How Nia Coffey is taking the jewelry world by storm all while raising her young family

Nia Coffey_Blog Header

Nia Coffey, founder of Eight Five One Jewelry, chats with us about pivoting a small business quickly, how entrepreneurs must play every role, and why you should focus on the present.

Describe Eight Five One Jewelry in a few words?

High quality and affordable everyday jewelry to empower women to be their most confident self.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I wanted to work for myself, do something I loved and have a family. Eight Five One was all of these things.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I worked primarily in the nonprofit world doing development and fundraising. I always did jewelry on the side, until it eventually took over and I felt confident to leave my 9-5.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

At some level, yes.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

I originally began my business by doing every event I could on the weekends, while still working my day job. I realized there was interest, and sales when I would do these events, so that gave me the motivation to continue. My marketing strategy at that time wasn’t honestly just trying to get my jewelry in front of people at these events. Outside of that I would leave my business cards everywhere I went. Like literally everywhere. Bathrooms at restaurants, bars, literally anywhere someone might pick it up and check out our Instagram. Looking back on it, it was so silly but felt like gorilla marketing at the time ha.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

I don’t know if I would call it a mistake, but originally, I was SO invested in our in person events. Having to prep for them all week, it would suck up a large amount of my time where I couldn’t really focus on other ways to grow the business. Once the pandemic hit, my in person shows stopped and I was truly worried about how we would survive without them. However, it forced us to pivot and gave us the time to (quickly) devote 100% to our online business. It ended up being really beneficial actually and I feel so grateful to have been able to make the change successfully and for every single customer for supporting us through it all.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Building Eight Five One to where it is today. It’s my first baby,  (I have a 2 yo). I am just so proud of how far we have come and can’t wait to see how far we will go!

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

Something along the lines of how someone handles themselves in tough situations and their ability to make strategic decisions. As a small business we have the freedom to go for truly anything we want. We have to be scrappy, and make quick decisions. We have to be able to pivot quickly when a challenge presents itself.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Since the pandemic hit, our entire business model shifted. Like I mentioned, once events stopped, we did a complete 180 shift to our online presence. In the past year we have truly grown because of it. It took a lot of work to restructure the way the business functioned, but in the end, it was a blessing.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

We will be expanding into more retailers, and have an app coming out that will provide an easy and seamless shopping experience for our customers. Of course, we will be continuing to put out new lines as well. Our newest Spring line will be dropping in June 2021!

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Be thankful for what you have.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

That you will be wearing many hats! As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to hire out for more and more projects which is always exciting but truly as a business owner you do literally everything. That and you can easily ship from your office or home! I used to go to the postal office, hand write every customer address and sit there while they processed each package one by one. We’ve definitely come a long way.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Getting up before my son to meditate!

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Absolutely. Especially after 2020, I think lots of people’s perspectives have shifted to realize how important this is. That said, If I’m being honest it’s pretty hard for me to turn work off. If I see a customer email or DM come through, I can’t help but want to respond right away. It’s super important for all of us to find work life balance and it is something I actively work to be better at every day. But I am currently eating dinner at 9pm and working while my son is asleep, so there’s that ha.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve never had any real professional jewelry training–everything has been self taught.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

Focus on what is immediately in front of me. Mediation. Exercise.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Doing what you love, and being in charge of where that takes you.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





The Business of Clean Beauty with Natalie Mackey of Winky Lux

Natalie Mackey was an Entreprenista from a young age. After spending a few years in the finance industry, she decided to pivot to her “industry crush”: the beauty industry, because as she put it, “you get to sell happiness as a product.” Today, we sit down with Natalie Mackey, CEO and founder of Winky Lux,…

Teqnizan Founder Rama Prasad on Creating Functional and Fashionable Earbuds

First, let’s get to know Rama! Rama Prasad is the Founder CEO of Teqnizan located in Minneapolis. Teqnizan has explored, invented, patented, and is selling wireless bluetooth audio earrings. The earrings look and feel like jewelry earrings, and function like an earbud audio device. Rama, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? The…

Harvick Farms Founder Lainey Harvick on Growing Community Awareness Around Homesteading

Hello Lainey! Please tell us a little about yourself. In 2015, I became a nurse and worked in the ER through the pandemic. Gardening was a way to provide an outlet from the high-intensity career. As a mother, nurse, and avid gardener who understands the value of having support and resources I could see there…

