Starting and maintaining a business happens differently for everyone. This is definitely true for our featured producer today: Lori Cohn of Charmed Design. Lori, who is also a member of our Selling to Retailers Mastermind Group, has a very interesting story about her business, but I will let her tell the story ….
1. Hi Lori, please tell us a bit about your business: When you first started producing and what you make?
Actually, a better question for me would be: Have you ever had an experience that changed your life forever?
My line of jewelry, Charmed Design, was born out of such a life changing event. It came into being as something constructive and positive to do while I recovered from a sudden and life threatening illness
A few years ago, I woke to find myself in an intensive care unit with absolutely no knowledge of how I got there. I learned that I had come very close to dying over a tooth extraction gone bad. After several life saving surgeries, I am blessed to be here today.
Though the illness caused me to lose my job, home, and life as I knew it, surviving such a near death experience has made me feel and believe that I am indeed – CHARMED.
So as a way to stay positive and constructive, I began to make charm bracelets. My creations evolved into wrap bracelets, which is what I specialize in today.2. What made you decide to move from crafter/producer to business? Tell us a bit about how you made your decision.
My shift from crafter to business was very organic. As I said, I began as a hobby. With the support of friends and family, I began to sell online. To my great surprise, they sold! People liked what I created! It has been a constant business growth from that point. From Etsy, to my own website, to wholesale accounts, etc.
3. What is one of the biggest “Ah,ha!” moment you have experienced since starting your business. In other words, what is it you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning – maybe something that made a big change on how you saw yourself or your business.
My biggest revelation was that I had to find a niche market, that I could not sell to everyone. Because my designs were already inspirational in nature, I was able to narrow my focus and find a target market for my jewelry. I use several yoga-inspired charms and use materials that can be worn during yoga practice, like my silk wrap bracelets — giving my jewelry a yoga, boho or ‘modern hippie’ vibe.
Now I know who I want to sell to and that makes designing and marketing much easier and more effective.
Fascinating story! Lori’s wonderful attitude on seeing her life as a ‘charm’ to be cherished rather than lamenting over her misfortune is truly inspiring!
Find more of Lori’s creations on her website: Charmed Design.