993
9 min 54 sec

Loan Officer Charts New Course With Nautically Inspired Jewelry

A mortgage loan officer combines her nautical roots with a love of design to create geographically personalized jewelry.
Arts & Crafts Jewelry Niche Ideas Product

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What It's About

A mortgage loan office stays true to course and creates personalized keepsakes.

Business Model
Manufacturing
Skills Required
Design & Manufacturing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Charlotte came to an important realization as her company grew, "When you start a company, you're doing everything. And then you grow and suddenly you have employees doing the 'making' part. What you don't expect is that you are now a manager."

Fun Fact

In such a competitive market, Charlotte realized going after her initial generic business idea could very well be the end of her career as a jeweler. Going back to square one, and rethinking her entire business plan, she found an extremely unique niche that was her pathway to seven-figure success.

Notes from Chris

Episode 993
For years before the official launch of her side hustle, Charlotte Guptill had enjoyed making and sharing jewelry with family and friends. Typically working with pearls, semi-precious stones and oxidized silver, it was after a friend encouraged her that it was something she was “meant” to do that the wheels started turning.

After taking a course to come up with a business plan to continue to design and sell jewelry with these materials, she was ready to launch! But as many listeners know, it’s not always that easy.

When she presented her idea to a jeweler at a seminar, they said it would be best to go in a different direction. She was told her designs would be too “common.” And in this case, the advice wasn’t wrong.

She locked herself away in her studio to brainstorm a new plan. As a lover of sailing and resident of Maine, Charlotte was a longtime nautical enthusiast. She looked around her studio and found herself surrounded by nautical charts and maps.

How could she combine these two passions? It was here where CHART Metalworks was born, as she found an idea that was far from being “common.”

Charlotte worked on the project for two years before launching. During this time, with a day job as a mortgage loan officer, she learned pricing, marketing, and how to make a website — taking Fridays away from the office to focus on the preparation. Because her job was flexible, she was able to work around the clock, usually putting in 10-12 hour days on Monday through Thursday.

This customized jewelry was highly personal to many buyers, proving to Charlotte again and again that she was doing the right thing. She remembers one piece in particular, ordered by a woman who wanted a necklace featuring the burial location at sea of her son, calling it “the most important piece of jewelry she would ever own.”

By year eight, the business had hit over one million dollars in sales annually. It wasn’t all smooth waters, though, and came with its fair share of challenges. Looking back, Charlotte was able to pinpoint the change in the business that impacted her the most. Charlotte and her husband found themselves selling shares to their business and bringing on partners, in order to take more time for themselves.

Longing to return to the time where they were grossing $600-700,000 per year, but realizing that was not the direction of the company, Charlotte resigned from her leadership position in CHART. In June of 2019, she sold the company, after her company partners presented her with an offer from a buyer.

Charlotte and her husband now live in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico—a place they’d always loved visiting and imagined living “one day.” She now says, “If you wait for the perfect time, it may never come.” It’s here that she’s been staying busy, living in the city she once called a vacation and now gets to call home.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • CHART Metalworks: Though no longer the owner, check out Charlotte's original side hustle.
  SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"I have always had a side hustle and it hasn’t always been for the money. If I find something that makes me passionate, I can’t stop until I see it through."
—Charlotte Guptill #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau