Sky's the Limit: Talking Biz with Alaina Cherup of Cheer Up Letterpress

Hey there—It’s Kate, owner of Sky Trading Co. with my next edition of Sky’s the Limit: a blog of Q&A-style interviews featuring women entrepreneurs from Columbus, OH. I’m hopeful that their stories will inspire you to live fearlessly. Enjoy!

I’m so excited for you all to meet Alaina Cherup, designer and owner of Cheer Up Letterpress, a boutique wedding invitation and fine letterpress printing studio. I met Alaina through Etsy about two years ago when I was planning my wedding and looking for someone local to do my wedding invitations. I immediately fell in love with her and her work. At the time, she was designing paper goods out of her home and today she has the most amazing studio located in the Franklinton Arts District in downtown Columbus, Ohio. She offers a full range of products and services including consultation, design, printing, calligraphy and assembly – she’s even designing the most beautiful business cards for me right now. Below is Alaina’s story and advice for young entrepreneurs and wannabe bosses…

Cheer Up Letterpress

For those that don’t know, can you describe what Cheer Up LetterPress is and what services you offer?

Cheer Up Letterpress is a wedding invitation design and printing business. My specialty is letterpress printing, which is an antique form of printing that dates back several centuries, but has made a resurgence on wedding invitations and artisan-type products.

How did you discover your passion for paper goods, design and illustration?

I studied graphic design in college, and I’ve always enjoyed art and creating things. I knew after I graduated from college that paper was the direction I wanted to take. At the time, my dream job was working for Hallmark, but I worked for Kroger setting copy for their advertisements right out of college. During my downtime, I did design work and started an Etsy shop.

What is your design process?

It’s changed a little bit over the past couple of years. I used to have an Etsy shop, but I was able to close it because I work with more local brides and all my orders are custom. Typically, I will invite people to my studio, we’ll talk about their wedding inspiration and what they want. Then, I’ll send a quote and start designing once the quote is approved. I’ll create a few different design concepts and my client will provide feedback. It’s a very hands on, involved process. Working with my clients on their design is a very rewarding part of the process, and I want to make sure my clients love what I’ve created for them. Once the mock up is finalized, we print. Printing usually takes two weeks to a month depending on how we print (digitally or via letterpress).

What do you think makes Cheer Up Letterpress unique?

I have the letterpress and not a lot of people can say they letterpress print in-house. I’m in-between a boutique wedding shop and a print shop. I like to say I am a print shop and I am a designer—it’s a unique and special experience for my clients.

Cheer Up Letter Press - Photo by Kismet Visuals

What advice do you have for brides who are just starting to think about designing their invitation suite?

It’s important to be yourself and do what you like versus what’s trendy. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the trends, but I think you should think about what you will like in five, ten and 15 years. Are you going to look back at your invitations and regret them or are you going to see something timeless? Trust your taste, but keep in mind what you will like in the future.

How did you learn the ins and outs of running a business such as pricing products, writing contracts, creating a website and finding clients?

I’ve become successful through trial and error, and figuring out what works best for me because I’ve done it. I think people want to be handed the information and that’s not how it works. The best way to figure something out is to try it and learn what’s best for you.

How did you fund your business when you were first starting out?

I didn’t need upfront money. When someone bought something, I would buy the supplies to complete the project, and paper is cheap. I’ve always used what I have and I have very little overhead costs.

How do you promote your business?

I don’t really promote it. Whenever I’ve tried to pay for advertising, it’s never really worked for me. Now that I work with local brides, a lot of my business comes from word of mouth. I have friends who are vendors and they recommend me. Also, a lot of my business comes through Instagram.

What were your biggest fears when you first started your business? How did you combat those fears?

When I first started out, I had a lot of fear that my clients wouldn’t be happy with the product I was producing. It used to keep me up at night. It wasn’t because the quality of my work because my quality of work is amazing, but when you own your own business, it’s an extension of yourself. It’s a lot of pressure and it’s hard to separate yourself from your business. I talk to the people close to me about my fears and frustrations and that helps.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about owning your own business?

