How a Local Jewellery Brand Entrepreneur Has Built a Business on Creativity
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Tarryn Lichter has built a successful jewellery business, Misu Jewellery, by working closely with partners, building her business acumen and focusing on her creativity.
She shares with Entrepreneur how she's done it.
Launching a new line of jewellery, is scary. You never know if it’s going to sell or not; if your clients are going to love it as much as you do. Another challenge is time – there aren’t enough hours in the day when you are a mom running your own business. It’s difficult to try and do everything.
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Then the all-daunting task of admin and accounts in my business has always been one of my biggest challenges. It’s definitely not a strength I was gifted with and in the beginning was something that was making me extremely anxious.
Since we partnered with Rae & Associates, Misu has grown tremendously in the last year. Sales have grown by 45% in the last 10 months as I have been able to bring in more lines and broaden our product list.
This is because I now have more time to focus on Sales and client requests instead of worrying about Admin and Bookkeeping. The daunting part of admin and the accounting function has been taken out of my hands and handled with ease.
It’s a number’s game
My biggest weakness is admin and numbers. Trying to do everything myself was only hurting the business and my family life as I was always stressed out with how my business was doing financially working crazy hours to stay up to date and not enough time to work on designing and selling.
Lauren du Plooy at Rae & Associates has taken over this side which has made the biggest difference in helping the business grow. The first thing she did was setup QuickBooks Online for me and get my accounts up to date.
Partnering for success
Lauren du Plooy, Manager: Consultants Division at Rae & Associates, shares her role in helping Misu’s owner succeed in what she’s best at and not worry about admin.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Tarryn and the different businesses she has been involved in for a few years. I have always admired her entrepreneurial way of thinking and how passionate she is about her products. Like many business owners, Tarryn felt extremely daunted by the admin and accounting side of her business so we wanted to relieve some pressure from her everyday business and let her focus on the aspects that she is good at.
Rae & Associates is a boutique bookkeeping and accounting software firm, We specialise in SMEs. we are a small dynamic team of consultants and a family business that strives for exceptional relationships with our clients. We have specialised in QuickBooks for more than 15 years and we have always loved the ease of use for our clients. Accounting can be daunting to a business owner and QBO has helped bridge that gap between non accountants and being able to understand the finances in their business.”
A balancing act
Tarryn believes that the right partners and solutions have really helped her to grow her business.
I love how easy QuickBooks is to work on. I can access it from anywhere, invoice the client from their store and access reports while I’m on the go. I would think about 60% of my time was spent on the accounts side of my business, now I am only spending about 20% on the invoicing side and the rest of it is handled for me.
QuickBooks has given me the ability to make important decisions on my business with real time financial information. I know my cash flow situation and can make buying decisions really easily. It has given me my time back, time to grow my business and time to spend with my daughter.
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It’s a great easy-to-use software for business owners that are not accountants. I love how the mobile app is the full programme and I can literally do anything I need while I’m on the go. The price is also fantastic and affordable for small businesses, giving you the functionality to grow your business. I always recommend QuickBooks to anyone who will listen.
From passion to profits
I have always loved creating and jewellery for me is a celebration; something you buy the one you love to show appreciation; something you buy your mom on Mothers’ Day to thank her for everything she has done; something to buy a new mom to celebrate the birth of her baby; or something you buy your daughter when she gets her ears pierced. I get to be a part of so many special occasions and family celebrations.
After leaving school, I wanted a way to be financially independent from my parents so I could attend university and pay my own way. So, I started making beaded jewellery and selling it at flea markets and a few retail stores.
It was selling really well, but the volume and time it took wasn’t sustainable. I then acquired the sole distribution for the CHARM IT! brand in South Africa. In the first year of trading I had secured over 100 retail stores and the brand quickly grew to become a leading children’s Jewellery brand in the local market.
Stepping stone to success
Unfortunately, CHARM IT! International started putting limitations on which styles we could sell in South Africa, and they eventually decided that the market wasn’t big enough. The range was already in over 250 stores in its second year and I was completely devastated with all the hard work I had put in to grow the brand and my client relationships.
During this time, I was unfortunately going through a divorce and being a single mother was pretty frightening.
It was then that I had decided to open my own business and to create my own line of jewellery, that I would have complete control over. I had a chance to be creative again and source some amazing suppliers and new retail stores, I could now make my own decisions as to how I wanted my brand to grow and develop.
I wanted to be able to also teach my daughter about financial independence and how hard work brings success. I run my business from home, so she sees every day the hard work that goes into running your own business and she also has a chance to help with the designs of the children’s range. We get to have so much fun together.
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