Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: Damselle

Nov 23, 2009

by Mary Andrews handmade and vintage goods

Melanie, the jewelry designer and business maven behind Damselle, was able to start her jewelry business and become her own boss after working as a store manager for The Discovery Channel. Melanie admits her sales took a little longer to take off than she originally imagined and walks us through the steps she took once she realized promoting her shop was just as important as having a great product. She stands by the fact that happy customers are her best viral marketing strategy, as well as marketing her personal story as a brand. Stay tuned as Melanie candidly discusses the personal and social sacrifices she’s had to make in order to make Damselle a reality.

How did you originally get into the business of making things?
I have always made things with my hands. From a young age I went to art schools, most recently the School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. I also came from a very creative family, the sort of family in which trips to the fabric store and the book store last hours and can be deadly to your bank account. We made alligators out of old carpet padding. We watercolored the cat. We took the clothing out of our dresser drawers and stored books in them instead. We lived a pretty out-of-the-box handmade life and were pretty fearless about it.

The story of how I started making jewelry and how it became a business is, like a lot of things that have happened in my life, a meandering and unexpected path. I was doing volunteer work helping to care for tigers that had been purchased on the black market and then abandoned by their owners. It was a very special time in my life and I really felt close to those animals, but raising funds to keep them fed while we waited for them to go to their new animal sanctuary homes was difficult. We decided to hold a charity auction, and I needed something to contribute, so I tried my hand at making jewelry.

Tell us about your previous working situation.
It has always been my goal to find a way to live a more creative life and do things on my own terms, but after school I got caught up in the daily grind with the pressure of paying my bills and lost focus. I was working for The Discovery Channel Store as a store manager. I had been there for four years and was recently promoted; it was a lot of work, and a lot of hours, but I felt like things were really coming together.

However, within a few months everything came tumbling down and I was streamlined out of a job. During that summer as I was closing down my Discovery Channel Store and asking myself a lot of questions about what I wanted for myself in the future, a few important things happened. I spent some quality time with my old college friends in Boston, the movers and the shakers, with whom I’d dreamed about my future. I started thinking hard about what really mattered to me. After years of working overtime for someone else, I realized that I needed to take more risks in my life to do what I love.

When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
I have always wanted to quit my “day job,” even before I had one. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to do it, and for a long while I thought I was going to open a tea business, but the high overhead and the idea of being stuck in one place all the time weren’t ideal. I had hopes that my Etsy experiment would pan out in an exciting way, but to be honest, I was a bit of a slow learner when I first opened shop. It took me over a month to get my first sale, and almost a second month to get another. I opened Damselle in October, but didn’t realize I would need to put real effort into it to become successful until February. I began to understand that promoting Damselle and getting myself out there was just as important as having a great product. Slowly, my business began to grow. Now I think that running a tea business would have been crazy, and my little online jewelry shop is the perfect solution to being a business owner in this economy.

Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time?
Honestly, I am not necessarily the best role model when it comes to preparing to quit your day job. I did speak to an accountant about tax issues, and I did take a part-time job while I eased into running a successful business. However, I don’t have any children and if things get rocky I can just take up a part-time job for a while. Most of my preparation involved learning to sleep through the night without a steady paycheck and building confidence in my abilities.

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business? What’s your best marketing tip?
I’ve had more business generated from free, word-of-mouth promotion by my customers than I could ever pay for. I’ve also been fortunate to have blog posts written about my work on several popular wedding sites by happy customers. This has brought me so much business, and I’ve had lots of referrals from friends and family of my customers. I don’t think there is any secret recipe for marketing success. We all have to figure out what works best for our own business style and target customer base. Take calculated risks and try new things. Always look for new places to expose people to your product. Be fresh and consistent.

