Client Spotlight – Gail Golden Jewelry
For our last blog of 2016 we are featuring WESST client Gail Golden, Owner of Gail Golden Jewelry. Gail Golden’s jewelry is uniquely sculptural; it has a substantial and tactile quality, with fluid lines and a spontaneous placement of elements. Each piece is hand crafted in Gail’s studio and maintains a one-of-a-kind quality.
Hand Wrought Works of Wearable Art.
Gail Golden Jewelry
PO Box 731
Arroyo Seco, New Mexico 87514
Where did the “big idea” for your business come from? What made you decide to move forward with it?
The “big idea” for my business came while I was working in a job that had nothing to do with art. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and I was longing to re-enter the creative world. I was doing a little side work as an illustrator for friends, but I wanted to create something more 3-D, and at the same time, I was having a hard time finding jewelry in galleries and craft fairs that really spoke to my personality. I asked an artist friend who had owned a successful jewelry gallery for many years to teach me how to make jewelry. She generously complied, and I was hooked. I then took more classes, and slowly started accumulating tools and supplies. I couldn’t afford to quit my full time job, so I had to make jewelry after work and on the weekends. I started selling my work right away, and won a few awards in local art shows. It was enough to encourage me to keep at it. Those first few years were exhausting. But it has paid off!
What’s the most satisfying part of being an entrepreneur?
The most satisfying part of being an entrepreneur is being in control of where I want the business to go. I was always a very hard worker in my other jobs so I already had a good work ethic. I think that’s essential for success. When the business is making money, and I hear glowing reports from happy clients, I feel like it’s all worthwhile. The most challenging part of being an entrepreneur is forging ahead even when you hear “no” a lot, or have a frustrating day. It’s easy to feel like throwing in the towel in those low times, but if you have a clear goal and believe in what you’re doing, success will come! It sometimes requires adapting and changing course a little.
What do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working on the business I like to do things that recharge my creative energy. For me this is getting outside and being active, reading a good book, gardening, or cooking new and interesting cuisine. I also go to concerts, art openings, and other art events. It helps inspire me. I never stop thinking about the business, though.
Would you do anything differently, if you could start your business over again? If so, what?
If I could start over with my business, I would have started with way more capital. Being underfunded hampered my growth many times. At this point I’ve learned how much cash flow is required to keep things moving forward, and I’ll still occasionally borrow small amounts of capital when I need it. Having good credit is essential to growing a business!
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own business?
For those wanting to start their own business, I always encourage them to do their homework! Writing a business plan can seem daunting but it’s the best way to focus and be realistic about needs and goals. Learn how to use social media. Be willing to adapt to the market, be willing to sacrifice in some parts of your life, and keep working at it. Listen to the people who you think will be your customers, and develop customer service skills. Also, make sure you have sources for capital to help you grow when you need it. Make sure you can pay your bills while you’re developing your business. Otherwise, there will be unnecessary money stress. That really takes the fun out of it!