgeniia: I know that I should say I am making one-of-a-kind, bespoke and custom jewelry, but there is a much more meaning, story and magic behind each of my pieces. I want to remind people through my jewelry that they are beautiful. Nature created this amazing universe we are living in; there is no artist greater than Nature, and we are all her masterpieces. Just look at gemstones – they are beautiful even when rough and uncut; so unique, and all full of charm and mystery. I have never met a person who hates gemstones and crystals. So I want to encourage people to stay true and love themselves as they are, and live their own lives. (But if you ask my kids, they will simply answer that mammy is making crowns!)

 

LBC: Where can we find your products?

Ievgeniia: I started with offline sales – mostly craft markets – but now I am starting to expand online. I have my Etsy shop, and my new sparkling website is now under construction. I also have an exclusive stockist in Moscow.

 

LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.

Ievgeniia: Usually I begin my day with some yoga. I am not a morning person, so it is important for me to have a nice start without immediately multitasking and and pushing myself to do something that might be effective, but is so boring. All of my necessary tasks get done at noon, when I am most focused and full of life. Then I reward myself with some creative time – doing custom orders or creating new designs. In the evenings, I try to spend time with family – have a nice walk before dinner, play with wee ones, and chat to my friends. It sounds good in theory, but what often happens is that I am still replying to emails while walking, or posting on Instagram while cooking. But I think it is normal to be this way when you are a working mum and one-man-orchestra. Be brave, my creative pals – we will get there!

 

Meet the Maker - Ievgeniia MoonDome Jewelry

 

LBC: What are 3 things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?

Ievgeniia: First, make sure you really love what you are doing. It will be your job every day, so don’t start something you will tire after awhile.

Second, do not pretend to be somebody who you are really not. You will find your tribe only if you stay true to yourself, and once you find it – you will enjoy your business more and more with every day, rather being in constant stress trying to keep your face on.

Third: Take your marketing strategy seriously from the first day – or even better, before your first day.

 

LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?

Ievgeniia: Cleaning and organizing my stock of gemstones and supplies. I it also helps to put my wellies on to have a nice, long walk through the beautiful Scottish woods. As Zen wisdom says, you should spent 20 minutes with nature every day – unless you are busy, and then you need to spend an hour outdoors. I never make my jewelry in a bad mood or as a way to escape from stress, because I believe that I will pass those negative vibes to my creations; and because I know myself, it will never be a piece I am proud of.

 

LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.

Ievgeniia: My best ever decision was that I recently performed an entire re-brand. I finally understood  what I want to be my business like, and I knew whom I wanted my creations to speak to. The other great decision was to focus on Instagram as a potential marketplace. Instagram brings me a lots of inspiration, makes me closer with my customers, is easy to use on the go, and I can speak to my followers through the only existing universal language that every seeing person on this planet understands: visual  storytelling.

 

Meet the Maker - Ievgeniia MoonDome Jewelry

 

LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?

Ievgeniia: I could write the encyclopedia on mistakes when launching a creative business! For example, I never studied marketing, and thought that my creations would speak for me. I thought there was no need to have a consistent style, or to communicate your work through social media.  Marketing is the magical tool that helps creative minds to tell their story behind their work. It translates the language of forms and colors into emotions and impressions. I learned my lesson, so now I am studying a lot about how to craft a business through marketing, and I am really enjoying it.

 

LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?

Ievgeniia: 1) Dropbox – I use it everyday to have all my recent photos on hand.

2) Google apps – They keep all my documents organized so have access to them from all my devices.

3) Photoshop.

 

Meet the Maker - Ievgeniia MoonDome Jewelry

 

LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?

Ievgeniia: I’m hopeful that my business will grow, and  that I manage to earn enough to make living from it. I also hope to see my items selling through a couple of cult brand stores. But the biggest dream is to launch my own brick and mortar shop, with a creative space for local designers where we could share and help each other through.

 

LBC: What’s one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?

Ievgeniia: Merengue with whipped cream and fruits.