One thing that I have found to be very successful in my own marketing is to think of myself, in a way, as a brand. I am often selling myself as much as I am selling my jewelry. Because of that, I try to let my personality shine through in my correspondence with customers. One great idea I had was to make little printable artist bios, which I use to personally thank my customers and to introduce myself. One goes in each package I ship out. These are also great because, if the item is a gift, the recipient gets to discover more about my story and hopefully connect with me and my jewelry, as I am selling a handmade product. I think it’s wonderful that Etsy customers care so much about the special uniqueness of the handmade items they buy, and the people behind the craftsmanship.

What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion?
I have learned that, while I love the exposure of being blogged about, unless a blog has a track record of generating a lot of traffic to my target customer base, it isn’t a good investment for me to send items for blog reviews. I can usually get more traffic for my money by simply buying advertising, and I think being blogged about by my happy customers is a lot more effective.

Walk us through your typical workday.

  • I get up every morning around 7:30 a.m. and make tea and breakfast for myself. Then I sit in front of my computer and check my emails while I have breakfast and try to wake up. I make a list of what I need to do for the day on a week-long sheet.
  • Then I work out (more often than not) and pack my orders, if I haven’t done so already.
  • Then I shower, but usually still wear jammy pants or sweatpants if I’m staying in all day.
  • I spend the middle part of my day making and photographing jewelry, in between tea and cat snuggling breaks, while the light is good.
  • If I need to run to the post office or do any other errands, I also like to do this while most people are still at work.
  • I also periodically check my emails, relist, and update my social networking sites, to which I am addicted. (In my defense, I do get a good amount of traffic in my shop from those sites.)
  • In the evening, depending on how busy I am, I usually do a mix of promoting, answering emails, researching supplies, and having free time. If I have a lot to get done, however, I can work into the night.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
My favorite thing about not having a day job is not having my values dictated to me by someone else. I love having direct personal accountability for my successes (and failures). I am living my life on my terms, and I have never been so free. It’s great to be able to take the time I need with my family and friends. If that time happens to be at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday, it’s not a problem for me to walk away from my work and come back to it later in the evening. I love being able to be creative, and I love hearing the stories from my customers about how my jewelry goes on to be part of their lives.

I do miss having a steady paycheck. Let’s face it, becoming self-employed is not for the faint of heart. You need to really love what you do, because there are many sacrifices. I have had to cut a lot of things from my budget to make it work, like buying new clothes and eating out. Right now, I have a roommate.

I also miss the human interaction. It’s harder to meet people when you work from home, and I have to be careful or I can become a hermit. Social skills: Use them or lose them! I recently joined my local Street Team, Handmade Dayton, and I’m so excited to get to know all of them.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
I think the most difficult part of running my business is dealing with change: learning to sleep through the night when you don’t know what’s coming, being able to push yourself out of your comfort zone to see what you are capable of, learning to recognize and act on changes when they do happen. How am I going to adapt my business strategy to be relevant in the current situation?  I have already seen my business go through a major evolution from the novice designs I made for the auction, to a brief stint traveling at crafts shows, making the decision to focus on Etsy as my primary venue, developing the bridal line, handling wedding season and the holidays in different ways. I know Damselle will continue to evolve and I hope that I can keep up.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else?
Wow, there is so much advice I would have given myself. I wish I had had the courage to quit my day job sooner. I wish I had understood that I would only get as much as I put into my Etsy shop. I wish I had ignored the woman at the craft show who told me my jewelry was too gaudy for brides. However, hindsight is 20/20, and I think I’ve done okay.

My advice for other people quitting their day job would be to make sure your passion for what you are doing can carry you through the rough spots. Keep diligent and detailed accounting, even if it isn’t your thing…you need to know where you stand financially. Don’t be afraid to keep learning and trying new things. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small. And use a kitchen timer to keep yourself on task (especially in the Forums).

What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year for your Etsy business?
My goals for my shop are to continue to grow my business into a stable and successful career for myself in which I am able to live my life deliberately and with integrity, and to spread the word to the world about the benefits of supporting artists and craftsmen by buying handmade. When you buy handmade, you are directly supporting real people who have put a lot of attention and skill into their product, as well as making a choice that is less harmful for our environment and helping to grow our local economies.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
As I’m writing this interview, I’ve been going through the blog posts I wrote as I went through the process of starting my business, and coincidentally, today is the two year anniversary of quitting my day job. I am not afraid to admit that the road is not what I expected it to be. It is both harder and more amazing than I anticipated. My life has never been richer and I have never felt more excitement and anticipation for the future.

