Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: lillyella

Sep 15, 2008

by Mary Andrews handmade and vintage goods

After getting word that Nicole of lillyella recently quit her day job to sell on Etsy full time, I knew this was a story I wanted to share with you all.  Nicole is a planner and her story is jam packed with helpful, honest, and realistic tips for gaining success when considering taking the plunge.  Keep reading to find out about how she keeps it all together, the ultimate DIY project she’s got going on in her back yard, and the two indulgences she had to sacrifice for her business.

When you first started selling on Etsy did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
For the past five years I have dreamed of working for myself, but I never expected it to turn out how it has!

How long were you selling on Etsy before taking the plunge into selling full time?
About three months.

What was the deciding factor resulting in your pursuing Etsy as your full time job?

This may sound cheesy, but I swear it was fate! I had been working as a graphic designer for about 9 years, during 4 of which I was trying to start my own design business: building clients, etc. I was terrified to make the transition to working on my own, but kicking myself in the butt every day for not just trying. I became very unhappy with the job I was at and knew I had to make a change. I thought to myself, “This would probably be a great time to pursue my own business. If I am ever going to do it, now should be the time.” But still, I was too scared. So I started looking for a new job in graphic design.

In the meantime, a friend told me about Etsy, and soon after I opened my shop lillyella. My hope was to make enough “extra” cash to help me feel more comfortable in possibly taking the plunge and finally pursuing my design business. Not long after, while still job hunting and miserable at my current position, I heard of a job opening that I felt was made just for me — it was my dream job — and I applied. I told myself that if I did not get the position, it was a sign and I would quit my job and finally take the big leap. Well, I guess you could say I did get my dream job, but it wasn’t the one I expected. The position I applied for had been filled the same day that they received my application, but coincidentally enough, my Etsy sales really began to take off at the same time. So I listened to my gut and I quit my job a few short days later.

I remember being up really late that night, couldn’t sleep, nervous but excited, and I heard a song on the radio. One line said “I’m always sure until I doubt,” and that perfectly summed up how I felt. But my Etsy sales continued strong and I then had the time to really push forward, expand my shop and start to do some marketing. That was about two months ago and now I am always sure, but no longer doubting. I never thought I would be so happy about not getting what I thought was my dream job, and that in turn, I would end up finding my true dream job. Gosh, this is all making me tear up a bit!

Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time before taking the plunge?
Oh yeah, I sure did:

  1. I first figured out how much money I would need to make each week.
  2. I also calculated how much I would need to put away for taxes and met with an attorney to ensure I was recording things properly from the start to avoid extra work later.
  3. I had already formed an LLC when I began thinking about my graphic design business, and then a couple of years ago I added a DBA name, Lillyella, when I began designing jewelry and doing shows, so that was taken care of.
  4. My biggest concern was health insurance, so I spent a good amount of time researching providers and small business organizations in my city, and then getting myself set up with good coverage.
  5. I also decided to stock up on as many supplies as I could while I still had a steady paycheck coming in and I also rearranged my workspace.
  6. I went through my monthly expenses and figured out where I could save some money. I called my cable company and just told them I felt my bill was too high, and they lowered it! I was on a roll after that: who else can I call to save money?!  I called my car insurance company to tell them I would only be driving about 10 miles a week, as opposed to the 300 miles per week I was driving before, and my premium went down by about $75. That’s a great tip that some people may overlook.
  7. But lastly — and this is by far the most important — I enjoyed eating enchiladas at our favorite Mexican restaurant a few last times. I figured that the luxury of eating out would be one of the first things to go!

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business and what’s you’re best marketing tip?