The freedom to be independent. I can pick up my daughter or take a day off when I want. However, the ability to be independent also comes along with not having co-workers. I’m by myself all the time, which can be hard. Owning your own business can be a lot of pressure because if something goes wrong it’s on you and only you.

Running a business is never easy, what keeps you motivated?

I do what I love, so it’s easy. When I’m feeling burnt out, it’s nice to find a creative outlet that doesn’t revolve around my business. For example, every once and a while I’ll paint, I like to garden, and I try to find other creative outlets that I can separate from my business.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who want to follow their dreams and start their own company?

Just do it, and there’s no such thing as failure because you’ve learned something. There’s always a lesson.

What has been your biggest success to-date?

There’s been a mixture of a lot of things, not one event, that have made me feel like I’ve made it this past year. Being able to transition into a letterpress printer has made me feel more successful. Moving into my studio space has also made me feel more legitimate and more respected by my clients. I’ve landed a lot of clients because they see I have a physical space. It feels so good to be able to compete with some of the best paper goods businesses in Columbus.

If someone wants to work with you to design their paper goods, what’s the best way to get in touch?

Email is the best way >>> hello@cheeruppress.com. There’s also a questionnaire on my website that couples can fill out to contact me and start the design process.

Be sure to check out Alaina’s site here and follow her on Instagram here

Also, let me know if there is anything you are curious about or think I should ask during my next interview in the comments below! 

      XOXO,

Kate Manofsky Anderson
 

Sky's the Limit: Talking Biz with Fiber Artist Sarah Harste

Hi there—It’s Kate, owner of Sky Trading Co. with my next edition of Sky’s the Limit: a blog of Q&A-style interviews featuring the shakers, makers and mostly badass women around Columbus, OH. Hopefully, their stories will inspire you to live fearlessly. Enjoy!

This week I spoke with fiber artist Sarah Harste of Sarah Harste Weavings. I felt instantly connected to Sarah when I first sat down with her. She’s extremely kind, creative, smart and inspiring for so many reasons. Not only is she an amazing fiber artist, she teaches macramé and weaving workshops throughout the Midwest (sign up here!) and just wrapped her first season of Scrap Paper, a podcast of real conversations she records with a friend about being creative small business owners. Below is her story and advice for young entrepreneurs and wannabe bosses…

Sarah Harste Weavings

For those that don’t know, can you describe what you do at Sarah Harste Weavings?

It’s two parts—it’s a product-based and an education-based business. I sell weavings, macramé, and weaving tools. I teach workshops in the Midwest, including cities around Ohio, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. I try to get people excited about working with fiber.

What got you into weaving?

I began to see fiber art on Instagram about three years ago and I was immediately drawn to it. I needed to know more about it and learn how to weave. I bought a loom online, and on a snowy February day I sat in my bed for six hours and I taught myself to weave. It was magical and I felt like time was slipping away. I became obsessed. 

What was the first step you took when you decided you wanted to start selling your art?

My first step was setting up an Etsy shop combined with getting comfortable sharing my work on Instagram. The first thing you have to learn is how to become a self-promoter and that can be really hard especially if you’re not used to putting yourself out there and promoting your own work. 

In the beginning How did you fund your business?

It was a little bit at a time. I funded it from my own personal money I was making from my job.  The first time I taught a workshop was the first time I had a big chunk of money come in all at once, which is the first time I realized I was going to start investing in my business. I bought a lot of wood and power tools to start making looms. I opened up a bank account and got my logistics in order and started treating it as a business instead of a hobby.

Handzy Workshop 2.JPG

Did you ever have any doubt that this wasn’t what you were supposed to do? What did you do to keep those thoughts at bay?

Like, every single day! To doubt yourself is a very natural thought process. I think that it’s hard to wake up every day and feel completely committed to what you are doing and feel like you are on the right path. I talk to my support system including my fiancé and friends. When you can voice your doubts out loud, it makes them less scary, gives them less power and makes it feel more like a passing thought versus reality. It’s hard to believe in the power of what you can do, but that’s one of the coolest things about running your own business—you put faith in yourself.