Thanks to Melanie for sharing her story.  If you have questions for Melanie come by the Virtual Labs on Wednesday November 25th at 3 p.m. ET.  You can see some of Melanie‘s beautiful work in the Related Items. Check out previous Quit Your Day Job posts here.


  • LaveMeSoapCo

    LaveMeSoapCo said 10 years ago

    bravo and stunning shop!

  • jbeaudet

    jbeaudet said 10 years ago

    This was a very inspiring article. Congratulations on your success!

  • momochas

    momochas said 10 years ago

    You have a lovely shop!. Congrats and thanks for sharing your story with us!!

  • carmenesque

    carmenesque said 10 years ago

    Congrats for you success! Your shop is gorgeous!

  • shizendesigns

    shizendesigns said 10 years ago

    Beautiful shop!

  • breadandroses

    breadandroses said 10 years ago

    Congratulations, Damselle! You're quite right, being self-employed is not for the faint of heart. I appreciate hearing how you came to do this. Best wishes for continued success!

  • Softpencil

    Softpencil said 10 years ago

    Gorgeous jewelry and interesting interview!

  • ClareBears

    ClareBears said 10 years ago

    Congratulations Your work is beautiful

  • postroadvintage

    postroadvintage said 10 years ago

    Congrats! And great photos :)

  • HarrietsHaven

    HarrietsHaven said 10 years ago

    You have an absolutely beautiful shop. I have to disagree with that nasty woman at the craft show - your jewelry is not too gaudy for brides. It's very unique, creative and beautiful!

  • claireswilson

    claireswilson said 10 years ago

    Congratulations!!!!! Love your Designs :)

  • tatteredvintage

    tatteredvintage said 10 years ago

    Superb, great eye - Congratulations Damselle!

  • BeelightfulCreations

    BeelightfulCreations said 10 years ago

    I love reading the quit your day job articles and I often wonder if I'll ever get there. Will it take being "downsized" to light my fire? - If so, I should be able to light it myself without that drastic measure. Thanks Damselle!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 10 years ago

    Inspiring and interesting ~ Congratulations on your success!

  • fallenpeach

    fallenpeach said 10 years ago

    Congrats :) very inspiring articles, these.

  • 9108designs

    9108designs said 10 years ago

    Loved the interview! What a fantastic idea with your artist bio. Customers want to feel that connection with you and your product, I will have to develop my bio now for sure! Thanks for sharing, your work is spectacular!

  • miccicohan

    miccicohan said 10 years ago

    Such a great interview! I really enjoyed it and I think your work is beautiful and photography amazing!

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 10 years ago

    Your jewelry is stunning and your story inspiring, thanks for sharing.

  • chocolateandsteel

    chocolateandsteel said 10 years ago

    congrats on all of your success. Your jewelry is really beautiful! What spectacular pieces for brides too. I love your honesty and your dedication. I too worked as a store manager for a big retailer for a long time and it's amazing how refreshing a change like this can be. All the best to you.

  • PinkSherbert

    PinkSherbert said 10 years ago

    Congratulations, great interview :0)

  • littleANGELboutique

    littleANGELboutique said 10 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry.

  • CindyEllison

    CindyEllison said 10 years ago

    Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary of quiting your day job! An excellent interview.

  • thebestvintage

    thebestvintage said 10 years ago

    Great interview, thanks for sharing your story!

  • Manicmushroomglass

    Manicmushroomglass said 10 years ago

    Congratz! It's encouraging to hear about real people who are getting out there and working for themselves :)

  • thefortunateoak

    thefortunateoak said 10 years ago

    amazing jewelry. you 're very talented and so lucky to be able to quit your day job!