I have to credit three (or four) things that have been effective for me in marketing my shop:

  1. My Blog — I was slow in getting it started, and I did not have much traffic at first, but it really took off in a short amount of time. I promoted the blog in my Etsy shop announcement and I began having weekly specials on Wednesdays and Fridays and contests once a month. I received seven entries for the first contest I had, and one month later when it was time for the second contest, I received 88! Once people started to know when to look, the traffic really picked up. I now usually get about a couple hundred hits a day. I also use my blog to show new pieces of jewelry before I list them in my shop, highlight some of my favorite Etsy shops, or just give a glimpse into the rest of my life.
  2. Treasuries — I am so addicted to making treasuries! Not only is it a ton of fun and super rewarding to see a list you created make it to the front page, but it is the best networking area on Etsy! All of my Etsy “friends” I have met in the Treasuries. It is a great way to get exposure for your shop, even if your list or your item is not on the front page. One list could mean one hundred views on an item or your shop that you wouldn’t have had before and it’s also important to remember that other Etsy sellers are also Etsy buyers.
  3. Customer Service and packaging — Many people may not think of this as marketing — but it is. The best thing you can do is keep the customers you have happy. The amount of repeat business I have had so far is amazing. I make sure that my packages arrive safe and secure, but that they look beautiful while doing it. I also keep up good communication with my customers and include hand written thank you notes with my orders. I have received a lot of business through referrals as well, which is so important, and I attribute that to a quality product and great service.
  4. My best marketing tip — … is a little thing that can really raise the level of professionalism of your business. Even if you do not want to create a website for yourself, register a website domain name for your business and get a simple hosting plan so that you can set up an email address using that domain, rather than just using a Hotmail or Yahoo account, for example. It’s a small detail, but it shows you are serious about your venture and that you think about all the details.

What have you found to be unsuccessful promotion or something that’s just not working for your shop?
An email mailing list. I do think people would like to learn about special sales and promotions in advance, but it seems hard to get people to sign up. I have advertised it in my shop announcement, but I don’t know how many people actually read it! I think I will try to find an automated widget of some sort for my blog to make it easier for people to sign up and see how that goes.

Would you walk us through what a typical workday might entail being your own boss?
Luckily I do not like to sleep, because I don’t get much of it. I am very disciplined about getting up early and getting a jump on the day.

  • I usually get up between 7 and 7:30 a.m. My fiance and I take turns cooking, but we always eat a good breakfast: it’s the key to a successful day!
  • After cleaning up, I make my rounds feeding our cats, birds, and turtles. I kiss my fiance, Tyler, goodbye and get to work.
  • I always get online first thing, checking if I had any sales during the night and to see how any newly listed items are doing. I also check my treasury lists to see if any items have sold and need updating, read new comments and check when they expire.
  • Next I will check my blog for any new comments and usually create a new post.
  • I then make a list of what items I will be listing in my shop that day and decide what times and in what order I will list them.
  • After that I usually begin working on orders. During this time I get easily distracted! Checking for sales, listing and relisting, answering convos, etc!
  • I also spend way too much time chatting with Noelle of Xenotees (whom I met here on Etsy) — discussing new shops we found on Pounce or how sales are going. Basically anything we can do to avoid real work!
  • I generally work on orders until about 3 or 3:30 pm, at which point I stop to pack them up and get to the post office by 5pm.
  • If I have any new items that I need to photograph, I do that next, as the light is best at that time.  Otherwise I end up doing a few chores around the house and start making dinner.
  • After eating and cleaning up, I get back to work! Some nights I am outside helping Tyler with workshop construction and some nights I am just too busy.
  • I print and organize orders for the next day, create shipping labels and prepare envelopes. I also check my stock and make a list of anything I need to order.
  • Then I either work on new items or get a start on orders for the next day.
  • I usually end my night back on the computer surfing around on Etsy and preparing new treasury lists or ordering supplies. I also use this time to replenish my “shipping department” — cutting tissue paper, bubble wrap, stamping thank you cards, punching round corners. (One of my obsessions!) It’s kind of my wind down.

I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier — but I still need to work on it…

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job and is there anything you miss?

I love the cross-hallway commute. It’s great not wasting three hours of my day sitting in traffic, and not paying for gas. The freedom and flexibility is a given. I can do chores in between other things and then there is less to do on the weekends. I love not having to listen to someone else’s music and I really love having a stove accessible for lunch! No more microwave meals!! Oh, and windows.  I really like having windows and not being a cubicle gopher anymore.

I do, however, miss the social interaction occasionally. Sometimes I get cabin fever and I find myself talking to my cats or the guy at the post office way more than he would like me to.  It is also hard not having a steady paycheck and the constant uncertainty about what will happen the next day, but what’s life without a little risk?!

