I was visiting my brother Tony in Santa Rosa in 1991 when he showed me a pair of earrings he had made (he ended up giving them to me) and I was so impressed he would have done something like that.
A few months later one of my business associates showed me a pair of earrings she had, but one of them had broken in half and she really liked them and had in fact bought an outfit to match the earrings.
So of course I went to the local craft store and decided to make her another pair to match the ones that had broken. After all, if my brother could make earrings, so could I!
Her earrings were very similar to the white ones above but they were brown but nearly black they were so dark. They turned out great and she was very happy with them.
And out of that experience, the idea for make jewelry to sell was born. I sold earrings, scarves, purses, belts, jewelry hangers and travel jewelry bags. I would spend nearly every waking hour either making new inventory or selling it. Most of my sells in the early years of the venture were sold at craft fairs.
The real challenge was the cost of the craft fairs but worse than that was each year there was someone else who had bought a sample from me and then showed up the next year competing with me and always at a lower cost.
The last year I sold at shows, I made a total profit of $50 after a 3-day fair in Marin. I sold for another year by whole selling, but I never had much luck selling to too many of the local boutiques.
The real eye opener was hiring a management consultant who showed me how I was spending 80% of my time for 20% of my income! That was enough to make me rethink my strategies!