  • DalkullanJewelry

    DalkullanJewelry said 10 years ago

    Your jewelry is simply stunning Damselle! Thanks for a wonderful article, and sharing your story.

  • UglyBaby

    UglyBaby said 10 years ago

    These stories are all so inspiring -- and this one is no different. Too bad I LIKE my day job!

  • woodworkingbymike

    woodworkingbymike said 10 years ago

    Great job, now more time to do what you love.

  • SilverMadeStudio

    SilverMadeStudio said 10 years ago

    beautiful, beautiful jewelry! i love the idea of the artist bio card - i think it's a great way to let your customer get to 'know' you:)

  • underoakstudios

    underoakstudios said 10 years ago

    Awesome! Great stuff.

  • MactonRoad

    MactonRoad said 10 years ago

    Beautiful shop, generous sharing, gorgeous photos, great tips. Thank you!

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 10 years ago

    Beautiful jewelry! Great story,thanks

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 10 years ago

    These stories are always so inspirational! Good luck to you Melanie! Your work is beautiful!

  • lainedesign

    lainedesign said 10 years ago

    Congrats Melanie! I seriously enjoyed reading this interview. Loved hearing about your background in volunteer work and I appreciated your advice to "sell" yourself by letting your personality shine through. Also- the kitchen timer to keep on task. I need that bit of advice :-)

  • julipbags

    julipbags said 10 years ago


  • DragonDesigns

    DragonDesigns said 10 years ago

    Beautiful jewelry. I like it very much.

  • blueberrydeluxe

    blueberrydeluxe said 10 years ago

    Wonderful pictures! Wonderful seller! Good luck to you :)

  • poprelique

    poprelique said 10 years ago

    This was so inspiring. You are a brave woman and you deserve all your success!!!!

  • LNZart

    LNZart said 10 years ago

    truly inspiring - both your words and your jewelry!

  • QuiltFinger

    QuiltFinger said 10 years ago

    Amazing! This is one of my favorite series. Keep em coming!

  • tiemee

    tiemee said 10 years ago

    I love reading these stories--good job!

  • jewelrybyirina

    jewelrybyirina said 10 years ago

    Great job!

  • oldworldprimitives

    oldworldprimitives said 10 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us. I love the photo with the kitty in it. :)

  • reworkedart

    reworkedart said 10 years ago

    Your work is beautiful! I really appreciate the tips as I'm just getting started and trying to learn how to better promote my little shop. Thank you so much!

  • MyHappyHome

    MyHappyHome said 10 years ago

    What a great interview! Gaudy?! Gorgeous jewellry.

  • vervainsavon

    vervainsavon said 10 years ago

    Your jewelry is incredible! Congrats and keep up the work.

  • peonylovespink

    peonylovespink said 10 years ago

    You have beautiful pieces! I love your bio idea! I know how it feels to get a sense of validity for your work with the first customers.

  • DiamondDollsCouture

    DiamondDollsCouture said 10 years ago

    Wow..what an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing and your work is very beautiful!

  • JennRoseFX

    JennRoseFX said 10 years ago

    Being in a position where I find myself constantly questioning my "day job" this was a truly inspiring article. Thank you. And lovely work!!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 10 years ago

    Wonderful bio! Great jewelry!

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez said 10 years ago

    I love these interviews!

  • earringsnation

    earringsnation said 10 years ago

    Very beautiful and unique Jewelry!

  • shellsherree

    shellsherree said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring ~ and your jewellery is gorgeous. I'm so happy for you, that you had faith in yourself {as you should ~ you are so talented!} and have kept at it.

  • Karramandi

    Karramandi said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  • InspiredByShe

    InspiredByShe said 10 years ago

    Congratulations to you! x

  • IntrigueNouveau

    IntrigueNouveau said 10 years ago

    This is such a wonderful story! Congrats on your two year anniversary!

  • IndianaBlue

    IndianaBlue said 10 years ago

    Wishing you the very best and for much success, Melanie!