If you could go back in time before you took the plunge, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?
I think I would have prepared myself to do some local summer art shows, now knowing that those months seem to be a slower time on Etsy with vacations, back to school, etc. I also would have invested in a dress form for modeling my pieces instead of modeling them myself. I finally broke down and bought one and I think it’s going to save me a ton of time. I’m also really excited to give it a name. I think it will be Lilly by day and Ella by night, or maybe I will just call her Lady L.

What advice would you give someone else thinking about taking the plunge to sell full time on Etsy?
Don’t be scared! I have to say it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but at the same time I was always thinking, what’s the worst thing that could happen? And really the answer is simply that you go out and find another job if it doesn’t work out. I believe that life has a way of working itself out as it is supposed to. If you are motivated, you will find a way to make it happen.  But you have to be prepared. Even if it takes a few months, hold on until you have all your ducks in a row: business license, health insurance, savings, an accountant, etc. Getting yourself organized BEFORE you take the plunge can be the difference between make or break.  Finally: if you don’t have a tripod, buy one! Trust me: it can make a world of difference for your photography.

How’s it going so far? Are you supporting yourself?
It’s going great! It is hard to not get down on yourself when you have a slow day, but I’m learning to take advantage of that time and use it productively to help grow my business. We have definitely made some changes in our lifestyle, but I am ok with that. Cutting back on shoe purchases and a few less enchiladas is definitely worth it.

What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year for your Etsy business?
Expansion and relocation!  Tyler and I decided that if we were really going to make this happen, the little extra space we had inside our house wasn’t going to cut it, so we decided to build a workshop in our backyard. It has been hard work, but I get more excited with every nail. It is finally starting to take shape. Downstairs will be the “messy” workshop for woodworking, hot glass and ceramics, while upstairs will be my jewelry studio. Once complete, we have plans on opening another Etsy shop (or two!) with the hopes that he, too, can also quit his day job!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I have to thank everyone at Etsy and all of my wonderful customers for getting me to where I am now. Every day I continue to be amazed by the awesome people I find here. But most importantly, I have to thank my mom and dad for being so supportive all those times when they didn’t know if I was making the right decisions. I can only hope that they are proud of where I am and what I have become.

Hmm, did that sound like a Grammy acceptance speech?! Oh, I’d also like to share my favorite quote and the words I live by, “Happiness is a moral obligation.” Never forget that. Thanks, Dennis Prager.

Thanks to Nicole for sharing her story and business with us!  Check out the related items below to see some of her items. You can find some of our previous Quit Your Day Job
posts here.

Lily of the Valley Necklace in Silver
Lily of the Valley Necklace in Silver
Reserved for Mutley37
Reserved for Mutley37
Lily of the Valley Necklace in Brass
Lily of the Valley Necklace in Brass
Reserved For Jennifer
Reserved For Jennifer
Honey Blossom Bracelet
Honey Blossom Bracelet
Silver Leaf Garland Bracelet
Silver Leaf Garland Bracelet
Lilypad Earrings in Silver
Lilypad Earrings in Silver
Little Garden Earrings in Honey
Little Garden Earrings in Honey
Lilypad Earrings in Brass
Lilypad Earrings in Brass


  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio said 9 years ago

    Great article. Thanks Mary and lillyella

  • bayousalvage

    bayousalvage said 9 years ago

    i love this jewelry- have never seen it before

  • Winklepots

    Winklepots said 9 years ago

    Great article and beautiful jewelry!

  • stephaniegibson

    stephaniegibson said 9 years ago

    Hooray, Nicole! I am quite jealous of that workshop. Great article with wonderful advice. Thank you!

  • DanaSaylorDesigns

    DanaSaylorDesigns said 9 years ago

    Wow, what an inspiration- beautiful jewelry, great attitude, helpful tips. Thanks, Storque!

  • busdriverstu

    busdriverstu said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for telling us more about yourself lillyella! The info you gave about health insurance and business license is really helpful (I have a ways to go before opening my own shop, though).

