How I Started A Successful Jewelry Business - BusinessTown

How I Started A Successful Jewelry Business

 How I Started A Successful Jewelry Business When Holly Christensen chose to start a business selling jewelry made out of sand from beaches all around the world, people thought she was crazy. Learn how she broke into a saturated market and established a successful business.

 

Dune Jewelry Inspiration

The inspiration for doing jewelry came from the notion that people love to travel and people have an emotional attachment to very specific locations throughout the entire world and jewelry can be a tangible reminder of those adventures, weddings, and other memories associated with those places. I associate sand with memories because I grew up on Cape Cod and we’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Those memories were sentimental and emotional and the thought of being able to have a piece of my childhood every single day appealed to me.

I was working with my childhood best friend who creates little ornaments out of beach sand and I started to realize how beautiful it is. So not only does it carry these memories, but also texture and color; it’s like a huge palette.

Evaluating the Market

When I first evaluated the marketplace and what was popular in the jewelry industry at that moment in 2007, I could not find anyone who was doing it and I thought, “Well that’s either because it’s a dumb idea or I’m brilliant.” And that’s the way it sometimes is with new business ideas. So I decided to just jump in with both feet and start learning. So I took some classes at a local jewelry studio and started to develop my own technique to make the sand jewelry.

It’s not as if there are 300 people out there making beach sand jewelry or sand jewelry that I could learn from, so I just had to forge ahead and create my own processes by learning the trade and the basics and applying it to what I was doing. So I went and collected maybe 25 different beach sands and tried to figure out if they behave differently from one another and what they looked like when they were encased in certain resins. As soon as I started making the jewelry though, showing it to people and seeing people’s reactions, then the sky was the limit.

Building the Business

I started building Dune by traveling around to coastal arts and crafts shows. And at those shows it’s hit or miss; some you can find tremendous items to purchase and some not so much. So you find the good craft shows and the more artisan-based craft shows and set up a table, start talking and telling your story. And I would see people keep walking by and coming back and they’d ask, what kind of stone is that? And then I would tell them it’s not a stone, it’s sand. And I would pick the beach that was as close as humanly possible to the show that we were at and you would see a little light go off in their heads, and that was it.

When I was working through the craft shows and working that circuit, I happened to be pregnant with my first daughter and I used to joke with my husband that people were just buying it because they felt bad for me. I mean, I was really pregnant and all the while folding tables and tents, making the jewelry, packaging the jewelry, building for the jewelry and reconciling the books. I mean everything you can imagine. It was difficult, but at the time I don’t remember it being difficult; I remember it being so exciting every single day. It was exciting. When people start reacting to what you’re doing, there’s nothing like that in the world.

Breaking into Unchartered Territory

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I think that for me it was really, really difficult in the beginning because I was self-taught. There is a large community of jewelry industry professionals that had been in the business for 50 years. They would seem very helpful, but then I realized three weeks later that they were literally charging me double what they would charge someone with experience.

Thinking Outside the Box

When I would go to people for advice, mentors or business people that I greatly respected in order to pick their brains, I received a lot of negatives: That’s not scalable. You can’t scale that. It is so custom. It doesn’t seem possible. Everyone was thinking inside the box.

I get it now; I understand many business schools teach you that this is where you grow your business and they might say, “Well you can think outside of the box, and really do something cool,” but they don’t ingrain it in their students maybe. Rather than hearing, “Good job. Let’s think of different ideas to scale it,” students may hear, “Well, you can’t do it like that, so I don’t know.”

A common suggestion I hear is “maybe you can do it with 10 beaches.” I tell them, “Well, there’s 20 million people with 20 million different memories and no, they’re not all from 10 beaches. It needs to scale. I want to have 10,000 beaches someday and have it be manageable and I believe there is a way to do that. I have no idea what it is today, but I hope I will think of it. I can promise you that.”

Start Streaming the Courses on BusinessTown

Learn how to start and run your business by watching the many courses on BusinessTown including Start-a-Business 101, How to Create a Business Plan and The Complete Guide to Digital Marketing. You can try BusinessTown for free.

About Holly Christensen

Originally from Cape Cod, Holly Daniels Christensen began making beach sand jewelry in 2007. She gave up an established real estate career in Boston and launched Dune Jewelry in 2010.
Sourcing sand from all seven continents and thousands of beaches, Dune Jewelry features stylish rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, charms and men’s accessories set in sterling silver and all handmade in the USA.
Christensen made the move from fashioning the items on her kitchen table to working with a staff of 20+ in a 2,000 square-foot space in an old mill building in Hyde Park, Mass. She now fills orders for over 650 retailers throughout the world and is proud to give back to nature by donating to several coastal preservation programs.