How do you promote your business?

Mostly Instagram and word of mouth. I’m extremely fortunate because the people who take my workshops tell their friends about it. There’s power in giving people a great experience.

Sarah Harste Weavings

What’s your favorite social media platform and why? Do you have any social media tips?

Definitely Instagram. Think of Instagram as a platform for connection versus a platform for promotion. Try to engage others – you may even make friends with other people. I love posting my friend’s work to give them some love and I think people connect with that. 

What were your biggest fears when starting your business? How did you keep those fears at bay?

When I was first starting, I was scared people wouldn’t respond to my work. When I started doing workshops, I was scared people would have a bad experience. When I went full-time, I wondered if I would fail or be able to pay my bills. I also wondered how it would feel if I had to go back to work. Putting yourself in a vulnerable state is scary. To combat those fears, I tell myself I can only do the best I can. I think…if I did fail and have to go back to work, would that really be the worst thing in the world? Of course, not. I’d still have my fiancé, my family, my friends.

What’s your favorite part about owning your own business? 

However hard I work, I get to see the results. There’s no middle man or bureaucracy of getting approvals. Whatever experiment I want to try, I can do it. It’s always my call.

And your least favorite?

It’s hard to separate what’s personal and your business. I have my own insecurities that can bleed into my business and that can be hard to untangle. 

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who want to follow their dreams and start their own company?

Take your business seriously and not seriously, meaning your business can turn into something full-time, it can be successful and it can become a huge part of your life, but don’t take it so seriously that making big decisions is so crippling that it hinders your ability to get started. You are going to fail a million times which is part of starting your own business. The quicker you get comfortable with the idea of failure, the quicker you’ll probably get to success.  

Speaking of success, what do you think has been your biggest success to-date?

It was really cool to be featured in 614 Magazine this year. 934 Gallery also asked me to be a part of a fiber art show, which was a great moment because I have a hard time considering myself an artist versus a crafter, and it changed the way I thought about myself and my work. I felt like it was permission to take myself seriously and see myself as an artist.

Let’s talk about your Podcast! When did it start andWhat is it? Why did you start it?

It started this past summer. I do it with my friend Emily Mullen of Written Paper Goods and it’s called Scrap Paper. It’s a real conversation about the experiments we do in business. Our approach isn’t to give people advice; rather people get to listen in on a conversation where we figure out different topics in business together. 

Who are your listeners?

I think our listeners are in the beginning stages of business. I think they want a dose of real talk. It’s unpolished and acknowledges that starting a business is hard and you don’t always know what to do—you have to try things and it’s a feeling of camaraderie that we’re with them. Our listeners can learn from our mistakes and from things that have worked for us. It’s nice because people can get advice from the podcast and feel like they are a part of a community, like we’re friends having a chat.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start podcasting?

Just start and you’ll figure it out. Unless you hire a sound engineer it’s impossible that your first podcast will sound perfect. Set your ideals and do the work where your podcast sounds like a branded experience. For example, have a theme song that plays at the beginning of each episode. 

What do you want people to know about next?

The holiday season is coming up and I’m so excited about releasing macramé kits (coming November 15). I’m excited about doing a lot of markets in November and December, sharing my work and meeting new people. Also, we just wrapped up the first season of my podcast, and I’m really proud of that!

Be sure to check out Sarah’s store here, listen to her podcast here and follow her on Instagram here

Also, let me know if there is anything you are curious about or think I should ask during my next interview in the comments below! 

      XOXO,

Kate signature
 

Sky’s the Limit: Talking Biz with Liz Haislip of Pebby Forevee

Hi there—It’s Kate, owner of Sky Trading Co. with my second edition of Sky’s the Limit: a blog of Q&A-style interviews featuring the shakers, makers and mostly badass women around Columbus, OH. If it’s your first time visiting (welcome!), this is a space where I’ll feature someone who’s making bold moves in their life. Hopefully, their stories will inspire you to live fearlessly. Enjoy!