  • NestaHome

    NestaHome said 9 years ago

    Yaaaaaaay! Great article and congrats Nicole! My husband's name is Tyler! I wish you the best :)

  • edithweezie

    edithweezie said 9 years ago

    Another great article from my favorite Storque series. Big congrats Nicole! I just opened my store last week, and dream of someday quitting my day job too, so I really enjoyed your practical tips.

  • TickledPinkKnits

    TickledPinkKnits said 9 years ago

    Nicole, it's a pleasure to see you and to read your story :) So inspirational, and lots of very helpful tips! Wishing you the very best of luck and much success ahead! See you in Treasury-land :))

  • Ultrapunch

    Ultrapunch said 9 years ago

    Awesome stuff. Great job Mary and lillyella!

  • Yokoo

    Yokoo said 9 years ago

    This is such and inspirational story, congratulations Nicole!

  • gerrijo

    gerrijo said 9 years ago

    Such an inspiration, thanks for sharing your story and an awesome tips!!

  • starshrines

    starshrines said 9 years ago

    Great article and great photos! Thank you for the inspiring advice. It was great to read your practical tips, and also how you believe in yourself and your business. Good luck with building your studio!

  • alexladydesigns

    alexladydesigns said 9 years ago

    totally inspirational. congrats!!!

  • Xenotees

    Xenotees said 9 years ago

    Congratulations Nicole! Wonderful interview- so many amazing tips & photos! You're an inspiration!

  • olivebrown

    olivebrown said 9 years ago

    thanks for the advice and inspiring words!

  • PenelopeAndAnastasia

    PenelopeAndAnastasia said 9 years ago

    Thanks Nicole for all the wonderful tips! I love seeing people's workspace to note how I can improve mine!

  • hamptonbeads

    hamptonbeads said 9 years ago

    This was one of the best "Quit Your Day Job" articles I've read. Great advice, Nicole! I hope to be in the same boat as you someday. :) Continued success to you as well!

  • FrucciDesign

    FrucciDesign said 9 years ago

    awesome story!!

  • DoRaeMe

    DoRaeMe said 9 years ago

    I have been admiring Lillyella for quite some time and can only hope to create such beautiful jewelry in the future.

  • petalandpink

    petalandpink said 9 years ago

    great advice, very helpful! thanks!

  • Studio618

    Studio618 said 9 years ago

    Way to go Nicole! I'm so inspired by this article. Good luck in your new BIG workshop - very envious! I wish you continued success.

  • pogoshop

    pogoshop said 9 years ago

    There's a world of good advice here, Nicole. Good luck with your lovely shop and thanks for sharing!

  • SelenaEon

    SelenaEon said 9 years ago

    Congratulations :) Nothing better than working for yourself! (it's my dream too!)

  • thequeensroyalcoach

    thequeensroyalcoach said 9 years ago

    Good for You for taking the Plunge...Excellent Article! Thank you :)

  • dlkdesigns

    dlkdesigns said 9 years ago

    I have always admired your shop & it is nice to see the feature on you :)

  • WaveCloud

    WaveCloud said 9 years ago

    Ah! I love lillyella! Great job, girl!

  • jolijoli

    jolijoli said 9 years ago

    That's such an inspirational story. Thanks for all the great advice Lillyella! I really love your jewelry.

  • fringe

    fringe said 9 years ago

    lillyella, i wish you great success and happiness! what an excellent article. thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. your inner beauty (along with your outer lovelieness) shines through. xo

  • MetalheartDesign

    MetalheartDesign said 9 years ago

    fabulous inspiration, thank you!


    CHICBAZAR said 9 years ago

    Thanks Nicole for sharing such a valuable information, I can see that your so organized in all aspects and I hope to be part of the Quit your Day Job!, too.

  • juliegarland

    juliegarland said 9 years ago

    What a great article!! Thanks Nicole and congratulations to you! I wish you lots of continued success! :)

  • rafya

    rafya said 9 years ago

    Nicole, your story and success gives lot of inspiration ! thank you so much for sharing your advices and tips. all the best ! Alona.

  • bellabijoujewellery

    bellabijoujewellery said 9 years ago

    Congrats - your workspace is SOOOOO organized!

