WRITTEN BY Frances Seiters
Each and every business has something about it that is unique and original within its community. Every business starts from somewhere, no matter how big or how small.
Brigid KO Jewelry started off using a complete different direction versus what it is now.
The owner went to college for art and studied sculpture and painting. When she first came about her business, she started making clothes, but that only went so far and she realized it wasn’t paying the bills.
She then decided to pursue the jewelry route and became invested in learning how to make jewelry. She watched YouTube videos and used inexpensive basic materials in order to start this journey.
Brigid worked jobs in order to invest in this business and to pay bills. It has now been over three years with this business and she is more than happy about her success.
Obstacles that she experienced consisted of teaching herself how to do the craft which took much determination in order to create exactly what she wanted to create. She wished she was taught business skills or was given a how-to on the technicalities of running a business.
Being an owner with no employees means Brigid is responsible for all the jobs that go into how the business runs. Everyday she is learning more on how this works regardless of her experience.
The future is unpredictable, but she is happy with where her business is now. She wants to grow her customer base and gain more exposure, and to explore more of the art and jewelry world and apply it to how her business can grow as a whole. She also would like to look into taking a sculptural direction using her experience in studying it.
Her business is unique due to how her pieces aren’t mainstream and everything is handmade, which lets its originality appeal to the public. The hardware of the jewelry is also handmade, which can be very difficult to learn, but Brigid didn’t let that stop her.
Her customer base consists of anyone who is open to whoever enjoys her work. She hasn’t reached out to the student population at the University of Tennessee but participates in farmer’s markets across Knoxville.
Before COVID-19, Brigid had plans to travel across the country selling her pieces. She was planning to go to Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville and more. Due to the pandemic, it interfered with these travel plans and postponed the ability to gain exposure in the bigger cities in this way.
The pandemic brought Brigid to learn more about how to navigate the online world of businesses. Online sales have increased due to the pandemic so Brigid has figured out, day by day, how to make the business online easy for her audience and for her to help the business gain more success.
“Don’t become discouraged. You have your good days and your bad days. Keep focused on what you want to create,” Brigid said when giving advice to people starting businesses.
This mindset is very important, especially with businesses that consist of creating your own products or pieces. Sticking with something that is original to you will radiate out into the public. Not every day is easy, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.