 

LBC: Your musical playlist is full of…

Ievgeniia: Indian music and good old rock ballads.

 

LBC: If you were given a million dollars, but were not allowed to keep a single penny for yourself, friends or family, how would you spend it or give it away?

Ievgeniia: I would donate to a charity that supports single mums starting their business.

 

Thank you, Ievgeniia, for sharing your talent with us!  We absolutely love what you’re doing and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for Moondome Jewelry. We’re cheering you on…

 

Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Catching up with LBU Alumni: Patty Manwaring of French Bailey

patty manwaring french bailey

patty manwaring french bailey

 

Are you wondering what happens to my LBU alumni post-graduation? What they do with all the momentum + knowledge? Where they take their businesses next? Each Tuesday in September, we’re catching up with a different grad to see what they’ve been up to and get their thoughts on the program. I hope you’ll join me in cheering on these makers + product designers!

 

This week we’re talking to LBU grad Patty Manwaring, who – along with Korri Roach – owns French Bailey, a line of beautifully unique jewelry that incorporates mixed metals, semi-precious gemstones, brass chain, and leather.

 

Meet: Patty Manwaring & Korri Roach
Started her business: 2013
Graduated LBU: Spring 2015
Lives in: Boulder, Colorado

 

patty manwaring french bailey

 

LBC: When you first joined LBU, what were you searching for?

Patty: We wanted to take French Bailey into the wholesale market. We were interested in developing a wholesale program that included best practices, accurate pricing, stand-out line sheets and everything else we didn’t know we needed.

 

LBC: How did the LBU experience propel your business forward?

Patty: It gave us the knowledge and tools we needed to take ourselves seriously and confidently prepare to scale our business.

 

patty manwaring french bailey

 

LBC: What was the biggest surprise or most valuable facet of your LBU experience?

Patty: The biggest surprise was the complexity of pricing products. And one of the greatest resources was learning the value of using the Price-O-Matic program. It gave us the ability to quickly evaluate our current pricing, the viability of new products, and potential scalability. It’s magic!

 

LBC: Describe the LBU experience in 6 words or less.

Patty: Empowering, intensive, inspiring, demanding and authentic.

 

 

LBC: What have you been up to post-graduation?

Patty: Because of what we learned, we took a step back from our website re-design project and re-imagined it through the filter of LBU. We hired an amazing designer to help bring our brand to life.

French Bailey was featured in a regional magazine (Boulder Lifestyle) and our jewelry was featured on the cover of Colorado Yoga Magazine and was also used for a lifestyle photo shoot in the same magazine.

We landed two new wholesale accounts that we’d been coveting and because we didn’t have enough to do, we decided to dive into Lela’s Brick House Branding course!

 

LBC: What’s next for your business?

Patty: We’re busy creating new designs and sourcing unique materials for our Spring 2016 Collection. As soon as we’ve launched our new website we’ll be connecting with our dream list of retail stores and digging deep into our social media platforms.

 

patty manwaring french bailey

 

LBC: What would you tell a fellow entrepreneur who’s wondering if LBU is a wise investment or a good fit for them?

Patty: If you’re starting a brand spanking new business or want to take your business to the next level LBU is for you. The community, the hands-on tools, and the humor are worth every minute and every penny. It will help you evaluate where you are and how to get to where you want to be with your business.

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Patty! We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you, Korri + French Bailey. We’re cheering you on!

 

Are you an LBU Alumni with some big news to share? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “LBU ALUMNI” as the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Lucky Break Isn’t Simply For Beauty Brands!

BlogImage

Since Lucky Break launched in late 2012, I’ve had the great privilege of working with a few hundred creative brands from all around the word, from San Francisco to Brooklyn and Sydney to Hong Kong. I launched my first company, a globally-inspired spa brand, in 2003 so I earned my stripes in the bath + body industry. I’ve slept, breathed and dreamed cosmetics for more than a decade; but, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in business, it’s that product-based brands have more in common than not, regardless of the specific category you’re operating in.

