In Conversation with Jewelry Designer Rhys Kelly

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Describe your business in a few words?

Magical hand-painted eye jewelry to match anyone’s unique eye color.

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

Determination! I’ve always wanted to have my own business. Once I found my passion, and noticed others were interested, I went for it! I didn’t sit around and think “hmm… what if”, I just started my website/instagram and began selling from my heart while spreading love!

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Prior to starting my own business, I was an art student. I studied art all through high school and then even more at a Special FX school.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes! Luckily my family engrained entrepreneurship in my mind at a very young age.

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?

For Rhys Kelly, the best marketing strategy has always been in person connections, i.e., art shows, events, festivals. Also, Instagram! Instagram has changed the game when It comes to starting a business. I work a lot with influencers who promote my jewelry and share it with their followers to get the word out in an organic way.

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?

To be honest, an early on mistake I made was investing too much money into my business right away. Although it was a minor mistake, I still feel as though it was essential to my growth and taught me A LOT about the power of patience!

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

My most proud accomplishment is following my wildest dreams and not giving up. When starting your own business, it sometimes seems easier to just give up and work and 9-5 job when the going gets tough, so I’m very proud of myself for sticking with the course. It also makes me super happy to see my artwork worn by so many wonderful people!

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

The very first go-to interview question is, “what’s your experience”. For me it’s super important to hire someone who has experience in the jewelry/art/marketing/sales realm. Another key component is positive mental attitude! When creating a team, it’s important for everyone to have high vibrations and be on the same page while loving what they’re doing.

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

Surprisingly 2020 was one of my best years in regard to sales because everyone was online shopping and supporting small businesses. Working from home hasn’t been much of an issue for me, thanks to technology!  

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

The biggest lesson I learned in 2020 is to follow your intuition. Nowadays with influencers, TV, etc. it’s so easy to get distracted/swayed by the opinions of others. 2020 taught me to look/listen within while appreciating and loving myself and others.

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

I wish I knew it was okay to take it one step at a time. When I first started I thought I needed 1k+ followers/sales to even be seen, but now realize that as long as you’re putting passion and love into whatever you’re doing, it will be acknowledged and appreciated by others. It’s all about the climb baby!

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but yoga/meditation has really helped me this year. If I feel frustrated or overwhelmed, I remind myself to take a little break by meditating/breathing because it completely changes my entire mindset for the better.

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

Yes! Absolutely! I feel that having a start/stop time is essential to staying motivated and passionate. This has actually been a little challenging for me lately because I work from home and I put most of my energy into my business and truly enjoy it. Sometimes my business bleeds into my personal life a little too much, so I have to remind myself to have a start/stop time.

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

  • Start your day off by setting a positive intention.
  • Use a planner to set daily goals.
  • Push past your comfort zone!

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Haha, to me being an Entreprenista means being a girl boss! To find the power within yourself to say, I GOT THIS! & to never give up when the going gets tough!

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