What It's About
How a passion project yields 24-carat results.
Words of Wisdom
If you are planning to leave a stable job to take your side hustle full-time, make sure you’ve got some solid ground under your feet. Do not leave without savings, and do not leave until you have a business already going. It is harder than you think!
Despite all of the recent advancements in online shopping, buying jewelry is still something people prefer to do in person. Around 90% of jewelry purchases are still made in person. People still want to see and touch an item as personal as jewelry. Knowing that, perhaps online ordering will never completely overtake brick and mortar businesses.
Notes from Chris
Episode 720Elizabeth Wiltshire is a natural creative, and she’s most happy when expressing herself in an artistic way. It’s little wonder that she chose acting as a career. She attended formal training and achieved some success in productions for both stage and screen. But sometimes all that glitters isn’t gold. There was a lot Elizabeth didn’t like about acting. Being on stage performing was great, but the auditions, rejections, and schmoozing casting directors was a pain. Perhaps the biggest downside was the lack of a reliable income. For that reason, Elizabeth always had a hustle on the side. She modeled, waitressed, choreographed a school play, handed out flyers … pretty much anything she had to do to pay the bills. As time went on, she transitioned into full-time work and kept acting part-time. She took a job as a VIP client manager for an online wine store. The job was challenging, and she liked her colleagues. Not to mention that steady salary. Before long, however, Elizabeth began to burn out. Her acting career wasn’t progressing and the day job was consuming so much of her time that she had none left for other creative pursuits. She decided to take a sabbatical from acting to slow down a bit. But, it wasn’t long before she missed the creative outlet... Hoping to find a new hobby to flex her creative muscle, she came across a short course in jewelry making and decided to enroll. It was just the thing she needed, and she was instantly hooked. She started basic, but it wasn’t long before she was crafting professional looking pieces. She posted pictures of a few of them on Instagram. Unbeknownst to Elizabeth at the time, that was the first step in launching a side hustle that would change her life. Although Elizabeth never intended to make money from her jewelry, she didn’t tell her friends that. One of them messaged her through Instagram asking to purchase a pair of earrings and, just like that, the new label Elizabeth Wiltshire Jewellery, or EWJ, was forged! Jewelry can be a tough business. There is a lot of competition out there, and not a lot of people earn a full-time living. So, what does she put her success down to? Well, for one, she thinks that being stocked in a great store that will champion your brand is huge. They’ll do the selling for you. When it comes to jewelry, there are some statistics that show over 90% of jewelry purchases are still in person. So it was crucial that she get her pieces in front of people. People still like to touch and feel the quality and see the little imperfections that give a piece that bespoke, heavy, handmade signature. Luckily, that mentality has really helped Elizabeth grow a successful jewelry side hustle where many others fail. While not quite a gold rush, there are certainly significant profits. Currently, Elizabeth’s monthly profit is between $3,000-5,000. For now, she’s reinvesting much of it back into the business. She’s also targeting engaged couples so that she can make wedding pieces, and trying to get into more stores. It’s not easy to succeed in a market as competitive as jewelry. But it is possible. This side hustle might not last as long as a diamond—forever—but it’s holding up under pressure.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Elizabeth Wiltshire Jewellery: Learn more about this golden hustle over on Elizabeth's website!
- 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
- Hand-Stamped Feminist Jewelry Earns $25,000 Side Income: She’s loud, she’s proud, and she’s wielding a hammer to smash the patriarchy with her hand-stamped feminist jewelry line
- 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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