Like many entrepreneurs, Chrissie's business evolved out of her own interest in finding something that simply wasn't available. Frustrated by the lack of options, she decided to solve the problem for herself, and for others, by opening up her own online store. With Chrissie around, it's music, music, music but she still found time to stop and type out the answers to our burning questions.
Today's featured store owner is Chrissie C of Music Jewellery Online. Listen in while we talk about how she got started and how she's gone global with her collection of unique goods.
Tell us everything we need to know about you in 2 sentences.
Chrissie: Wild, quirky workaholic who is 100% "customer service" focused but drives her partner insane by her nocturnal lifestyle!
What kinds of items do you make and sell?
Chrissie: Music Themed Jewellery
Why did you choose that field or did it choose you?
Chrissie: I have been a professional musician for many decades and this love of music inspired my passion to create music themed jewellery to not only share my love of music but allow my customers to express their musical adoration
Tell us about your favorite piece either currently in your store or in the past.
Chrissie: I love this piece because it feels so tactile to wear and expresses my music love in a true "statement" style. This piece can be crafted in different styles to suit an individual.
Talk about the decision to start selling your work? Was it a difficult
decision to make? What, if anything, was holding you back?
Chrissie: My dream for this business started when I was working on the cruise ships and I was trying to find a saxophone necklace (I am a professional sax player) that was pure "statement" and not just a small charm around my neck. I tried it seemed every country i visited to find something to no avail! I thought at this point, one day I am going to make "statement jewellery" available for musicians because we are all generally very demonstrative and "statement" personalities.
The only thing holding me back was my contracts around the world, which made it impossible at that time to set up a business as some of our ports were very "basic" with limited internet and living in a tiny cabin made it impractical to hold stock!
How do you market your business?
Chrissie: I work hard on social networking sites, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc and I have just started to locate venues for glass display cabinets in the beautiful island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. One is now up and running and others to follow suit!
I also sell on platforms such as Etsy, Ebay etc.
What inspires you?
Chrissie: Unusual things, quirky things, humour and an insatiable drive to have happy customers!
What frustrates you?
Chrissie: Where do i start!! My biggest frustration is when things are out of my control!
Running an online store - My biggest frustration every time is the postal services across the globe as no matter how quickly I can craft and dispatch an order and I am hot on customer communication - I am totally in the hands of other services (post and customs) once an order leaves me. They are not always as kind as we would like them to be!
What's something you've kept since you were a child?
Chrissie: A photo of my father in the army as he was inspirational to me in my drive to succeed and never give up no matter how hard the journey!
If you could get up tomorrow and do anything at all, what would you do?
Chrissie: Honest Answer!!!.....I find it impossible to do "nothing at all" so would struggle with this one!!! My friends and family are constantly nagging me to slow down and "chill"....I have no concept of this word at all!...
Your friend is going to sign up with IndieMade tomorrow (while you're off doing whatever you wanted to do). What advice do you have that will help her be successful?
- Never give up on your dream,
- Don't expect instant results,
- Never stop networking,
- Keep your site refreshed and topical,
- Post on social forums as often as possible
- Don't make all posts about "things for sale"
- An injection of humour doesn't go amiss!
- Always have a business card to hand!
- Always wear a piece of your own work!
- Always take good care of your customers and engage them in your conversations.
Try to include your partner in your projects if you can as some of us (me!!) become too "workaholic" when we get going!!......My partner (former bass guitar player with "Mungo Jerry" who enjoyed many worldwide hits including "In the summertime" is now our dedicated guitar advisor when we create guitar pieces.
He also proof reads our website when we make changes! I have given him the title of "Customer Services Advisor"...He likes this!
We find involving yourself in charity events not only helps others, it creates awareness of your store! We regularly donate items to charities in Tenerife and auctioned a piece in a "Mungo Jerry " reunion gig to help raise funds for the Children's units at the Southampton General Hospital in UK in 2014. (Here's me with Ray my partner (bass guitarist and customer services in Music Jewellery online!!) and Ray Dorset - frontman of Mungo Jerry band
Is there anything else you'd like to add or say to our audience of creative people? Feel free:
Chrissie: I would only say I recommend you guys 200% as your customer service is awesome. I have written testimonials to you in the past and have just signed up for my second website with you! This has come about because partners of my "musical customers" were asking me for unusual and different "non musical" items of jewellery.
As my "non musical" section has grown this is now blurring the boundaries so I have taken a leap of faith this week and set up "Wow Jewllery" (www.wowjewelleryonline.com) This is work in progress and will keep me out of mischief for the next month or so!!