On this journey, I got to sit down with Liz Haislip, designer and owner of Pebby Forevee, an online boutique with accessories, home goods and customizable clothing. Not only is Liz one of the kindest humans I’ve ever met, she’s a total boss. She’s on a mission to make Pebby Forevee a powerhouse and is well on her way. She’s outfitted celebs such as Jennifer Garner and Chelsea Houska from “Teen Mom,” has over 17.3K Instagram followers, is opening her own shop in Columbus, OH and will start offering social media classes at the end of the month. Below is her story and advice for young entrepreneurs and wannabe bosses…

 

For those that don’t know, can you describe what Pebby Forevee is?

It’s a clothing outlet for women to be able to express themselves without sacrificing comfort and style. It’s customizable—customers can choose any graphic they want and put it on a piece of clothing that fits their body type. I think women like to have options and I want to give them options.

Comfortable, customizable and confident is your brand mantra – what do those words mean to you?

I want you to feel comfortable. If you find a certain style that fits your body type, I also want it to look like something you would actually wear. For instance, I don’t like my arms so it’s rare that I wear a tank top. When I’m shopping, I often find shirts that have a design I like but I won’t buy it because of the shape of the garment, which is why I offer multiple styles for each design. I want people to feel like they can express themselves confidently and feel comfortable at the same time.

Where does your design inspiration come from for your clothing?

A lot of it is seasonal. I just designed five or six football shirts that reflect the Pebby Forevee style. We definitely have a look. We like block bold letters, and I’m obsessed with Cooper Black font. Inspiration comes from what our look is now, and now, we are using a lot of block and bold lettering.  

What are two of your favorite items for sale right now on the site?

The headbands will always and forever be my favorite. They’re so versatile, they hide my acne and they help with my mom hair. They make me feel cool whenever I don’t feel cool, and I feel like they make my outfit feel a little more edgy. Right now, I also love our Plaid Rebel Jackets.

When you decided to start your own business what was your first step?

Realizing that I could actually do it even though I had no business background. Once I realized that, with a little bit of hard work and a lot of research, I was able to figure out how to upload my items on Etsy. Then, I would view other shops on Etsy that I admired and I would mirror what they did. I didn’t have a computer until I was 25 so I used my phone to take and upload pictures. I used myself as the model, I used whatever I could with whatever funds or means that I had. People don’t realize you don’t need $5,000 and a five-year business plan to start a business, you can just start and see where it goes.

Speaking of money, how did you fund your business when you were first starting out?

I don’t have any debt. Everything I do, I pay in cash and I pay for everything upfront. My first purchase was a $40 screen printing kit I found at Michaels. I took it home and ruined it but I was so curious that I went back out a couple hours after to get another one. After I realized what that was I did a bunch of research online and ordered my first real kit for $150. I still use it!

Did you have an “ah ha” moment of this is what I’m going to do or did it come on gradually?

When my first screen burned correctly I think I screamed. I was so excited and that was it. I had so many ideas going through my head and I never thought about anything else. I became obsessed with it in the best way possible.

You have a personal website and an Etsy site—what did you launch first?

I launched my Etsy site first. It’s a fantastic platform to learn how to market your products, how to take pictures and how to use tags. The commercials make it seem like starting your own website is easy and it’s really not, so I would recommend starting on Etsy.  

What were your biggest fears when starting your business?

I was scared when I quit my job. I was able to quit my job after a couple of months because my business took off on Etsy, so I think that was the scariest thing.

How did you deal with those fears?

I hushed them up. I wasn’t leaving a job that I loved. I was scared because I didn’t know anyone else that was doing what I was doing, so I didn’t have any examples. I didn’t have anyone to ask questions, but I just shut my fears up and went for it.

Can you tell me about your journey of learning the necessary design skills for your clothing?

This is what’s crazy. I have a clothing business and I don’t know how to sell. I do all of my editing and I have no idea how to use Photoshop. I learned by googling. I watched hours of YouTube videos. I read a lot of blogs. I spent a lot of time on the computer. I’m self-taught.

 How do you promote your business?