  • anticovalore

    anticovalore said 10 years ago

    congrats, great seller and artist!

  • poppyfox

    poppyfox said 10 years ago

    Oooh, I like her stuff, all the jewelry has a vintage feel to it.

  • studiokmo

    studiokmo said 10 years ago

    congratulations! love your shop!

  • PassTheParcel

    PassTheParcel said 10 years ago

    Very inspirational! Thank you for sharing.

  • iriecreations

    iriecreations said 10 years ago

    Love your story. So inspirational. Oh, and your jewelry is absolutely beautiful!

  • GgaBulShop

    GgaBulShop said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! Loeve them All~<3

  • tiemee

    tiemee said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Hairoix

    Hairoix said 10 years ago

    Excellent story! Congrats & much continued success!

  • FluteTeacher

    FluteTeacher said 10 years ago

    Wow! Your jewelry is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • SummerJob

    SummerJob said 10 years ago

    Your jewlery is beautiful. Every time I read a "quit your day job" I get more inspired. One day....

  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 10 years ago

    Looooooooovely work! Thanks for sharing the rough times as well as the sucessful times.

  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 10 years ago

    ...oops, *successful*

  • beachhouseblues

    beachhouseblues said 10 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  • karileigh4

    karileigh4 said 10 years ago

    congrats on fullfilling your dreams!! reading your story gives me more motivation and hope that one day i can do the same!

  • PreciousMeshes

    PreciousMeshes said 10 years ago

    Well done! Running your own business is so much more satisfying. I actually used to work for DCS also, and they're not around anymore, at least not around here.

  • whimsewcal

    whimsewcal said 10 years ago

    congratulations on your feature! I LOVE your "what advice would you give yourself" true! Lovely shop, thank you for sharing :)

  • InformalElegance

    InformalElegance said 10 years ago

    Your story is such an inspiration. I'm happy to hear you took the risk and made your dream a success. It's so nice to hear how enthused and excited you are about your future. Your work is beautiful. All the best to you!

  • handbagcave

    handbagcave said 10 years ago

    Love your story! congratulations on your success

  • Kukaramba

    Kukaramba said 10 years ago

    You are really inspiring...

  • JourneyDesigns

    JourneyDesigns said 10 years ago

    Great story. Beautiful jewelry. Love the Quit Your Day Job series!

  • Filigrane

    Filigrane said 10 years ago

    Thanks for your words: stimulating without hiding the difficulties which gives weight to them and a useful sense for the one who reads you. I think since a long time of quiting my day job not being yet able to dare. But little by little, thanks to this kind of narratives, I feel more decided... And naturally I wish you the best evolving in your activity! (hoping that my English was unserstandable enough!)

  • ricerafferty

    ricerafferty said 10 years ago

    Thanks for the story! Stories like this keep me going during discouraging times! :)

  • GlitzyEvents

    GlitzyEvents said 10 years ago

    Your jewelry is lovely, congrays 2 u!

  • KFMGallery

    KFMGallery said 10 years ago

    Congrats! Love your jewelry :)

  • soule

    soule said 10 years ago


  • jmontesdesigns

    jmontesdesigns said 10 years ago

    great story...congrats on ur success!!!!


    SABRINATACH said 10 years ago

    Congratulations It's really inspiring for me that I'm just starting with my first sales .

  • Sildara

    Sildara said 10 years ago

    Having only just started to sell your article has both helped & made me feel a little better about my efforts!! Thanks for sharing and congratulations. Long live Etsy.

  • softouches

    softouches said 10 years ago

    Wow! Love your story and your jewelry is wonderful! I am inspired, thank you for sharing.

  • maxandolivia

    maxandolivia said 10 years ago

    Inspiring story.

  • DowntownGirlDesigns

    DowntownGirlDesigns said 10 years ago

    Love the shop!!

  • debrossehardesty

    debrossehardesty said 10 years ago

    Your cat looks my cat, Diva! Happy Holidays and thanks being an inspiration.

