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A Year in the Small Business Club

A Year in the Small Business Club

I can't believe it has been a year already since I started True Impressions. Back then, it was definitely only a hobby that I could do while the baby slept and my big boy was at kindy. I thoroughly enjoyed it and still do! I started with an investment of about $100 and have grown since. I never imagined I would be getting regular orders and having to make product orders every couple of weeks! Here is a wee recap of how each part of my small business has developed over the past year.

 

Before and After of True Impressions

Improving the Product

I started with plated pieces. This meant I could work at my skill and offer the product at a very low price point. I made many mistakes and when that happens the pieces are discarded, they cannot be used. So starting on plated pieces made sense. I only sent out the pieces I was 100% happy with.

I got great feedback on my ETSY store and still have loyal customers that have stayed with me on this journey. Even back then, my most popular items were the initial necklaces and name necklaces. They still are!

The only down side to plated items was they didn't last or look good for very long. I wanted to create a product that would last, especially because they are so meaningful.

After about 6 months, I ordered my first lot of gold filled and sterling silver chain, findings, discs and bars. I started with the initial necklace, initial bracelet, name necklace and a small vertical bar necklace. My website was set up and I relaunched on 25th June. I made the most sales that day than I ever made leading up to it.

I found excellent suppliers even though it took a bit of trial and error.

 

Before and After packaging for True Impressions

Improving the Packaging

I started with the cutest little craft boxes and a blue palette. It was very much a 'handmade' and 'crafty' look. I found beautifully patterned wrapping paper and a navy ribbon that I tied around the box to finish it off. I used a little white bubble bag to send it off. I did not have a label printer which meant printing, cutting and taping each label to the bag. The most frustrating thing was when the tape would fold onto itself and I couldn't get it unfolded!

When I relaunched in June, I had all my new packaging which is what I am using to package orders now. The little white box with True Impressions in gold foil is just perfect. It reflects my brand value of leading a simple life. I also changed my colour palette to green. I love the natural and organic look and it also worked into my brand values. I couldn't be happier with my packaging. Each piece of jewellery that is bought is packaged with a jewellery care card, polishing cloth, Haribo gummies, and the gift box all inside a postal box sealed with a white label.

I'm currently working on making the jewellery care card easier to read using graphics. There are always little changes that I notice to make the experience easier an more enjoyable for people.

 

Before and after jewellery range for True Impressions

Expanding the Range

As mentioned before, I started with initials necklaces and name necklaces. Once I got the gold filled and sterling silver, I added bracelets, earrings and layering chains to the range. This means that my loyal customers can add to their collections and wear True Impressions pieces how they want to.

So I now have beautiful chains that can layer with the initial necklaces and name bar necklaces. The hoop earrings can be purchased on their own or with personalised discs. The bracelets are now available with discs or a bar.

I have so many plans to expand the range even further, with cute studs making an appearance, stunning stacking rings and a couple more layering chain options. So keep the peepers peeled!

I have come such a long way. I am so super proud of myself and what I have grown with True Impressions. Of course, none of this would have been possible without so many lovely people who understand the value of personalised jewellery. There is a sentimental quality about it, whether it is an initial necklace or a date bracelet. Each piece is unique and one of a kind. So thank you! Thanks to each and everyone of you who have supported my small business by purchasing, following along or cheering me on!