In Conversation with Jewelry Designer Natasha A. Waterman
Describe your business in a few words?
High quality, yet affordable handmade jewelry.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
After getting so many requests for my jewelry pieces, I decided to start a business. It brings me joy seeing someone wearing something I created.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I have a background in Political Science and negotiations.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I knew that I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I honestly thought it would be as an attorney with my own law firm.
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?
My marketing strategy in the beginning was by word of mouth. I would have my friends and family wear my pieces and basically advertise the pieces. I would also create brochures and hand them out along with my business cards. It did work. I would get a good amount of business. Because of that, I was able to start advertising via google and having jewelry parties.
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 had a challenging time with my health during a period when my business was going well. I made a decision to put the business on hold and it was a big mistake because if I had not done that, my business would have been much more successful by now. When I relaunched the business, it was almost like starting from scratch.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
For me the accomplishment is having my jewelry pieces bought by people all over the world and them sending me emails telling me how much they love the jewelry.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
The most important question for anyone working on your team is, what are you passionate about? When you talk to someone and look in their eyes about what they are passionate about, you can tell what type of person they are. You never want someone on your team that has no drive. In my opinion, someone who’s just a go with the flow or complacent person, is just in it for a paycheck. I need people around me that have passion and drive.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, my jewelry business has been impacted by the pandemic. It didn’t surprise me, as we are all for the most part staying home and so many people are without a job. I’m just grateful to see things are starting to look up for the business, as people are making plans to get out of the house once things start to get better. The one thing about my pieces, they never go out of style, so people can buy them now and use them at any time.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
You can expect to see a new division of the business called Adrian Ann. In this business we will be selling more of everyday, ready-to-wear pieces.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in 2020 is to never take anything for granted and to live life to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to venture out and do the things you want to do.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
I wish I knew how much work it actually takes to start a business. It’s more than just saying you want to start a business. You actually need to do lots of research, create a business plan and seek out people for advice.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
I’ve managed to stay grounded by my faith in God and the love of my family.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I definitely believe in work/life balance. It is a necessity to keep oneself sane in this fast paced world. For me, I always take time for myself each day. Even if it’s just for an hour. I also make sure that on Sundays I take the time to spend it with my family. Work is important, but so is spending time with family.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I actually wanted to become a professional ballerina. That was my dream job. Now I just do ballet barre to fulfill that little urge.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
First tip is to plan. Plan what you need to do on that day. Second, prioritize. What are the most important things you need to do that day? And third, take little breaks. Believe it or not, not taking breaks causes so much stress and anxiety.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista means being a role model for all females wanting to own a business. It shows them that they too can become a future Entreprenista.