Thursday, December 29, 2011


Hi MaieDae readers!  My name is Laura and I run two small businesses, Violet Bella and Roots & Feathers, and a blog.  I'm primarily a jewelry designer and photographer. From time to time, I make handmade clothing.  Besides my big dreams and big love for art, I live a pretty small, simple life.  When I am not designing jewelry or taking pretty pictures, I'm usually hanging out with my husband and animals.  I have mad love for nature, coffee, good music, and for real people... people who are not afraid to just be themselves.

Today Im going to highlight 5 things I've learned while running a small business.  I'm very passionate about what I do and I see so many others who have such passion for creating but don't know where to begin.  So just maybe, one of these will help you.

1.  Patience. ---> I have learned you must have patience in business.  Things do not just happen overnight.  The beginning of this journey was very rocky and slow. There were several times I thought I was going to have to give up and go back to waitressing.  My desire to do what I love (instead of going back to that) kept me going.  Don't stop creating just because things are not selling.  Just keep stocking that shop and pouring your heart into what you are doing.

2.  Perseverance. --->  This one ties into number one. Not giving up. Even when things are tough.  Nobody said that running your own business would be easy.  It will most likely be harder than any 'normal' job.  You are no longer just an employee, you are the everything.  I have found that during the hard, slow times, I become the most creative. You have to create ways to get people to visit your shop. As with most things, good things come with time and slow growth.

3.  Marketing. ---> You can make some of the most beautiful things in the world, but if it doesn't get marketed right, it won't be seen. There are so many people starting their own small businesses, epecially since widely used online marketplaces like Etsy have started.  This makes for lots of competition and a much smaller chance of being noticed. Take advantage of the social networking that is out there for us, such as Twitter and Facebook. For a long time, I was anti-both, but I can honestly say that they have changed the face of my business. And I have formed some amazing friendships along the way because of them. Another biggie is blogging. I personally love to know the history of an artist I am buying from.  It makes the peice so much more special to me. Maybe I'm just a sentimentalist in that respect, but I do.  There are several artists I have come to know on a more personal level through these social networks that have made me want to buy more of thier work. Just to name a few: Moorea Seal, Poor Pitiful Pearl, and definitely MaieDae!

4.  Authenticity.  ---> Be yourself in your work. Don't make something because it's trendy or you think you will make money from it. That is so far from what the handmade small business should be about.  Look within yourself and find that thing that personally makes you tick. And if it's something that someone else is already doing, that's fine, just do it your own way. There is not much in the art world that has not already been done, but there are a million ways to make things your own true authentic work.  Trust me, the more true you stay to yourself' the farther you will go. Those kinds of things last.

5.  Balance. ---> This is one I personally struggle with all of the time. Find balance between your work and your personal free time. Time just for yourself to re-coop and relax. When you are feeling burned at both ends or simple out of inspiration, step back away from it all. Go for a walk, take a bath (or a vacation)! Spend time with friends, go on a date.  Just simply check out for a while. And the most important part, is to not feel guilty about it or spend the whole time thinking about work while doing it!  Remind yourself that the time away is just as important as the time spent working. You will come back to your work with fresh eyes and renewed vigor and work that much better.

Thank you so much for reading!  If you want to get to know more about me, visit my blog.  Or come check out my two jewelry shops, Violet Bella and Roots & Feathers.  My adorable hubby also runs a part time screenprinting shop called Skyline Fever.  You can also follow me daily on Facebook and Twitter.  And for some simple inspiration, Im a bit obsessed with Pinterest.

Peace and Love,

Find Laura Here:  Blog  |  Violet Bella  |  Roots & Feathers  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest 

Laura, this is GREAT advice on running a small business. I think all of your tips are very, very important to remember...especially patience and perseverance. :) 


  1. This is such great advice. I loved getting to read her 5 things. Definitely going to check out Laura's blog and shops now :)

  2. so wonderful! i love laura's artwork & all her creative endeavors. so inspiring! thanks for sharing these tidbits...exactly what i needed to read ;)

  3. Great advice, Laura. I love your shop and blog. xo, rv

  4. Yes! Such great advice.
    "Be yourself in your work. Dont make something because its trendy or you think you will make money from it" is my favorite part!!

  5. Anonymous30.12.11

    i love this! i own several pieces of Laura's work and can just say that she's the sweetest person ever and everything she makes is amazing.

    as an aspiring entrepreneur, these tips are a wonderful resource. thank you! Xx.

  6. Wow, this is just what I need today. I think it applies to life in general and not just small business. Savannah, I love your blog, it's just the kind of inspiration I need. I have just quit my job and I've enrolled to study graphic design for 2012. I have never done anything creative before and I love stumbling across all these amazing bloggers like yourself.
    Thank you
    toni xo

  7. Great post, Laura! Patience is definitely something I need to work on--and perseverance too. Thank you for sharing your tips!

  8. Anonymous2.1.12

    Beautifully written. Thanks Laura!