Hey there, listener! I’m so giddy and literally fan-girling over this week’s guest, Laurel Smith of Laurel Denise.
Laurel started her creative business back in the “dinosaur days” before social media. Guys. She literally had to CODE A WEBSITE. (That stuff just boggles my brain!) Her business has had to make many pivots over the years, and she takes us through that journey in today’s podcast.
We had good intentions of talking marketing, but ended up having a great chat about self doubt, learning in real time, and embracing change. This one is going to need a part two!
- Laurel started her business, Laurel Denise, in 2005. While unhappily working as an investment banking assistant, she had a dream of making jewelry. She became obsessed and worked to make her dream a reality.
- We chat about how 2005 was a different time: Blogging was new, social media wasn’t a thing, and websites meant CODING! There weren’t examples of creative business owners like we see today.
- Laurel worked nights and weekends on her jewelry business and used her vacation days for trade shows. She quit her day job in 2008 to pursue jewelry making full time.
- It took Laurel having a team of eight people to accept that she was a “real” business owner.
- “There are these mental blocks that we have, these mindset shifts that we have to make in order to get to what our next level is”
- Laurel enjoyed making planners but felt like she had to choose, and she chose jewelry. Her business took off “in Covid times” when people were looking for encouraging, inspirational gifts.
- The busyness of her business made Laurel crave her planner, and she started printing them again. I (Molly) love her planners. She says she makes it for her and how her brain works, but plenty of people must agree!
- Her planner really took off in 2020: “If we sold out of this when no one had plans… What?!”
- Switching from jewelry to planners was “a torturous decision” but led to new opportunities… and challenges. Laurel shares how shortages and supply chain issues devastated her and how she showed up authentically for her customers. It was a great learning experience for her.
- “I’m not playing around with this planner thing anymore and if I’m going to be a planner and a paper goods business, how does that business run? What production schedule are they on? So that this literally never happens again.” She’s already designing 2024 covers!