Meet Mamaprenista Olivia Dreizen Howell and Learn How She Shifted the Cultural Narrative through Fresh Starts Registry

Hello Olivia! Please share a little bit about your business: Fresh Starts Registry is the first and only platform for everything you need to start again. We are shifting the cultural narrative to celebrate big, bold, and brave life decisions. Whether it’s a divorce, breakup, moving, job change, stepping into your truth, or any big…

Founder of Clairebella, Kathy Story, on Creating and Sharing her Artwork

Hello Kathy! Tell us a little about yourself. I am the founder and artist behind Clairebella. Clairebella is a lifestyle brand of colorful gifts and home décor. We believe every day items should spark joy. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? I am excited to connect with other women, support women, and…

Huckleberry Creative’s Jess Coleman on Developing Strategic Insights You Need to Deliver High Quality Work

Before we get started, here is some background information on our fabulous entreprenista Jess: Jess Coleman is the founder of Huckleberry Creative, a full-service website design and development studio with a mission to make it easy and fun for entrepreneurs to share their genius with the world. She’s an experienced marketer, copywriter, and designer who…

Marketing Maven Brooke Latham on Launching Social Canvas

Hello Brooke! Please share a little bit about yourself. As a marketing strategist, I am passionate about helping business owners grow their brands by creating comprehensive sales funnels designed to attract, convert and retain their ideal clients. My business, Social Canvas, is a full-service marketing agency specializing in working with organizations of purpose. What excites…

Emma Vollrath on Founding Her Sustainable and Innovative Athleisure Brand: Emma Lou

Hi Emma! Let’s first talk about Emma Lou: Hi! My name is Emma Vollrath, and I am the founder of Emma Lou, an innovative athleisure brand using recycled, sweat-enhancing fabrics to beat bloat, decrease water weight retention, and support women in overcoming lower stomach insecurities. Our recycled thermoplastic fabric is designed with an insulating property that…

Growing Your Business with Carlyn Bushman of Carlyn Bushman Consulting

When Carlyn stepped into Entrepreneurship to be closer to her four children, she thought it would be easy. After her first business came to an end, she realized her real passion was in helping other women grow their businesses, thus she created Carlyn Bushman Consulting.  In this episode, we sit down with Carlyn Bushman, founder…

A Web3 Deep Dive with Laurie Segall

Today, we’re sitting down with Laurie Segall, a journalist and former senior technology correspondent and an editor-at-large at CNN. Laurie has interviewed tech titans like Mark Zuckerburg and Tim Cook, and is also the co-founder and executive producer of Dot Dot Dot Media, a news and entertainment company devoted to tech and humanity. Listen in…

10 Tech Solutions Entreprenistas Can Use to Operate and Grow Their Business

Entreprenistas have a lot of pressures to navigate when building their business. Between wearing multiple hats to keep everything running from managing finances, staffing, marketing and more — it can be a lot to juggle from sunrise to sunset.  Thanks to technology, several tools are designed to streamline business operations to make life easier and…

Secrets to a Successful Fundraise with Andrea Ippolito of SimpliFed

After struggling to feed her daughter by breastfeeding, Andrea was lost and didn’t know what to do. This is unfortunately a story that is common amongst new moms. But for Andrea, she decided to change the narrative by making it her mission to educate new moms and help them meet their feeding goals.  Today, we…

Alicia McKenzie’s Mamaprenista Journey Launching Lift Like a Mother

Alicia, how did you start fostering your entrepreneurial spirit? McKenzie Enterprise dba Lift Like A Mother™ began as a way for me to share training videos with my coaches during my athletic career. Over the years, it has evolved into a coaching practice I am so proud of and a separate nonprofit to help me…

Entreprenista Honors Top 100 Women Business Leaders of 2022

Entreprenista 100 winners will be recognized at a celebration & networking luncheon this March NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Entreprenista League, a leading membership community for ambitious, entrepreneurial women, is excited to announce the winners of its inaugural Entreprenista 100 Awards. Presented in partnership with Chase Ink, the Entreprenista 100 Awards honors 100 exemplary…

Investigating the Metaverse: The Legal Side of Web3 with Jennifer Justice

One of the most intimidating things about Web3 is the sometimes-murky legal side of things. There are a fair amount of scams out there and it can feel pretty overwhelming, but luckily there are people who have it all figured out—and you’ll meet one of them today.  We’re sitting down with Jennifer Justice, an entertainment…