by Leslie Easte.
I have won four international contests now in silver jewellery but my greatest win was right here in Abbotsford, B.C., my home town.
I began my jewellery business when I had to retire from nursing.
I had always been a person who did different things with crafts, but I never knew just how far I was going to go.
When I became disabled and unable to work again I thought, “Well I can always do my crafts.”
My love of jewellery became ever so pressing then and I needed to learn more – much more.
My journey into new territories grew and before I knew it I was a silversmith, doing work in gold and then faceting my own stones.
I soon realized that I had to sell some of my items as I no longer had room for things.
I began selling at the Farmers Market every Saturday morning. I grew from one small table to 6 tables full of love.
Each piece I made I always put my heart and soul into it. It seemed that others loved my jewellery just as much as I did, as I had customers constantly coming back for more.
It dawned on me that I had something good here. So I did what every bank tells you to do, and did a business plan.
I was very hesitant but I did proceed. Each year something new was added, and now I have 6 different lines of jewellery – 2 that major stores carry.
This year I really feel that I outdid myself.
I was the winner of the coveted Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for home based business. I was shocked and surprised when they announced my name, but everyone else knew that I would win it.
My success boils down to
only a couple of things:
- Be honest with yourself as to your limitations, and
- Be honest to your customers.
I was once told that the impossible can only happen when you put your heart into it. Those words could truly describe my mission.
I believe in paying it forward and do so many times over each year by donations of jewellery as fund raisers for many charities and good causes.
I also find people who are really down and out, and am able to gift them with little pieces of jewellery. To see the smiles on the faces are what keeps me going.
My customers keep me standing in the rain at the market on Saturdays as I look for them to stop and chat. My jewellery has made headlines around the world but in my little world my customers have made my headline.
I share a website with other artisans who come from my neck of the woods (in Canada). It’s wonderful to be among the talented artisans and I always look forward to seeing more of their work; it’s truly amazing.
I’ve been asked when will I stop?
I usually respond “never,” even though my fingers are gnarled with arthritis – as soon as I touch my stones all is well.
I began my business on a salary of $800.00 a month and it has climbed so much farther now.
As my Dad used to say, “All you have to do is believe in yourself and wondrous things happen.”
Well, Dad, it is true.
See author Leslie Easte’s unique handmade jewelry designs at Shipwrecked Treasures. She says, “All my jewellery is made in silver. I use precious and semi-precious stones as well as crystals. I get a lot of my inspiration from nature, which I am very lucky to be surrounded with it.”