Small Business Stories: interview with jewelry designer Janice Law

Retail Ready with Little MisoPerth jeweller Janice Law branched out from graphic design and illustration when she came across Ponoko and realised the potential of making with Personal Factory.  Step by step, the new hobby turned into a small business – Little Miso.  The acrylics and cherry veneer are turned into spirited words, quirky characters and little tokens of happiness that are designed to make people smile.

Getting Started

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What made you decide to start your own business? I never intended to start my own business, but I’ve always been interested in making, designing and creating things. It just happened as a natural progression – from wanting to make a piece of jewellery for myself, to launching collections and seeing people wear them.

How did you decide on jewellery? At the time when laser cut jewellery was just starting to grow, I stumbled upon Ponoko.  I had a few ideas on my mind that I was searching for myself, so I thought why not just make it?  Jewellery has come to be a really versatile medium. It can be made from so many different materials, shapes, sizes and colours, and suit someone that’s 5 years old or 55 years old.

What skills did you already have when you started your business and what did you have to learn? I studied advertising and graphic design, so already knew how to use vector programs, use photoshop and basic photography. My passion for illustration and design also helped with branding, packaging and marketing the products.  Getting into the real business / admin side of things was the hardest – I still struggle every time tax time rolls around.More from Janice on running her business after the jump:

Business as Usual (or unusual)

What is the the most challenging part about running your own business? Believing that it works. When you’re running a small business you’re usually throwing your own savings and resources to create something that only you can believe will work. It’s easy to give up to self doubt, but harder to keep going.

Do you generally create small production runs or make to order? I always keep production runs at a minimum and only keep a small amount of stock on hand. I constantly want to create new things, and don’t want to be stuck in past collections.  Smaller productions also mean less risk and lower costs for a small business.

How do you balance your creative drive with enterpreneurial requirements? Doing things that I am passionate about and enjoy doing is always more important to me than making a profit. I often find that the most ‘successful’ products are the ones that come from creative drive, rather than forecasting and replicating what we think other people will want.

Makin’ the Money

What type of selling outlets are your products in?  Shops, online? I run the littlemiso online store through Etsy, but also sell through other online stockists such as Shopmoose and Emergin.

I have a handful of brick and mortar stockists scattered throughout Australia too.

In what ways do you promote your business? Facebook, Twitter, G+, Flickr, print media? I’m pretty old school at the moment, and only promote littlemiso through: Blogging; Made of Awesome, which is a collective of designers I am part of; local design markets and word of mouth.

Sage Advice

Have you made any business decisions that you regret? Not getting a book keeper from the very beginning!

What would you say is the key factor to your success? Staying genuine – making products that appeal to myself and for some crazy reason appeal to others too!

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jewellery professional

wow! so nice pictures!

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