 

I sometimes hear from makers and creative entrepreneurs that they didn’t realize that I work with brands across the creative spectrum, but ’tis true! I’ve rolled up my sleeves and dug in deep on brand building with paper brands, jewelry designers, gourmet food makers and apparel designers down under. I’ve learned something from each + every one and that breadth of experience helps me serve all of the brands that I work with more effectively.

 

Check out a few dozen of my favorite brands, each of which I’ve been honored to guide through the mazes of wholesale strategy, product pricing, and brand building. These savvy makers have built gorgeous brands with soul and I’m tremendously proud of their hard work.

 

NIBBLES

Blue Flour Bakery

Hudson Henry Granola

Waxing Kara

 

BATH + BODY+ BEAUTY

Etta + Billie

Rachel’s Plan Bee

Handcrafted HoneyBee

Cloud Nine Soap

Zandra Beauty

Tilvee

Zweena

KBShimmer

KleanSpa

 

STATIONERY + GIFT

Happee Monkee

Print Therapy

Everything Little Miss

Sparklefly Candle Co.

Munch Mitt

 

JEWELRY + APPAREL

The Smallest Tribe

The Glitsea Gypsy

Cultural Detour

Kendra Renee Jewelry

Bead For Life

Dear Edna

 

CERAMICS + HOUSEWARES

Unurth

Unique PL8Z

 

Lucky Break is the embodiment of everything I wish I had known when I founded my first company. It’s an opportunity to avoid the pitfalls, frustrations and resource drains that too often ambush the journey. It’s a chance to get things right the first time or reinvent what’s not working and build a brand with strong architecture at its core and a gorgeous vision to share with the world. I created these products and services because I’m intimately familiar with the kind of work you do, and I know how to make that work more efficient, less painful and heaps more rewarding.

 

How can I help you?

 

Meet the Maker – Megan of Flawed Perfection Jewelry

FPJ Joy-Full Tassel Necklace

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Megan Reynolds, who is the artist behind the customizable  jewelry line Flawed Perfection Jewelry.

 

LBC: What inspired you to take the leap as an entrepreneur?
Megan: I had always loved making jewelry and started seriously thinking about a business when I was a senior in high school. After I graduated, I thought “why not make this “real” and took the steps to make Flawed Perfection Jewelry a legal business. Then, I just loved being the boss of my own business and couldn’t imagine ever having a “normal” career!

 

LBC: How would you describe what you create?
Megan: I create customized designs that allow my customers to be part of the design process. Color and color combos are HUGE parts of my designs. My customers love to match their jewelry with their outfits, so my creations are intended to be perfect matches. I want them to know that when they purchase from Flawed Perfection Jewelry, they are getting something personalized just for them. Additionally, I offer many interchangeable and stackable designs, so women can grow their collections over time, while on a budget at the same time.

 

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
Megan: I envisioned a business defined by simple, beautiful customized jewelry designs and personal attention to my customers. I also knew I wanted my business to give back and contribute to my local community and the world.

 

LBC: Where can we find your products?
Megan: Currently, my products can be found in my online shop. Additionally, my designs can be found in a growing number of retailers.

(more…)

Meet the Maker – Raphaël of Goutte de Terre

Goutte de Terre's Lison Ring

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Raphaël Schaltegger, who is the creative force behind the gorgeous Paris-based jewelry line Goutte de Terre.

 

Raphaël Schaltegger of Goutte de Terre

Raphaël Schaltegger of Goutte de Terre

 

LBC: What inspired you to take the leap as an entrepreneur?
Raphaël: I’ve traveled for 12 years making music and jewelry so it was natural once I “settled” to work for myself. I wanted to continue making a living from what I do with my hands.

 

LBC: How would you describe what you create?
Raphaël: I create modern and minimalist porcelain jewelry and sculptures, one-of-a-kind pieces with metallic accents of some kind such as gold, bronze and silver. I make each piece individually with great love.