  • TheSassyPeacock

    TheSassyPeacock said 10 years ago

    Beautiful jewlery!!! Grest story :) thanks for the inspiration!

  • TheSassyPeacock

    TheSassyPeacock said 10 years ago

    tehe jewelry....

  • noisettemarketing

    noisettemarketing said 10 years ago

    Great shop. Love the photos so simple but effective.

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 10 years ago

    Your story is really a happy story I'm glad that you went for it at a young age before having children and a lot of other responsibilities. You are able to do just great for yourself. What a good interview.

  • LanniDesigns

    LanniDesigns said 10 years ago

    thanks for the story about yourself, it's nice to know it can be done. Also, I just wanted to say that I love your photos and your jewelry. Have a happy thanksgiving.

  • simpledream2

    simpledream2 said 10 years ago

    Beautiful jewelry.........wonderful article.

  • michon

    michon said 10 years ago

    congrats & thanks for sharing so many good tips!

  • Damselle

    Damselle said 10 years ago

    Thanks everyone for all the great comments and support! Etsians are the best!

  • nicolesteward

    nicolesteward said 10 years ago

    Your jewelry is beautiful! Keep your head up and keep making things of beauty. xoxo

  • TheLoudLion

    TheLoudLion said 10 years ago

    great interview - thank you very much for sharing, and thanks for the inspiration! you have a beautiful shop! :) ********************************************************

  • masondesigns

    masondesigns said 10 years ago

    Awesome story. Love the cat!

  • lololyta

    lololyta said 10 years ago

    loved to read it... great art pieces ..thank you

  • raghousenternational

    raghousenternational said 10 years ago

    Wonderful story. I relate to many things in the article. I see the great advice I can pull from to help me get closer to supporting myself with my craft. Ren

  • earlybirdcreations

    earlybirdcreations said 10 years ago

    Great words of wisdom! And thanks for sharing your story :)

  • DanielleLondon

    DanielleLondon said 10 years ago

    Thank you for the encouraging words! Your work is lovely!

  • artiqueexpressions

    artiqueexpressions said 10 years ago

    Wonderful story. You inspire me. Your work is amazing. I love your jewelry.

  • DawnedOnMeDesigns

    DawnedOnMeDesigns said 10 years ago

    Congratulations on the success of your shop. Sounds like you've done a lot of hard work to make it this far and continue to do so. This was a very encouraging article. Thanks!

  • vintagemaison

    vintagemaison said 10 years ago

    Thanks for beng so candid. I like the idea of using a timer when on the forums - it's so easy to carried away! Well done - great story and great jewellry...

  • BlueCrushBeads

    BlueCrushBeads said 10 years ago

    Stunningly Beautiful work!!!

  • andrew12

    andrew12 said 10 years ago

    Hi im new to this website, please check out my store, its i make hand sculptured wire wrap jewelry. We are always putting new designs on the page, please watch for them.

  • AlpineGypsy

    AlpineGypsy said 10 years ago

    I just LOVE hearing about the nuts and bolts stuff, and the perspective. Thanks so much for the great interview/article! It really charges me up, reading about other people living the dream. :) STUNNING jewelry, too. xoxo Heidi

  • trudiedavies

    trudiedavies said 10 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing. There is so much to learn!

  • carlossantiago

    carlossantiago said 10 years ago

    you are an inspiration! I am following your steps after moving here from NYC. It gets a bit scary at times, but one just have to believe in oneself. Keep going and never look back.

  • thedaydreamer

    thedaydreamer said 10 years ago

    Beautiful shop, beautiful jewellery. And what an inspiring story. My best wishes to Damselle.

  • CrowleyManor

    CrowleyManor said 10 years ago

    Congratulations, beautiful work, wishing you much continued success and thank you for sharing with us.

  • EyvindsAlchemy

    EyvindsAlchemy said 10 years ago

    That was inspiring, thanks for sharing your story.Best wish for your shop.

