What It's About
A feminist in Arkansas finds a way to smash the patriarchy, one hand-stamped bracelet at a time.
Words of Wisdom
Finding the best suppliers was a process of trial and error for Stacey. She says that she ordered a lot of bad chains before she found great ones and ordered a lot of the wrong size metal before she figured out what she needed. When she decided she wanted to branch out into apparel and have shirts and totes printed, that was much smoother because she relied on a local printing business run by a couple of friends.
Your product or service won't be perfect when you launch (or probably ever) It's okay to conduct a series of trial and error experiments!
Stacey has had a lot of opportunities to give back to her local community, and last year, she donated 100% of the proceeds from a “Strong as Hell” bracelet to Arkansas Women’s Outreach. She raised more than $1,200 for them, and they spent it on feminine hygiene products for homeless women.
She recently came up with a line of enamel pins for a website called The Outrage, and the pins benefit the ACLU and other progressive causes.
Notes from Chris
I love seeing how artists make money in different ways. If you’re out there making art and not making money, don’t give up on doing what you love, but do keep an eye out for opportunities that will allow you to learn, grow, and adapt. Stacey Bowers from Little Rock, Arkansas began making jewelry for holiday gifts consisting of earrings out of bullet shells and copper bracelets with “four-letter acryonyms” (such as OMFG and STFU). When people really liked the bracelets, she listed them on etsy, since it was easy to get designs out there and available to buyers. Designs kept coming to her, and she got better and better at it. She then decided to build her own website using Squarespace. Eventually, she converted it to an ecommerce site, which allowed her to save money on processing and listing fees. She had to market herself, but wanted to be sustainable both in case etsy failed her and because she wanted people who wore her design to say they got them from Bang-Up Betty, not from etsy. Last year, Stacey made more than $25,000 from Bang-Up Betty. She's now shopping for her first house because Bang-Up Betty outgrew her apartment. Is there something that you're passionate about sharing with others? How can you build a strong brand that will resonate with that message? MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Bang-Up Betty: 1, 2, 3, 4...click the link to learn some more (about Stacey)!
- SquareSpace: Stacey used Squarespace to setup her website
- Arkansas Women's Outreach: The charity that Stacey donated 100% of her profits to from her "Strong as hell" bracelet
- Etsy: The world’s largest homemade marketplace is ideal to help you get started selling your products today
- The Outrage: The website that Stacey sells some of her enamel pins through that benefits the ACLU and other progressive causes
- Detroit Women Make Jewelry for Profit and Social Good: An attorney starts a jewelry company with purpose, employing disadvantaged women in Detroit to help them transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance
- Elementary School Teacher Pans for Gold in New Zealand: After changing continents multiple times, an elementary school teacher finds true love, settles down in NZ, goes panning for gold, and ends up making $40,000/year working mostly on the weekends
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