I’ve used an advertising agency a couple of times and those have always been hit or miss for me, and they’ve never been successful enough for me to stay with it. Instagram is my number one way to get customers and it promotes a lot of engagement. It helps my customers feel like they got something from Pebby when they purchase something, which is how I want them to feel. Also, I do a lot on Pinterest. Most of the things I do is free because social media is free.

What’s your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram hands down. I love how it’s visual. I also love Instagram stories because my followers can see that I have a personality, how I have acne and that I struggle with the balance of being a working mom. It’s added a much-needed personal level to Instagram.

Do you have any social media tips?

I have a ton of tips! I’m starting a social media class at the end of October. It’s going to be about teaching people how to use Instagram to boost their business, engage with customers and how to turn engagement into sales. The class will be here in my shop. I’m going to travel to Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh to teach as well.

How do you balance motherhood and owning your own business?

Whenever I’m with my daughter I focus on her unless she’s doing something funny and I want to tape it. When I’m with her, I’m not on Instagram, I’m not on Pinterest, I’m not on my phone. I put it away and I play. That’s how I balance. The same thing goes for weekends. I try not to have my phone and I try not to do work over the weekends.

Have you had any “OMG, pinch me” moments since starting your own company?

Jen Garner and Ben Affleck ordered shirts from me a couple of years ago, but the biggest ‘OMG’ moment was when Chelsea Houska wore my clothes during a “Teen Mom” episode on MTV. I love her and she has been my fashion icon for years.

Let’s talk about opening your own brick and mortar store – what has that process been like?

The process has evolved because the space was originally supposed to be only a factory. Then, I thought people could do local pickups, but I found out people want to come in and shop and I wasn’t expecting that. I’m nervous for the opening because I’m scared that the shop won’t live up to people’s expectation. I don’t really know what that means for us yet. I don’t know if people aren’t going to show up and we’ll be disappointed or if a lot of people are going to show up and they’ll be disappointed when they realize it’s not a typical store.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who want to follow their dreams and start their own company?

My favorite quote is ‘Don’t think about what can happen in a month, don’t think about what can happen in a year, just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be,’ and that’s exactly how I got started. I had $80 in the bank that I spent on screen printing kits and I obsessed over it. I was tedious and careful, and I learned. Do what you can with what you have. Start somewhere and keep going.

What do you want people to know about next?

The opening of my store is October 20th. It’s located at 140 W Borland St. Suite 500, Pickerington, OH 43147. I’ll be offering social media classes and I’m always coming up with new designs, so there will be more. More stores and more ways to connect, so expect to expect more.

Pebby Forevee

Be sure to check out Liz's store here and follow her on Instagram here

Also, let me know if there is anything you are curious about or think I should ask during my next interview in the comments below! 

        XOXO,

XOXO Kate
 

Sky’s the Limit: Talking Biz with Kaleigh Shrigley and Claire Lowe of ONE SIX FIVE

Hi there—It’s Kate, owner and curator of Sky Trading Co., and I couldn’t be happier to bring you my very first post on Sky’s the Limit: a blog of Q&A-style interviews featuring the shakers, makers and mostly badass women around Columbus, OH. This is a space where I’ll feature someone who’s making bold moves in their life. Hopefully, their stories will inspire you to live fearlessly. Enjoy!

Last week I met two inspiring ladies and jewelry designers, Kaleigh Shrigley and Claire Lowe of ONE SIX FIVE. Both are Ohio natives who became fast-friends while working together at a local boutique in the Short North Arts district of Columbus, OH. In 2014, they started designing out of Kaleigh’s attic and today they’re running a successful business from their bright pink lifestyle shop and studio in Clintonville. Major online retailer, Shopbop carries their line and they have an editorial feature in Harper's Bazaar hitting the stands soon. Slow and steady is their motto, yet in the last three years Kaleigh and Claire have grown ONE SIX FIVE from a small collection of rings to a complete catalog of high quality, accessible jewelry. Below is their story and advice for young entrepreneurs and wannabe bosses…

In three words describe each other…

Kaleigh on Claire: Claire is funny, an animal lover to a fault sometimes, if that’s possible, and creative because she’s great at creative problem solving.
Claire on Kaleigh: Kaleigh is a creative force, super fashionable and a great friend.

