Sarah Kelsey - Rhinestone Lipgloss
What kind of person walks away from a 9-5 with benefits, retirement, and all of the things you need to be "adulting" to attach rhinestones to things? A crazy kind. A brave kind. A kind that knows if she doesn't take the leap, right this very moment, that she will never ever know what might have been.
After running some numbers, and seeing that we were just as busy after Christmas as we were before, I leapt. In February of 2015, just 6 months after making myself a pair of earrings to match the shirt my momma made me, I left my "big-girl job" that I had spent an entire college career preparing for, to do what I loved on a daily basis. Best. MOST TERRIFYING. Decision. Ever.
Now its all ancient history. Was it scary? Absolutely. Were there times Sarah thought "Holy Smokes- what did I just do?" Of course. Was it worth it? Times a MILLION.
It's important to be clear that she didn't just do this on a whim- there were months of running numbers, exploring other market potentials, and being as sure as I could (nothing in life is guaranteed, right?!) that it would work. If you would have told Sarah in 2014 that I would design jewelry that would ship all over the world- she would have laughed in your face. Fashion was NOT her forte however, she have learned to surround myself with people that she could learn from. Jewelry and accessories have become a second language to her - and I love it. I will still do custom leather pieces, especially belts (they are her favorite!) as a mental break from the earrings, but Sarah's clients have made it clear that the handmade, lightweight earrings are their main priority.
When you listen to Sarah's episode, it's clear she is working hard, but filled with passion and fulfilment...
Right now, its still just myself and my mom handling everything; I answer messages, invoice, order inventory, and build EVERY pair, and she helps with shipping and keeping our financials in order. We are of course being forced to expand, which I am so grateful for, but finding 'that person' to bring on board is something I pray about daily. This company is my LIFE. I do not have children, and this is the closest thing to that I will ever have. RL is an obsession, a passion.
I truly believe that you can make a living off of whatever sets your soul on fire. For me, its making things shiny with the best, most high quality stones in the entire world. Here's the secret- you can't just like it. You have to LIVE it. Every single waking moment of every single day there is something in my head about one aspect or another of RL. I still ride, I'm a wife, a daughter, and a friend, but mostly, I'm an entrepreneur. RL is constantly changing. I don't always know what the change is, but I've learned to listen to my clients and follow their lead. If I had made RL into what I wanted/thought it was going to be, I would still be working the same 9-5, setting up a little booth at horse shows and rodeos, making a little bit of extra money. But, because you (my clients) made it clear what you wanted from us, I have been able to mold this into a VERY successful company.
I know this is just the first leg in a very long, but exciting journey. I am so very grateful for our humble beginnings- it serves as proof for ANY of you, that if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. I once heard that being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a cliff and building a parachute on the way down- and that is SO TRUE. Its also true that I left a 40 hour a week job working for someone else to work 100 hours a week for myself- but I wouldn't change a single moment of it, because when you do what you love for a living, you never work a single day ever again.