  • mumukat

    mumukat said 9 years ago

    congratulations. your store was one of the first i discovered on etsy, and it has been quite the addiction ever since. and i have also been a repeat customer, for the reasons you listed! yay for you!

  • summerlynndesigns

    summerlynndesigns said 9 years ago

    Thank you for all your insight. Your accomplishments have inspired me and given me hope for my own sucess! Best wishes on your ventures!

  • phydeaux

    phydeaux said 9 years ago

    Yay Nicole, one of my favorite Etsians! So nice to see the face and the organization/business behind the shop and the wonderful treasuries.

  • crossesbyclaudia

    crossesbyclaudia said 9 years ago

    Thank you for sharing. I have suddenly found myself out of work in the real estate market, and decided to try Etsy. It's so scarry especially since I have no sales as of yet. Advise on how to get the word out is so helpful for us beginners.

  • urbanheirlooms

    urbanheirlooms said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful read for a Monday afternoon! This was my favorite interview by far. Thanks so much for sharing. You've truly inspired me. :-)

  • nanouke

    nanouke said 9 years ago

    Fantastic interview! I love Nicole's work, and she's the sweetest person too. It was very interesting to know more about her and that she's happy with her decision! Wonderful tips too! Oh, and I love the last photo, with Xenotees tee, I have one myself :)

  • jessiemccann

    jessiemccann said 9 years ago

    Inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  • cuddlycozy

    cuddlycozy said 9 years ago

    This has raised my spirits! After having a slow start in my shop (opened last month) and looking to learn all the tips I can and apply them. Great tips in this article. Best wishes for your continued success. Your and Tyler's workshop is awesome.

  • KnottyLoop

    KnottyLoop said 9 years ago

    Awesome article...thanks so much for sharing.

  • janicej

    janicej said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring interview. Thanks for sharing!

  • edithandlulu

    edithandlulu said 9 years ago

    So thoughtful, helpful and inspirational. I hope to one day do the same thing. Thanks for sharing.

  • katelynjane

    katelynjane said 9 years ago

    I TOTALLY agree with her suggestion in buying a tripod! I've noticed a huge amount of difference since I started using mine (: What a great interview, so much helpful advise and a really detailed look into her new life as a full time Etsian!

  • MewPaperArts

    MewPaperArts said 9 years ago

    Excellent advice which I'm sure to re-read. And then re-read again! Great job--keep up the good work!

  • CatholicGuilt

    CatholicGuilt said 9 years ago

    Fantastic interview - so realistic and not sugar coated. Congratulations on your success! Delia

  • HaughtonHandmade

    HaughtonHandmade said 9 years ago

    Beautiful work :-) Congrats and good luck on the future.

  • twolefthands

    twolefthands said 9 years ago

    Congratulations lilyella, very inspiring article, and you lucky girl getting your very own studio!

  • ohwhitty

    ohwhitty said 9 years ago

    Wow! It's amazing to see this article! I love her jewelry and she is now one of my rolemodels!

  • studio810

    studio810 said 9 years ago

    Congrats Nicole, thank you for your great advice and inspiration. Here's to your continued success!!

  • florigander

    florigander said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the great advice! Congrats on quitting your day job - your work and eye are fabulous and you deserve it. See you in the Treasuries, friend! Here's hoping for many years of great fortune from your talent. ~Rene

  • foodchic

    foodchic said 9 years ago

    Nicole - thanks so much for making me feel welcome on Etsy as well. The # of comments here, speaks of the sort of Etsy-kindness you show to everyone. Congrats on making it!!! You are an inspiration!

  • ModFarmgirl

    ModFarmgirl said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article. Congratulations, Nicole!! You are such an inspiration! I think your work is gorgeous, and I wish you continued success! Thank you for sharing your story!!!

  • MyKangaroo

    MyKangaroo said 9 years ago

    I'm a long way from quiting my day job but your tips are great for any Etsy seller. Wonderful story.

  • humblebea

    humblebea said 9 years ago

    Best of luck Nicole! Great jewelry and fun article! I am also doing the cross-hallway commute(sometimes in my pajamas) and found your article very inspirational. I would love to see pictures of your studio when it's all finished, it looks amazing! See you in the treasuries! (-:

  • OceanGrrl

    OceanGrrl said 9 years ago

    thanks for the tips and words of inspiration... i am jealous of your separate workshop! good luck!!!