Where did you two meet and what inspired you to partner up and start One Six Five?

Kaleigh: We met working at a clothing store (Rowe in the Short North). Claire was working part time as a manager, and I was in school at CCAD studying jewelry design. I was selling jewelry at Rowe and working there part time on the weekends, and Claire always had an interest in jewelry design. Once I graduated I wanted to take the leap to design and sell jewelry full time, so I asked Claire if she would do it and she was crazy enough to say yes. We both quit shortly after and started doing odd jobs to make ends meet.
Claire: We still do odd jobs now and then!

How would you describe ONE SIX FIVE’s Style?

Kaleigh: It’s everyday jewelry, but with a twist and an offbeat characteristic that makes it different and unique. It can pull together an entire outfit because it’s simple enough that it doesn’t always steal the show, but it is unique enough that you notice it.

Going back to the early days, can you tell me about the process of launching One Six Five from concept to reality?

Kaleigh: First we got our LLC in place, a vendor’s license and other legal mumbo jumbo. We started working out of my attic, which was less than great. It wasn’t temperature controlled so it was either really cold or really hot. It was also very dark with no natural light. We started sending out massive amounts of cold emails to independent stores asking them if they want to look at our jewelry. Only about 2% of people responded, but that’s all you really need! We then launched a website shortly after. We launched on Squarespace because it was easy and free. We have since switched to Shopify, which is super easy and user-friendly. We also hired a PR agent. She was an important first step. When we updated our space, we had to stop using her for PR because it was our budget trade off.
Claire: Our PR agent got us into some great magazines and helped with our credibility because people were able to recognize that we were in Lucky magazine, for example.

Did you have any fears before you launched?

Kaleigh:  Yes, definitely, but looking back I feel like I should have been more afraid. To me, it was more like this is what I have to do, this is what I’m doing, it wasn’t an option. I guess I was afraid of money but I’ve never let money decide what I’m going to do. I think if you are passionate enough about something the money will come.
Claire: I had fears, but I was ready to not be working at the boutique any more. It was a welcome change and working for yourself is awesome.

How did you fund your business when you were first starting out?

Kaleigh: We still don’t have any debt. We didn’t take out any loans. We are on the slow and steady path. If we can’t afford it, we can’t do it. In the beginning, we started with $2,000 which is what we had in savings. That got our legal stuff done. We were working out of my attic and we just bought enough materials to get us going. 
Claire: We always wonder how small business go from nothing to huge. They must have investors. The slow incline is better because there is less risk of failure.
Kaleigh: We could close our doors tomorrow and not have a dime of debt personally, which is a good feeling, but it also prevents us from having that overnight growth because we don’t have money to invest in that sort of thing.

How would you describe your customer?

Kaleigh: Our customer is a conscious minded consumer who cares where her stuff comes from. Obviously, she’s fashion minded, she wants to look cool and she wants to be up on the trends, but it’s definitely not the fast-fashion customer. Our customer respects a well-made piece and understands an investment piece, and even though our pieces aren’t that expensive, it’s something that you can have for years.
Claire: I feel like our customers value gold filled jewelry, which is what we sell, versus gold plated jewelry. Gold plated jewelry is a thin layer of gold over brass that tends to turn your finger green, so we try to educate people on our process and I think they appreciate it.

Boss lady alert! Meet jewelry designers, Kaleigh Shrigley and Claire Lowe of ONE SIX FIVE. Read their inspiring journey at skytradingco.com/blog

Have you had any recent “OMG, pinch me” moments as a business owner?

Claire: When we landed Shopbop – that was the craziest moment. We’ve also talked to Urban Outfitters. We try not to get too excited because you never know if they are going to order anything, so when Shopbop made an order we were floored.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Kaleigh: A man I used to nanny for told me that owning a business isn’t that hard, just don’t do anything stupid. It sounds like that means nothing, like it’s just a sarcastic comment, but it applies to so much. When we are making decisions, I try to think of how this could go wrong.

