Turn your passion into profit
“I studied industrial design in Germany but it was an internship in England that sparked my interest in jewellery. When I came to Australia, my partner and I started off in Wangaratta in regional Victoria and it was there I discovered a passion for working hands-on with Australian timbers,” said says Boeckmann.
“Originally, I hoped to just earn some extra money with handmade wooden products and there was no intent to make a living out of it.”
However, just 10 months later, Boeckmann was working full-time on her business with her very own workshop and selling to customers and stockists all over the world! In this highly competitive yet potentially lucrative digital age, that’s the kind of rapid growth every new small business owner or startup dreams about.
“It was such an honour to be recognised at the Etsy Design Awards alongside some of the country’s most talented designers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my hobby would lead to this kind of recognition.”
Set achievable goals
“I had been working at a big shared workshop so my first big goal was to create my own space which would mean I could do my jewellery making at a time that suited me. In April 2014, four months after I began selling my jewellery, I had achieved this aim,” she says.
Put your best face forward
Boeckmann engaged a business and digital strategy with a focus on customer engagement through some of the world’s favourite social media and content sharing platforms.
“Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are really useful online tools, but if you want to grow awareness of your brand you have to constantly engage with your customers. I regularly upload interesting content such as new images and products. For handmade work it is important to tell a story to make your work stand out from others,” she says.
“Something that I’ve learnt selling online is the importance to have high-quality photographs. This makes potential customers feel more comfortable buying products which they haven’t been able to touch and hold like they would in a shop.”
Stick to your craft – Get experts to help with the rest
“At this point, I don’t have any business loans and my expenses are minimal. The only investment is my time. While I don’t plan to grow my business by having investors I am looking at outsourcing some activities, such as packaging and PR. I want to concentrate on my area of expertise which is the artistic work. In fact, I don’t think I could let anyone else do the hands-on side of things. I guess it would be like a painter not wanting others to paint their pictures!”
Create a digital strategy that works for your business.