  • f2images

    f2images said 9 years ago

    Oh, Nicole! I'm so proud of you!! There are tears in my eyes. Inspiring insights, and useful tips. So excited to see you in the spotlight!!! Hugs...Emiko :)

  • KittyKatoure

    KittyKatoure said 9 years ago

    good luck!! thats great- thanks for the inspiration!

  • corascupboard

    corascupboard said 9 years ago

    Great inspirational story, thanks for sharing. Beautiful jewelry. Good Luck!

  • twinsyndrome

    twinsyndrome said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the 4-Big-Tips... I'll give the blogging a try!

  • cjsbaubles

    cjsbaubles said 9 years ago

    Great tips! Especially enjoyed the promotional ideas. Hope I can follow in your footsteps someday.

  • movetheneedle

    movetheneedle said 9 years ago

    Inspiring article. :)

  • rkdsign88

    rkdsign88 said 9 years ago

    Thank you for sharing the tips.

  • TresFleury

    TresFleury said 9 years ago

    How inspiring! And such lovely work. Welldone!

  • matouenpeluche

    matouenpeluche said 9 years ago

    Fantastic! Good for you! You are a total inspiration my friend!! :D

  • wiyomu

    wiyomu said 9 years ago

    Congratulations! :)

  • kellyvanhook

    kellyvanhook said 9 years ago

    what a fantastic interview...thanks for sharing!! you ARE an inspiration for sure! good luck!

  • jimsmeltzgallery

    jimsmeltzgallery said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the insprirational interview. I'm retiring soon and your tips on survival as a artist are wonderful. Good luck on your project!

  • novadesigns

    novadesigns said 9 years ago

    Congrats and Good Luck! This really inspires me... Maybe cause I am working as a graphic designer... and have been for the past 9 years... hmmm

  • LornaSmithStudio

    LornaSmithStudio said 9 years ago

    Amazing...what a lovely life you have. I think we are all jelous!

  • juicychristians

    juicychristians said 9 years ago

    This is really inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope to one day reach to this point. I wish you much success!

  • BigSkyDreamer

    BigSkyDreamer said 9 years ago

    Congrats, wishing you continued wonderful success. Great article Mary Mary. Generous share Nicole of - Thank You.

  • BigSkyDreamer

    BigSkyDreamer said 9 years ago

    Again Great Share Nicole of lillyella. Thank You

  • crdesigngallery

    crdesigngallery said 9 years ago

    Thanks Nicole for all your wonderful advice! I love your jewelry and your photos are gorgeous! Your article has inspired me to create a day plan! I too was/am a graphic artist, guess you always use the tools. I will check back for blog pics of the finished workshop (love the creativity of artist spaces). Thanks also to Mary for the interview. Cindy

  • marquina

    marquina said 9 years ago

    Great, detailed article! There's nothing like being prepared before you start your business. And for those of us who took the plunge BEFORE we got organized, you have shared some great items for us to work on! Thanks!

  • SnuggleHerd

    SnuggleHerd said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration, Nicole! Congrats on your success & your beautiful jewelry!

  • NostalgiqueArt

    NostalgiqueArt said 9 years ago

    Weee, girl! Way to go... Can't wait for the day when I could be full time Etsy... Great tips!! I even copied the whole interview and will go through it at a slower pace later.... Thanks! Lisa

  • gunnelsvensson

    gunnelsvensson said 9 years ago

    Great article! Good luck !!!

  • ohkayk

    ohkayk said 9 years ago

    As I read this article, I am admiring the ring that I purchased from you a few weeks back. It is so nice to put a face and story to the lovely jewelery. Cheers to great success! Kay Spihlmann

  • funkyart08

    funkyart08 said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring! Congrats on your business venture. I hope to be there someday.....

  • erinlyn

    erinlyn said 9 years ago

    Nicole's "Fly Me To The Moon" necklace was one of my very first Etsy purchases, and I'm actually wearing it today! I love all of her things so much--I'm hoping that my husband took my not-so-subtle hint and picked up a thing or two (or three or four) for my birthday this Friday. :) Congrats, Nicole! You are indeed very inspiring and incredibly talented, and I'm glad to say I got in on the Lillyella ground floor!!!

