Hello and welcome to the next post in my series of Celebrating Small Businesses. Today, am going to talk about a fantastic young entrepreneur Sarah who runs Sarah Style Store – her jewelry shop. I really love her designs. They are very creative, new and refreshing. And above all, it’s a delight to see a budding young entrepreneur chasing her dreams. So, let’s hear it in Sarah’s own words.
It all began with a jewelry bead kit that I got as a gift many years ago. I could never really figure it out but I made a couple of pairs of earrings, and then it got stashed under the bed like the rest of my forgotten hobbies. One day I remembered the fun I had making those few pairs and decided to try it again. Since I didn’t have too much experience, it took some thorough reading of the instruction manual before I had any idea about what I was doing. But before long, I made 10, 20, 30, close to 50 pairs. It was then that I realized that I wanted to do something with jewelry design other than just stowing away earrings in my room.
Beginning of the jewelry business
At first, I started out as an unofficial local business when I was 16; selling earrings to people in my life – like those who I knew from church. I didn’t really anticipate turning it into a full-scale business back then. My main reason to do this was to spread my love for jewelry and share it with other people. I fulfilled that goal with rave reviews from those who bought my designs. And then, somewhere along the way, I found out about Etsy. And finally, at age of 17, I started my first online shop, Earrings of Elegance.
Unfortunately, initially I wasn’t fully aware of Etsy’s minor policy, and hence my shop was shut down without a warning. I was devastated!! All the effort that I had put in uploading the designs, with so much love and care, suddenly seemed like it was all for nothing. I considered waiting until I was 18, but this was a dream that simply could not wait. I had to do this!!
I needed a change of direction and never really liked the fact that my store name limited me to only one kind of jewelry. It took me quite a while to come up with a name, but eventually, I settled on Sarah Style Store because every piece felt like it displayed a part of me. So on January 1st, 2019, Sarah Style Store was born.
Some thought it was strange that I was pursuing an artistic path, and some others even criticized me advising me to go to college and get a ‘real job’ like everyone else. But I always found the creative streak in me, and and to deprive myself of that would be to deny who I am; and I really didn’t want to do that. It’s been a lot of trial and error considering I went in with no experience with either jewelry design or the business side of things. But with each mistake comes new knowledge, a new learning, and I took it all in my stride. I can now look back and say that I am not definitely better equipped with these two skills now, than when I started.
While I’m still chasing after the success I hope to achieve someday, I’m glad and grateful for every moment along the journey. I hope to expand my business and be able to spread the joy I have in making my pieces to more and more people. I’d also like my business not only to be a place that makes jewelry but also a message to others like me.
Finding expression through jewelry
For most of my life, I’ve been rejected and outcasted, which over time diminished my sense of self-worth and my feeling that I had no sense of direction or purpose. I saw friend after friend leave me without a word and I was left to wonder what was wrong. I put the blame on myself that I was alone. But it was being alone for all that time that also allowed me to be more in tune with my own voice. It led me to the passion of jewelry design. I don’t think I would have necessarily gone after my business with such intensity had I been accepted by everyone around me. I also realized that my dependence on others to give me direction and purpose was inherently misguided. They didn’t have to determine how far I would go – that was a decision I had to make for myself, and that’s exactly what I did.
Since then my love for jewelry design has grown more and more. I am now 18, and my business is almost 2 years old. It is now an integral part of my life and I can no longer imagine a world without both – the designs I’ve already created and the many ideas I have for more, in times to come. I make plenty of new designs each month and I now have 150+ designs sold through my online store.
Here’s wishing Sarah the very best in life and we hope her business grows with leaps and bounds.
Love and Light,