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





Melanie Rivera of Breaker28 on making an impact while finding joy in everyday life hiccups and surprises

Describe Breaker28 in a few words? We develop leaders with H.E.A.R.T. – Healthy, Equitable, Antiracist, Real and Trust-Centered. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been planning my business for four years – perfecting content, testing out approaches, and I feel that I have a message and a model…

Bex Gold of Brite Hair on combining ethics and fashion to drive innovation into the haircare space

Describe your business in a few words? Brite Hair makes quality ethical, vegan, cruelty free hair color & hair care products that are accessible and fun! What made you take the leap to start your own business? I founded a hair color brand after a long-term relationship ended – I was in my 30s and…

Sonya Tkacs of Recruitlynk on why marketing and selling your business as an owner never stops

Describe your business in a few words? The Recruitlynk mission is to recruit and source top executive and management talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We strive to help sustain and nurture inclusive cultures where differences drive innovative solutions and uphold diversity in the workplace. Our goal is to effectively hire leaders who care about…

Isabelle Tierney of The Feel Good Life on helping people lead more fulfilling lives with her ground-breaking methodology

Describe your business in a few words? I help individuals, as well as businesses, relieve stress and choose well-being. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had a highly successful private practice for more than 20 years as a marriage and family therapist, but my personal life was anything but…

Brittany Whitlock of Big Mood Digital on why the thing you are afraid of is the thing you have to do!

Describe Big Mood Digital in a few words? I train business owners, marketers and teams on how to conquer digital marketing confidently making it approachable and manageable through private sessions and courses. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I love working with passionate people who get excited to learn something…

Courtlyn Jones of The Design Database on being a creative entrepreneur, and how she is helping freelancers create the career of their dreams

Describe your business in a few words? The Design Database is an online platform and community designed to be a support system for Creatives, helping them find jobs. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was hired as a graphic designer at my “dream company,” 10 years after I set…

Erin Pohan of Upkeeping on overcoming fear, and her three best tips for staying productive

Describe your business in a few words? My goal with UpKeeping is to continually evolve to meet the financial accounting needs of entrepreneurs. We currently offer full-service bookkeeping services, accounting clean-ups and QuickBooks training. What made you take the leap to start your own business? For most of my life, I sat back and watched…

Danielle Elias Las of Bump’n Clothing on growing a business while giving back to the IVF community

Describe Bump’n Clothing in a few words? The ultimate in maternity and postpartum apparel. What made you take the leap to start your own business? The desire to create the perfect maternity pant while giving back to the IVF community. What was your background prior to starting your own business? Attorney; In House Counsel for…

Miriam Airington-Fisher of Airington Law on combining law and entrepreneurship and how she is making an impact

Describe your business in a few words? Airington Law is a women-lead law firm specializing in defending against wrongful convictions and litigating civil rights issues What made you take the leap to start your own business? I initially started my law practice out of necessity. I went through a divorce and became a single mom…

Michele Henry of FACE FOUNDRIÉ on why she leans into her fears, and the importance of dreaming big

Describe FACE FOUNDRIÉ in a few words? Efficient and effective focused facial bar specializing in all things face, facials, lashes, brows, and skincare. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I worked in my parents’ small inground pool business from age 13 all the way through college. Being an entrepreneur is…

Ashley Spriggs of Pivot Media on the power of genuine relationships

Describe your business in a few words? We are a media firm that gets your message the attention it deserves. We offer services in Public Relations and Podcast Management. What made you take the leap to start your own business? It was the right time! I was growing my client list as an independent contractor…

Mary Allard of The Third Place podcast on inviting listeners to explore uncomfortable conversations in a safe space

Describe your business in a few words? The Third Place podcast is a weekly podcast that invites listeners into the hard conversations that we have a tendency to avoid. It is a podcast that “goes there,” within a safe place where curiosity is encouraged, differences are welcomed, and empathy is embraced through healthy dialogue. What…

Kelsea Olivia of East Olivia Creative on creating experiences that spark curiosity, joy, and connection

Describe your business in a few words? East Olivia is a boutique creative agency that specializes in large-scale floral installations. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been starting businesses since I was a child, selling my crafts and babysitting. As an adult, I had an innate desire to…

Tiffany Roman of Small Biz Highlight on creating a platform to help small businesses thrive

Describe your business in a few words? Small Biz Highlight is a web show, created to help introduce the people behind a small/local business, their products and services, and discuss how COVID affected them. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Back in April 2020, COVID shutdowns were in full effect…

11 Mamaprenistas share their best productivity tips to manage a business and a family

1) Tierney Larkin, Founder at Larkin Living Spaces: “Be sure to have a designated space to work that is just for you and your business. It can be a makeshift office in the corner of a room, or even a traveling cart that you can take around with you to store all of your supplies…