For the dreamers, the young entrepreneurs and the people looking to start their own business, what advice do you have?

Claire: Just do it! Start small, don’t feel like you have to take out loans, don’t feel like you have to have this insanely beautiful state-of-the-art website or space. You can just work out of your home, have a tiny website with non-perfect photography, but you just have to start.
Kaleigh: There’s never going to be a perfect time. There’s always going to be something. You are never going to miraculously have all this money to do it, you just have to do it. Like I said, when we first started, we started with $2000 and that’s all I had. Don’t do anything stupid and baby steps is the method we take.
Claire: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We always ask people for help. We have no shame in that. I’m sure you know someone who is good at something and you can trade with them. Trade is great.

When you say trade, what do you mean by that?

Claire: Trade your services. Trade jewelry for photography or trade jewelry for graphic design.
Kaleigh: I think a lot of people are afraid to ask because anytime you are talking about money people get uncomfortable or weird about it but I think most people are willing to trade.

How do you promote your business?

Kaleigh: The biggest thing we do is free, which is social media. We try to be super ‘up and up’ on social media, especially Instagram, but I just link everything together so one post goes to twitter and other social sites at the same time. We try to post every day or most days and give our followers insight to what goes on behind the scenes.
Claire: Doing events, like the Columbus Flea, helps a lot too. We get to meet so many people that know of us or have never heard of us and they come back later. This is the same with doing the New York trade shows. We get to meet so many people just from that. That’s obviously not free but it’s a huge marketing thing we do.

Do you have any social media tips?

Kaleigh: We always talk about authenticity especially with Instagram. It’s so frustrating to see so many people try to have this perfect life…people try so hard to over edit. I think people can relate more to you if they feel like you are a real person, not just a faceless beautiful page. We also strive to have a beautiful page, but we want a beautiful page with personality.
Claire: We’ve found that people like to see who is making the jewelry. There have been times when I’m looking at a store or jewelry shop and I cannot find a single picture of the person who owns the shop, which I think is weird. It’s a small business and I think it should have a face. We try to give people insight on how our jewelry is made and how we live our lives.

What has been most rewarding about owning your own business?

Kaleigh: Mondays don’t suck!
Claire: We actually don’t work on Monday’s.
Kaleigh: Well…I mean Tuesday’s don’t suck. I never dread coming to work. There are certainly days where I feel tired or there may be a task that needs done that day that I don’t feel like dealing with, or whatever, but for the most part I look forward to coming into work. 
Claire: I agree, I like to be able to make every decision. Even if we fail at that decision, we got to make it.

Congrats on launching your new fall line! I want everything! What are two of your favorite items for sale right now in the shop?

Kaleigh: My two favorites are the Sunshine Hoops and the Question? + Answer! Earrings.
Claire: I love the Triple Hoops Earrings. The middle line is gold and I love mixed medal stuff. I’m usually not a huge ring person but I love the Chunky Mixed Medal Ring and the Chunky Stacking Ring. I love these because they are more impactful than the thin bands but still simple.

Are you a part of any networking groups in Columbus?

Kaleigh: Creative Babes – it’s so fun. It’s really nice to have a community that is similar to you. A lot of the people are business owners and creatives that are out there flailing and trying to figure it out, so it’s nice to be able to talk to like-minded people. It’s a super open community with zero competition, which is nice. Everyone wants to support each other.

In terms of other entrepreneurs, who do you look up to and why? Is there anyone local that inspires you?

Kaleigh: Yes, in Columbus – Tina De Broux from Under Aurora.
Claire: There are a lot. Most of the people we carry in our shop, we look up to. I feel like, if you’re from Columbus and a woman, you have to look up to Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams because she’s obviously killing it.

Be sure to check out Kaleigh and Claire's store here and follow ONE SIX FIVE on Instagram here

Also, let me know if there is anything you are curious about or think I should ask during my next interview in the comments below! 

                           XOXO,

XOXO Kate