 

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
Raphaël: I imagined a business that supports not only other makers-artists but also the planet. Goutte de terre is a brand and an association aiming to help non-profit organizations related to water acess, so I wanted my business to benefit to others, not only me. I wanted it to be a place where you can meet the maker and see him “in action”, where you know your purchase supports a real project.

 

LBC: Where can we find your products?
Raphaël: You can find my products on my Goutte de Terre Etsy shop, in my brick and mortar shop-gallery in Paris (4 rue Basfroi, 75011) in a variety of shops and at pop-up markets in and around Paris.

 

Goutte de Terre's beautiful Loire porcelain rings, glazed and painted with gold

Goutte de Terre’s beautiful Loire porcelain rings, glazed and painted with gold

 

LBC: Walk us through a typical work day.
Raphaël: First things first: Playing music! Right after the internet starts up, I browse my emails, answer some of them, then it is either a photoshoot (if it is a beautiful sunny day, you know in Paris that’s not the case every day) or social media. Of course I spend part of my day in my workshop. I have to wait between processes to finish one piece, since it has to dry to go on to the next step, until I have enough pieces to fill out and oven. Since I have a brick and mortar shop I also take care of my customers. I advise them as to what piece to choose. I really like talking to people, making them feel comfortable, making them feel special and I also love to make them laugh.

 

LBC: What are the some things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?
Raphaël: Do you really love what you do? Do you really believe in your product? Are you ready to fail? Are you ready to learn from your failure? Are you ready to start all over again?

 

LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?
Raphaël: My music!!! I just take my guitar (I improvised a music studio in the bottom floor of my shop) and play and sing until I feel I can go back to what I was doing … or until the neighbors complain 😉

 

The Goutte de Terre shop & gallery, located in Paris, France.

The Goutte de Terre shop & gallery, located in Paris, France.

 

LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.
Raphaël: Re-opening my gallery (my first place was demolished), this time with my partner in life, my wife who is more “business minded” and pushed me to focused only on one thing at a time (I would be painting, taking photos, making sculptures, concerts, exhibitions, jewelry!). I’ve just focused – for the moment – on porcelain jewelry.  Now I have more time to create.

 

LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. 
Raphaël: Trying to do different disciplines at once. I learned that taking my time and doing things one-a-time always gives better results.

 

Goutte de Terre's Juillet Ring

Goutte de Terre’s Juillet Ring

 

LBC: Is there a cause or a particular organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?
Raphaël: As mentioned above, Goutte de Terre is not only a brand but also an association who helps  finance NGO’s working on access to drinkable water in India, such as Kynarou. This gives my business a sense to what I do and why I do it. I am happy to wake up every day and go to work, that’s the best reward!

 

LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox you can’t do without?
Raphaël:  My oven, the internet and my DSLR camera!

 

LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If we blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?
Raphaël:  My shop has two workshops, one for my wife’s work and one for my ceramics, so it is a very tiny space – I make miracles with my space! I would love to have a bigger atelier and expand my porcelain line into bigger pieces such as tablewear, sculptures, lighting and musical instrument.  Why not open another “Goutte de Terre” in another part of France or the world? My wife is Mexican and moving for a while to Mexico is a long time project …soon to come true.

 

Goutte de Terre's Lison Ring

Goutte de Terre’s Lison Ring

 

LBC: Your music play list is full of … 
Raphaël: Bossa Nova!

 

LBC: What’s the one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?
Raphaël: Chocolate

 

Goutte de Terre Golden River Necklace

Goutte de Terre Golden River Necklace

 

LBC: Tell me about a few of the places on your travel “bucket list”?
Raphaël:  Japan, Birmany, and New Zealand.

 

Thank you, Raphaël, for sharing your fabulous and unique talent with us!  We absolutely love your line and  we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for Goutte de Terre. We’re cheering you on!

 

Connect with Raphaël and Goutte de Terre all around the web:
Company Website
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest

 

Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker Monday” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!