We make starting a business simple.

We make starting a business simple.

Our courses will show you exactly how to start and run a business

Our courses will show you exactly how to start and run a business

Learn everything you need to know to plan, start and grow a business

We’ll show you what to do right from the very beginning. You’ll learn how to find your idea, write your business plan, attract customers and all the other steps to building a successful business.

Our courses are taught by real entrepreneurs

You will learn from BusinessTown’s highly experienced experts and entrepreneurs. They will share their experience, wisdom and skills with you. And they will guide you through every aspect of planning, starting, and growing your business. 

Start a business you love, earn more money and live the life you want

Our easy-to-follow video courses will quickly teach you how to start and run a business. Our courses can turn your dreams into reality even if you don’t have a business idea or don’t know where to start.

You’ll find a course that’s perfect for you

Get unlimited access to 130+ courses. We cover it all…from finding your idea and creating your plan to making sales and building a successful business. No matter where you are in your business journey, there is a course just for you.

Learn at your own pace and on any device

Take all the courses you want. Anytime. Anywhere. Any device. Watch one video lesson a day (average 7 minutes) or binge watch the whole thing. It’s up to you!

Explore our top 3 courses and start learning now

OUR #1 MOST POPULAR COURSE

Start-a-Business 101

This course will teach you all the basics of starting a business. You will be guided step by step through the entire process of starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur.

FEATURED COURSE

How to Find a Business Idea

Learn how to find a great business idea with this course. Discover how to generate awesome business ideas, how to evaluate and validate them and how to choose the very best one for you.

FEATURED COURSE

How to Create a Business Plan

Learn how to create an excellent business plan from scratch! This course will walk you through every step from start to finish. You will be guided by instructional videos, a sample plan and a fill-in-the-blanks business plan template.

Get unlimited access to all these popular courses

You’ll get all the tools you need to succeed

You’ll get all the tools you need to succeed

Fill-in-the-blank templates and 50+ other tools will show you exactly what to do at any given step. They will save you time, keep you organized and help you get your business up and running as rapidly as possible. 

Our most popular tools include:

  • 300 Best Business Ideas, 111 pages
  • Business Idea Evaluation Worksheet
  • Ultimate Startup Checklist, 18 pages
  • Business Plan Template, 29 pages
  • Sample Business Plan, 35 pages
  • Marketing Plan Under $2k, 12 pages
  • Financial Statement Templates

What they are saying

What they are saying

Watch the video tour and get ready to become your own boss

Play

BusinessTown founder Bob Adams’s courses and books have been featured in:

Learn how to start a business with our video courses

130+ courses

Unlimited access

50+ tools

Templates & more

Discussion board

Get expert answers

Frequently asked questions

BusinessTown is an e-learning platform built for people interested in starting and running a business. 

On BusinessTown, you get unlimited access to 130+ business courses taught by real successful entrepreneurs and highly skilled experts. You also gain access to 50+ business tools and to our discussion board, where you can get expert answers to your business questions.

No matter what you want to learn or where you are on your business journey, there is a course for you. 

Marketing, ideas, financing, planning, naming, how to get started… BusinessTown covers everything you need to start and run your business right. 

The courses are available anywhere, anytime, on any device, and you can take them at your own pace. 

Create your BusinessTown account to get started and try BusinessTown free for 7 days. 

BusinessTown includes unlimited access to 130+ business courses taught by real successful entrepreneurs and highly skilled experts.

You also get full access to 50+ downloadable tools like worksheets, templates, and samples, and to our discussion board where you can get an answer to any business question you have. 

BusinessTown is $19.95 per month. It provides unlimited access to all 130+ courses, all tools, and our discussion board, where you can get expert answers to your business questions.

We offer a free 7-day trial. If you decide that BusinessTown is not for you, then just cancel within 7 days of starting your free trial and you will not be charged at all.

If you wish to cancel your BusinessTown account, you can do so through your account page under the Billing section. 

If you have any questions, email us at bbisson@businesstown.com. We are more than happy to help!

BusinessTown includes 130+ courses on all business topics: Getting started, business ideas, business plans, strategy, marketing, websites, social media, online advertising, finance, accounting, leadership, sales, legal issues, home-based businesses and more!

Looking for a business idea? Why don’t you check out our course How to Find a Business Idea. 