  • soulyyours

    soulyyours said 9 years ago

    Inspiring article! ...from a fellow Ohioan (Akron)!!

  • chocolateandsteel

    chocolateandsteel said 9 years ago

    Great interview! There are some really wonderful tips in there. Thank you for your honesty. Best of luck to you. Your jewelry is beautiful.

  • maidenvintage

    maidenvintage said 9 years ago

    Congrats Nichole, You have a lovely etsy shop and beautiful jewelery. Thanks for the honest advice, I have a long way to go before opening my own little shop but you've been so helpful. Best of luck for the future, to you and Tyler.

  • TheCrochetPenguin

    TheCrochetPenguin said 9 years ago

    You are such an inspiration Nichole! I love your jewelry, I'll definetly be visiting your shop soon! Oh and my husband's name is also Tyler! I wish you the best!

  • simplypadproject

    simplypadproject said 9 years ago

    very inspiring story..Gbu

  • envejewelry

    envejewelry said 9 years ago

    Yay Nicole!!! You so deserve this and you're my idol! Keep rockin, Lady L!

  • AlaskaFirefly

    AlaskaFirefly said 9 years ago

    Very inspirational! I didn't know if it was possible, but you have proven that it can be done!

  • jennreese7

    jennreese7 said 9 years ago

    Nicole, what a lovely and inspirational story! I really enjoyed reading your spotlight and seeing your pictures. Congratulations on all of your hard work.

  • dorisrivera

    dorisrivera said 9 years ago

    Congrats, Nichole! You are my inspiration.

  • marbelladesigns

    marbelladesigns said 9 years ago

    Great article; thanks for sharing all the wonderful information. I'm a big fan of your jewelry.

  • BJohnsonJewelry

    BJohnsonJewelry said 9 years ago

    I enjoyed reading your story, you are very unique. I am also a big fan of your wonderful Jewelry.

  • Monicaj

    Monicaj said 9 years ago

    Congratulations Nicole! I enjoyed getting to know you a bit better through your interview. Would love to see after photo's of your studio. Your jewelry is amazing! All the best to you and thanks so much for sharing!

  • aromaticbodyoils

    aromaticbodyoils said 9 years ago

    Kudos to a fellow Clevelander! Gorgeous, unique pieces.

  • LoellaMedina

    LoellaMedina said 9 years ago

    I love this article!! This is a very inspiring story! I just placed my first order with Nicole and I can't wait to receive it!

  • glasfaden

    glasfaden said 9 years ago

    I just found this article. So encouraging! Thank you for sharing, Nicole, and congratulations! Wishing you all the best! xo, Devi

  • treeandtwig

    treeandtwig said 9 years ago

    Great article and beautiful jewelry ! Thanks!

  • treeandtwig

    treeandtwig said 9 years ago

    Twice ? Why ? I'm sorry..

  • treeandtwig

    treeandtwig said 9 years ago

    finally only one comment from me :)

  • SerendipityCrafts

    SerendipityCrafts said 9 years ago

    You are my hero :) Take me with you puleeeze!

  • unicorngem1994

    unicorngem1994 said 9 years ago

    Congrat's to you...wishing you continued sucess. Great feeling overcoming your fears...nothing can stop you now! D

  • createjacksonville

    createjacksonville said 9 years ago

    what an excellent article! congratulations and best of luck in the future....i am marking you as a favorite and heading to your blog :)

  • linguaNigra

    linguaNigra said 9 years ago

    Wow! I can't wait until my jewelry picks up like this and I can quit my other 4 jobs!

  • Mellybeanboutique

    Mellybeanboutique said 9 years ago

    So inspiring--I love how organized and prepared you are.

  • EarthShine

    EarthShine said 9 years ago

    Great article! I am so jealous of the workshop too!

  • kcotti

    kcotti said 9 years ago

    I loved your story and decided to share it on, a site dedicated to helping people through the beginning stages of changes (like starting their own business). People are inspired by your success, check it out here: and keep making your cute jewelry!

