“Entrepreneurship doesn’t always equate to success. An entrepreneurial spirit paired with a strong work ethic, adaptability, curiosity, accountability, and most importantly, self-discipline, will get you through the tough storms, allow you to dream big and make things happen. The entrepreneurial spirit leads to a beautiful personal and professional journey"
Hi gorgeous ladies,
We've received a lot of questions on Instagram lately about what the life of an entrepreneur is like and the challenges we've had starting the brand. We have selected the most popular ones and asked our brand owner and leader - Fernanda - to answer them here. Ready? Let's go!
Q1: How did you get started and why?
The idea of getting into fashion was something that always appealed to me! Ever since I was a little girl, I always loved dressing up in mom's clothes and wearing her accessories and make-up. As I was growing up, I'd have friends ask me for advice on clothing and accessorizing...and I always loved helping out! But post-university, I went on to join the hectic corporate world as one is told to do. During those years, I learned a lot as I climbed the corporate ladder and got myself a Director position. It allowed me to learn about running a business, finances and P&L, marketing, customer care, etc. Eventually, the opportunity came to make a shift and go on my own. Even though it's been really and challenging, I has helped me become a stronger person. I have also never been so happy! Doing what I love every day is such a blessing!
Q2: Do you have any regrets? Anything that you wish you would have done differently?
Oh gosh...as they say "hindsight is always 20/20"! In the beginning, I was doing everything on my own! But I think the one thing I would do differently would be to delegate the paid adverting part to an expert. Social media marketing is a very expensive mistake to make - so going on my own, I lost so much precious capital trying to figure out algorithms! Yes, marketing agencies are expensive but you can find someone willing to get paid based on their success with your marketing campaigns...so find that agency and hire them!
Also, become comfortable not having all the answers! Most of the time as an entrepreneur, you are testing boundaries. Some times they work, some times they don't! It's always part of your growth!
Q3: How does one start their own business? How much money does it take to start on your own? Did you (or do you) have investors?
You need to follow your instincts. A lot of the times, that business concept is already there...you just need to give it life! When I left my corporate job, I did have some money saved (around US$5K), and I intended to use that money carefully. In the beginning, I did all the work myself! From designing the website, to designing the pieces, to finding the right factory to manufacture the jewelry, to marketing, to packaging and shipping...everything was me! That meant lots of hours spent "in the shop". I loved every second, but I was exhausted! I don't want to lie to you and make it all roses...it is hard work! But if you believe in yourself, and your product, that hard work will pay off. Just don't let the obstacles make you lose sight of the end goal!
There is so much that you can learn online - from website design, to jewelry photography, and even business finance - so go for it!
But remember when I said I intended to use my savings carefully....well, it all went to Facebook! And I had almost no sales from it! It is a lot of hard work and even having paid for FB Ads training, I lost a lot of money gambling with creatives, copy, audiences, etc...but if you don't have any money to advertise, you can still go at it organically. Take the time to work on your social media posts, hashtags, etc...do giveaways, and with time, you'll get sales.
Sorry for the long answer here....but I feel I have so much to share based on the mistakes I made!
Q4: When is it time to hire help? Do you have employees?
If you can afford help right from the start, then I'd focus on social media support and FB ads. My first hire was to bring a marketing expert in-house, so her time is focused only on Nanda Jewelry. We now have a team of 3 wonderful ladies that make Nanda Jewelry the success it is today!
Q5: Does having your own business take all of your time? Is it time-consuming?
Yes, for sure! Especially in the beginning! You'll feel even on the weekends, you're still "on". I had to work hard to disconnect and find time to enjoy myself and give my brain a break. You'll find you'll be a lot more productive if you give yourself rest periods.
Q6: How do select the "We Care" Partners?
As a female-owned-and-focused brand, I like to choose partners that support women in different ways. From female cancer-fighting organizations, to supporting victims of domestic violence, supporting single moms and the recovery of children lost to sex trafficking and exploitation.
Q7: What keeps you going? What motivates you do continue with Nanda Jewelry?
I love to help women feel beautiful by accessorizing...I feel that the way jewelry makes women feel is like what they say about wearing sexy lingerie, you know? One of our first slogans was "the external lingerie". I like to hear feedback from our customers on how beautiful and powerful our pieces make them feel...and with each purchase, I know we're supporting other women that are part of our "we care" partners. For me, being successful is about giving back - the more we succeed, the more I can help other women feel beautiful and safe.
Q8: Why not use real gold? And why did you choose the metals you use?
Our customers like keeping up with the latest fashion trends and therefore buy often...so we focused on finding metals that are affordable but that would make the pieces look gorgeous and last a long time - which is not the case for most costume jewelry out there...they usually can only be worn once or twice and then they turn green and look bad. Our tarnish-resistant base metal keeps the pieces from turning green and the special 18K gold plating process we use give the pieces a gorgeous gold layer.
Ok, that's all for now! We have received lots more questions and will do another round of Q&As soon!
Thanks for submitting your questions!