  • KJoannRussell

    KJoannRussell said 10 years ago

    I enjoyed the story of your journey. Great helps for the rest of us. Thanks

  • fancy4u

    fancy4u said 10 years ago

    great article! full of valuable opinions and information. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

  • Cameraqueen31

    Cameraqueen31 said 10 years ago

    Brilliant article! Thanks for all of your insight, it will definitely be put to use.

  • mindelicious

    mindelicious said 10 years ago

    "After years of working overtime for someone else, I realized that I needed to take more risks in my life to do what I love." I keep thinking similar thoughts to myself about jumping into things. It was nice to hear that from someone who battled through the fear of taking it to the next step and succeeding at it. thanks for sharing!

  • AlinaandT

    AlinaandT said 10 years ago

    very inspiring and great works too!!

  • adorebynat

    adorebynat said 10 years ago

    Inspiring! Quiting a day job is everyone's dream and I really like your story is real that it's not easy and it needs perseverance to achive successful business.

  • CreativeButterflyXOX

    CreativeButterflyXOX said 10 years ago

    Congrats, beautiful jewelry.

  • seasidephotographics

    seasidephotographics said 9 years ago

    Inspiring! Beautiful work!

  • jewelrybybeadcouture

    jewelrybybeadcouture said 9 years ago

    Very cool, I'm inspired. You also have gorgeous jewelry. I hope one day to be as successful as you have become.

  • PoshAdornments

    PoshAdornments said 9 years ago

    Great shop

  • norakaren

    norakaren said 9 years ago

    I love your jewelry,your pieces are stunning and your photos amazing.Your story inspiring too!

  • purpleWHALEdesigns

    purpleWHALEdesigns said 9 years ago

    i LOVE your designs! thanks for sharing your insights i truly enjoyed reading your day to day duties and i am happy to not be alone in this game!

  • CaraBellaDesigns

    CaraBellaDesigns said 9 years ago

    I've just come across this, as I'm finally getting serious about opening up shop -- I've loved your designs, Melanie, and I loved reading the story behind getting your shop off the ground + the lessons you learned along the way! Congrats on your success (and cheers to more to come!

  • excellentgem

    excellentgem said 9 years ago

    Thank you for sharing, I love your work.

  • giftforallseasons

    giftforallseasons said 9 years ago

    What you said is exactly how I feel. You must have a love, and passion for what you do. I love what I create and sell on Etsy, and am trying new things, and not be afraid. We all must believe in ourselves, and know what we do is unique and original. Thank you so much for sharing! Great article!

  • MySoCalledVintage

    MySoCalledVintage said 9 years ago

    i really wish i could have found this kind of jewelry when i was getting married.

  • NSpottery

    NSpottery said 9 years ago

    One of the best interviews I have read! Melanie, thanks for being so transparent. You are truly an inspiration to me!! Best wishes for you!

  • jameliadesigns

    jameliadesigns said 9 years ago

    What beautiful jewellery. Congratulations on making your jewellery a success.

  • CocktailAprons

    CocktailAprons said 9 years ago

    Your article is very inspiring! I too hope to quit my day job eventually so I loved reading your article very much. Your jewelry is beautiful!

  • petalcove

    petalcove said 9 years ago

    gorgeous pieces, keep up the amazing work! Wish you lots of continued success in your awesome business!

  • CuTePuFFySleeveS

    CuTePuFFySleeveS said 8 years ago

    hi ya.. your jewelry is so beautiful, and your story is inspirational!!. You gave me hope, and to remember to believe in yourself and what you do!! Thanxx for sharing your story! Best to you! : ) xx

  • roxanasdesignstudio

    roxanasdesignstudio said 8 years ago

    That's such an inspirational story! Thanks for sharing... I was going down the path you took and then... I got married and had kids... So, I got back to having a day job. After 2 kids, my daughter is 5 my son is 3, I am back in school, pursuing my dream of Fine Arts, taking a full load and sorting through my million beads and bead supplies every now and then, trying to succeed in school while being a good mommy...but pretty soon...I will be producing pieces again. Congratulations on your success!! :O)

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