  • Piggy

    Piggy said 9 years ago

    I love your shop and it was a great article with lots of tips for inspiring artists that hope to go full time :D

  • DanicaDesigns

    DanicaDesigns said 9 years ago

    Happy to hear of your success and your work is lovely! Enjoy the new exciting.

  • jacksoncreede

    jacksoncreede said 9 years ago

    Great article - really gave me the extra little push that I needed to quit my day job! Thank you! You have beautiful designs.

  • punkydookids

    punkydookids said 9 years ago

    Thanks for a great article. I have my own blog ready to go; I just have to make that first entry. I enjoyed looking at yours.

  • jascamille

    jascamille said 9 years ago

    You look so happy!

  • JewelryByMichelle

    JewelryByMichelle said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring!

  • PamelaAngus

    PamelaAngus said 9 years ago

    fab read !!

  • PinkWaterFairy

    PinkWaterFairy said 9 years ago

    I think this is one of the most inspiring 'Quit Your Day Job' articles I have read! and what beautiful jewelry you have in your shop :)

  • mhullah

    mhullah said 8 years ago

    Truly stunning pieces at very reasonable prices. Nicole is a pleasure to deal with.

  • HarperStreet

    HarperStreet said 8 years ago

    Very inspiring! I am hoping to take the plunge at some point in my life, but I'm not sure I'll ever be brave enough! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • houseofeden

    houseofeden said 8 years ago

    I am hooked on this stuff...It's all SO BEAUTIFUL! I can't wait to order more! :) Thanks Nicole!

  • SleepingporchStudio

    SleepingporchStudio said 8 years ago

    This is an encouraging article. It takes alot of organization and determination to make this work, and you sure have been successful! Your specific schedule for the day is great....I can't do this full time, but I can sure make better use of the time I do have. Thanks!

  • EndlessSunner

    EndlessSunner said 8 years ago

    Very inspiring! Your jewelry is beautiful.

  • HBeliveaux

    HBeliveaux said 8 years ago

    This is really helpful advice and your discipline is encouraging! I love your pieces, especially the lily of the valley ones...personal sentimental attachment.

  • lucywallis

    lucywallis said 8 years ago

    Good for you - great to hear things are expanding. Thanks for sharing your tips. Lucy

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 8 years ago

    I just read this. This was so good I want to save this it's so inspiring to me.

  • Florals

    Florals said 8 years ago

    You just gave me the encouragement I need to keep trying! Your things are beautiful. I am still waiting for that first sale tho!

  • QueRico

    QueRico said 8 years ago

    Your bracelets took my breath away! Inspiring article!

  • eclecticarmadillo

    eclecticarmadillo said 8 years ago

    Thank you for having the courage to live your life on your terms! You are a precious inspiration. Best regards!

  • bijouxdellostregatto

    bijouxdellostregatto said 8 years ago

    Oh! You are super well-organized! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • grady

    grady said 8 years ago

    A very inspiring story! Thank you for your tips.

  • grady

    grady said 8 years ago

    A very inspiring story! Thank you for your tips.


    LANCERIKA said 8 years ago

    AweSoMe story!

  • etrevivant

    etrevivant said 7 years ago

    I'm very new to etsy and I really appreciate you sharing your adventure to freedom! I already have a pretty good business outside of Etsy and I was able to quit my "regular" job last October. But, I want to expand into the world of Etsy and it's very Greek to me. This helps me put some perspective on some things. Thanks! -Chalee

  • CherryRunWay

    CherryRunWay said 7 years ago

    THIS was so great!! It gives me hope as a jewelry designer. :)

  • BigGurlStuff

    BigGurlStuff said 7 years ago

    A great success story, thanks for all your advice!!! Being new to Etsy I try to take the advice from others here who are successful!

  • BenaBasilsDesigns

    BenaBasilsDesigns said 6 years ago

    Wonderful story Nicole. There's hope for the rest of us. :)

  • Iridonousa

    Iridonousa said 6 years ago

    Grate article,grate inspiration for a newcomer .I am glad I read your story. Thanks

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  • The Quit-Your-Day-Job Checklist | Lifehacker Australia said 106 days ago

    […] [Via Etsy] […]

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