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Wellington small businesses: Sweet Like Honey
Our Wellington Small Businesses series wants to highlight local businesses and give them the chance to talk about their best selling products, strategies and dreams.
With this second interview we want to highlight a small promising business created by a very young and creative entrepreneur, Jasmine. She took her grandma's steps and has now created a whole brand with focus on minimalistic pieces and hypoallergenic stainless steel.
Hey Jasmine, we love your handmade pieces! How did you come up with the idea and how did it all start?
Thank you! My grandmother owned a jewellery store when I was little, and so whenever we visited her I was given the opportunity to play around with her tools and beads. Straight from the get-go I've loved making jewellery, so while I've been making pieces for my friends and family for quite a while now, it wasn't until last year that I decided to try selling them online through Instagram.
One evening I sat down with one of my friends, and after a couple of hours of brainstorming brand name ideas, we decided to take the plunge and finally set up the page! The response was incredible and I sold out of my first style within 12 hours of advertising, which encouraged me to go bigger and bigger!
Starting and sustaining a business focussed around handmade, local products would not have been possible without support from my friends and family, and Debbie from Village Beads.
What is the (or was) the most popular product of your line?
Currently I make earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets and for quite a while my bestseller was THE MANUKA style. They are made with silver plated bee charms with the earrings available on hooks or hoops, and were my favourites for ages as well! It is also available in a necklace style as well.
I would have to say that now the top selling earring style is THE JULIET, which are made with silver wire and tiny white Swarovski pearls, and I think they're up there on my favourites list as well! Pearls are really popular right now, and I absolutely adore them so incorporate them into quite a few of my necklaces, rings and earrings.
Something that definitely appeals to my customers is the materials I use, as all my earrings are made with hypoallergenic stainless steel findings that don't hurt your ears. I've had several customers say that usually their ears react to metals other than solid gold, but that their ears were perfectly fine with my styles which is great to hear.
The Manuka and The Juliet
Where do you see this business going in the future?
I would love to take it as far as I possibly can! I am currently investigating potential in-store stockists in the Wellington region, and having a stall at several upcoming local markets. As much as I love operating through Instagram, I would also love to have a website and this is something that I will be looking into more in the near future hopefully.
Something I love about owning a business is all the friends you make in the industry, and so I would be keen on collaborating with some more local businesses and seeing where that takes me.
After receiving a few enquiries I have also just discovered that my products can be shipped to Australia, so having a few orders from across the ditch would be super cool as well.
"Connections are really important, especially in an online based business, and so I try to reach out to other small, locally owned businesses whenever I can."
What would you suggest to young entrepreneurs who want to start a new business?
Just go for it! These days with platforms like Instagram, Facebook Marketplace and Etsy it is super easy to make content available and appealing to your target audiences. One thing I initially struggled with was managing my time between studying for school, making orders and content and keeping my social life, so don't be scared to ask for help!
You also don't have to be a business studies student to be able to operate a business successfully, as most things you learn on the job. I did a couple of online marketing courses but all the behind the scenes work I've learnt from experience!
Connections are really important, especially in an online based business, and so I try to reach out to other small, locally owned businesses whenever I can. This leads to finding some really cool people with similar passions to you, and is a great way to give and receive help. .
TIPS FOR JEWELLERY BUSINESSES FROM VERTIA
Sweet Like Honey printed business cards and backing cards with us. Backing cards are extremely useful for jewellery businesses: not only you can easily create a simple and nice packaging, you can also add details about your business such as contacts, information about your products and even discount codes.
This is a limited selection of businesses we're working with or have worked with.