Sandy D’Andrea is our first ever Creative Challenge winner! She sat down with us to tell us all about her shoppe Jewels For Hope.
1. How did your business begin? / What made you start your small business?
I started Jewels For Hope when I was taking care of my mother who had Parkinson’s. I needed something to keep me busy so I wouldn’t sit and eat and gain 1000 pounds from stress (haha), I decided to make jewelry and give it to the nurses – then Jewels For Hope was born.
2. What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
Definitely the legal/business part for me! Taxes, spreadsheets… all of that. I am such a creative person, that I always want to be creating. Just sitting down and doing the “business” part is always the most difficult for me!
3. What are your favorite design/product trends? Any favorite trending colors or color schemes?
My favorite design is actually the one I just did now for winning this contest! I absolutely LOVE the mandala inspired pendant – I made them in so many different colorways, but you know my favorite has to be the Christmas theme!
4. How did you approach building your brand?
A big part of my brand is my family. My daughter Stevie started with me almost 10 years ago and my other two daughters promote our items by wearing them! Our brand spreads love and hope to all who receive it… So we start at home, by sharing the love with my crazy family – and letting it shine through our creations.
5. What’s the best lesson you have you learned in running your own business?
Go with your gut and do not listen to other people’s opinions! Just follow your heart. I can’t stress this enough. Everyone wants to give their opinions on your company, some helpful and some not, but only you really know what is right for your business. Remember that!
6. What goals do you have in store for the future of your business?
Our main goal is to get more wholesale orders. That’s what we are trying to focus on now, or at least that was our main focus right before the Coronavirus hit. We hope to continue to work on this, and support our small local businesses at the same time.
7. Are there any moments that stand out for you over the years? Any accolades or awards you’re most proud of?
The first one that comes to my mind is actually one of the funniest events that has happened to us. Stevie and I were doing a local talk show discussing our jewelry line and as we were talking the sign in the background fell on my head! We all couldn’t stop laughing…. and to this day, we still laugh about it.
8. Anything else you would like to share?
A “normal” everyday job is roughly 8 hours… when you start your own handcrafted business, be prepared to double those hours everyday, haha. From the time Stevie and I wake up until about 9 or 10 at night we are working… and I wouldn’t have it any other way!