(Chicago, Illinois USA)
Jewelry making is such a fulfilling outlet in so many ways. I had been a beading hobbyist for about 7 years until 2010.
My boyfriend wanted me to make him something. I had never made something for a man and told him that. So, he challenged me and I came through.
That was when the business bug bit me and I have been going with it ever since. I combined my passionate hobbies of antiquing,vintage findings, photography and creating jewelry together into something I could call my own.
In November 2010 I became a sole proprietor and owner of Ardentier jewelry. Much of how to proceed I learned from this site. It is so informative and helpful.
Since I combined my passions I used the word “ardent”, and added my own suffix to come up with the name. To me it means, someone who creates passionately, for people who are passionate about life.
Many of my best selling pieces have been ones that I have used pieces of vintage maps or other things that people have emotionally connected to. It is very rewarding to have a customer explain why they love a piece.
My last name is French and having a business name that kind of matches my last name is kind of fun too.
Three months ago I was put on a medical leave from work and although I would have rather utilized the time to pursue my business dream, I have only had the energy to do so much. It has been my jewelry that has kept me positive through this difficult time and I will be back to work in the very near future.
I have had to learn to not be hard on myself and put unnecessary pressure on my business goals, due to still being employed full time and due to the health issues I endured.
Sometimes it is challenging to remember I am only one person and that it is ok to take time to develop the business and allow it to take its own course.
It is a fine balance to get a business started in this economy, when I can not afford to give up my full time job. Having the time to promote my business takes effort and resources, but it is ok to go at a pace that means it will all come together when it is meant to.
Most important, to not allow the stress of the business end to undo any of the positive things received from the process of making the jewelry. How good it feels to take an idea through to a finished product is something that time, goals and pressure should not devalue, it is the positive force behind the business.
Since November I have gotten my jewelry into a store on consignment, and it is being received well there.
I have also just opened my online store via Etsy. I struggled with how I would approach the online store and finally decided the most efficient route while still working full time was to utilize the benefits of ease Etsy can give.
So my true independent site is on hold, but is already purchased for when I am ready to utilize it.
There are so many options and ways to move forward with selling that you can get caught up in just making a decision of which to choose.
Learning what options are out there and what the pros and cons of each is important. This decision should not stall you for too long, as it can overwhelm a person, that is why a site like this is such a great resource.
Any advice from other business owners is always welcome and appreciated. I admire the people who have taken their creative process and turned it into a full time reality.
Part of it is patience and determination, but there is more than that and I love to read and hear about it.
Good luck and gratitude to everyone!
Artentier on Etsy
Your words of wisdom and inspiration have come at a good time for me and I want to thank you for putting them here. I too have started my own jewelry business with the helpful tips and articles on this site. Like you I have a full time job to support my family in the economy that I cannot leave. Yet. I recently found myself caught up in the stress of where do I find enough time. Reading your post made me realize that I should relax to allow my creativity to flow and the rest will come in time. I purchased my own site but do not know where to go with it so maybe Etsy would be a feasible outlet for me until then too. It’s very helpful to know there are others out there facing the same types of challenges. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Sunnie’s Custom Jewelry
The End of Not Making it Happen
I love your “Ardentier” name – it says so much, is so stylish, and I think it’s lovely that you created your own word that expresses you, your artistry and your business.
I’m so sorry to hear about your health issues, and sincerely wish you better health and a fast recovery. I’m glad you’ve had the “therapy” of creating jewelry – so many of us have found it healing to body, mind, and spirit. I know what you mean – channeling your creativity into making beautiful things gives you an almost indescribable positive boost.
Fantastic strategy of realizing that “I am only one person and that it is ok to take time to develop the business and allow it to take its own course.”
Focusing on your Etsy shop and the store that’s selling your jewelry on consignment sounds like a good, solid beginning.
When it comes right down to it, doing just one or two things at a time, all the way through from start to finish, is what really brings results.
Otherwise you wind up in the situation where I’ve often found myself – starting a hundred exciting things, wearing myself out with too much going on, and fizzling out before bringing any of them to the results stage. I constantly have to remind myself – start one thing, focus on it, work it all the way through to getting results, and then choose the next thing to work on. Still struggling to master that, but it works really well when I do!
And I agree about not getting stalled in the research and decision stage. It’s easy to get stuck going round and round in a circle of indecision, and when I catch myself doing that, I make myself stop, choose the best path, and move forward. I’ve learned that nothing is “final”. You can (and will) always make adjustments along the way as you learn more and new options appear.
I’m so thrilled to know that this site has been so helpful to you. I deeply appreciate the incredibly generous sharing and encouragement from all of our friends here – the lovely people who make this site what it is!
Thanks for sharing your story, Michelle – and I think your “The End of Not Making it Happen” title is very powerful.
Please keep us posted on how you’re doing, and how your jewelry business is progressing!
Bright New Star
by: Mom & Wicked Step-Father
You blew us away with your beautiful, inspiring explanation of your entry into the world of creative jewelry making.
We are so proud of you and your creative abilities. We know some day we will see the name Ardentier spread across the ultimate jewelry showcases.
We love you and admire your abilities to get through this hard times, using creation as a medicine.
Mom and Wicked Step-Father
Wow, thank you all.
I am so blown away with such lovely and heart felt comments.
Rena- I am honored that you took the time to give me such real feedback and share your own experiences at the same time. You must have so much going on, so that was a true compliment!
Stephanie- It was another inspiring story that got me to submit mine,it is so great to have given you assurance that you are not alone in your journey to success. It is a lot of work but as Rena said, focus on one thing at a time to completion and it can be achieved. Thank you for your comment. Really!
I am blessed with very supportive parents which also helps, I may be 40, but it is never to late to have your parents give you the message that you can achieve anything.
Thank you again all!
Sitting at my “bill paying corp job” having had read your submission; and then the responses… Dang.. I’m misty…. Thank you… Good luck to you… You certainly are amongst wonderful people connected thru inspirational, motivational, follow-thru, dedication driven, RENA… We are all blessed to have her to connect us world-wide! My prayers for your success (along with drive, ambition & motivation)….
Best Wishes to You
by: Michelle B.
I wanted to wish you all the best in your creative endeavors.
Many of the things you metioned remined me of when I first took my creative outlet and ‘went public’ – so to speak! 🙂
Rena and her various sites and the people who share their knowledge here have given me inspiration and so much wonderful advice – it’s been in valuable to have this resourse and I’m very grateful for it.
Again, best wishes to you!!