Do you need help creating your business plan? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at our course How to Create a Business Plan.

Do you want to be walked step by step through the entire process of starting a business? Check out our ultimate course, Start-a-Business 101. 

Are you not sure that you are ready to start your own business? Consider our course, What It Takes to Start a Business.

Are you looking for financing for a new or existing business? We offer 5 courses on financing a small business. We suggest you start with the course, How to Finance Your Business.

Do you want to learn about marketing? Because it’s so important, we offer over 30 courses on sales and marketing. Consider starting with the short course, Developing Your Marketing Message.

Want to learn about marketing online? We offer 5 courses on creating websites, 6 courses on digital marketing and 5 courses on promoting through social media. To get started we recommend the course, The Complete Guide to Digital Marketing.

Looking to get inspired and learn how other entrepreneurs succeeded in starting and growing their businesses? We offer several courses on this including, How to Succeed as a Woman Entrepreneur.

Do you already have a business and are looking to improve it? We have several courses on this topic. Try starting with the course, How to Boost Profits.

No matter where you are on your business journey, there is a course for you.   

On BusinessTown you have access to 50+ downloadable tools like worksheets, samples, and templates to help you start and run a business. 

Our most popular tools include:

The Ultimate Startup Checklist, 18 pages 

The 300 Best Small Business Ideas ebook, 105 pages 

The Complete Business Plan Template, 29 pages

Complete Sample Business Plan, 35 pages 

Sample Marketing Plan Under $2k, 12 pages

One Page Marketing Plan Template

One Page Sample Marketing Plan

50 Guerilla Marketing Tactics Worksheet, 8 pages

Business Idea Evaluation Worksheet 

8 Basic Steps to Making the Sale Template

Sales Presentations that Your Customers Will Love Template

Sales Presentation Sample Dialog

50 Ways to Generate Endless Sales Leads Worksheet 

Cold Calling Script Template and Sample

Emails that Land Sales Template and Sample

Voicemails that Get Callbacks Template and Sample

Income Statement Templates and Samples

Balance Sheet Templates and Samples

Cash Flow Templates and Samples

Calculate Depreciation Template

Key Financial Ratios Sample

How I Started a Successful Business with No Money and No Experience, Case Study

Key Questions to Select the Best Business Idea Worksheet

Validate Your Business Idea Worksheet

Using the 6-Step Approach to Choose a Business Idea Case Study

21 Easy-to-Start Part-Time Business Ideas Guide

42 Home-Based Businesses You Can Start Guide

Why I Repeatedly Changed the Legal Entity of My Business, Case Study

Evaluate Customer Segments and Competitors Worksheet

Differentiate Your Business from Competitors Worksheet

How I Differentiated My First Business in a Crowded Marketplace, Case Study

Creating a Press Release Template and Sample

Marketing Bob’s Rent-A-Bike, Case Study

Planning, Designing and Creating Your Website Worksheet

Search Engine Optimization Worksheet

50 Blog Post Ideas Worksheet

50 Creative Online Marketing Ideas Worksheet

Evaluate Potential Names for Your Business Worksheet

How I Financed Buying a Business Case Study

Cover Letter to Seek Financing Sample

Collection Letter Samples

The Four Quadrant Theory of Time Management Graphic

BusinessTown courses will show you how to start your business right and grow it into a highly successful enterprise. 

You will learn from highly experienced entrepreneurs and experts who have been there and done it. You won’t have to learn by trial and error. You won’t have to guess what to do next. BusinessTown courses will guide you through your entire business journey.

Even if you are a beginner you will quickly learn how to start a business you love. If you already have a business, BusinessTown will show how to grow it and make it better.

By just watching one video lesson a day (about 7 minutes average) you can quickly ramp up your business knowledge. No matter where you are on your business journey, there is a course for you taught by an expert on BusinessTown.

What would you like to learn more about today? Starting a business? How to find a business idea? How to write a business plan? How to do your marketing? How to build an online presence? How to get financing? How to prepare financial statements? BusinessTown has courses that cover all these topics and hundreds more.

So if you want to become a smarter entrepreneur and start and build a successful business, you’ll want to start streaming the courses on BusinessTown today.

Copyright © 2021 BusinessTown LLC. All rights reserved. BusinessTown ® is a registered trademark of BusinessTown LLC.

QUIZ: WHAT BUSINESS IS BEST FOR YOU?

QUIZ: WHAT BUSINESS IS BEST FOR YOU?