Today we’re in for a real treat. Lindsay Saunders is sharing with us some secrets from her HUGELY successful brand, Cinder and Sage Designs. I’ve known Lindsay through the local craft show circuit for a couple years now and have always found her to be such an inspiration. She’s truly delightful and when I say successful, I really do mean that. This girl kills it a craft shows!! Her table is constantly surrounded with people and she’s developed a huge following of devoted Cinder and Sage fans. She’s really figured out the formula for what works for her happiness and her brand. Lindsay shares with us some of her trade secrets below…
Tell us about your business, what you make, your price range for products, and how long you’ve been doing it for.
I make jewelry and accessories using a unique mix of rare, recycled, new and vintage materials. My pieces range anywhere from $15 to $60, not including custom work. I’ve been making jewelry since I was a little kid, but I started Cinder & Sage over 3.5 years ago.
What are the key ways you are currently using to make money as a creative?
I use a variety of ways to sell my jewelry. I sell at craft shows and festivals, online through my website, retail (boutiques, yoga studios and spas), and home parties. I also get a lot of email orders when people want a custom order, such as a customizable covered vintage locket or mapcovered airplanes pendant.
What is your #1 source of income and why do you think that is?
Out of all the ways that I sell my jewelry, my #1 source of income definitely comes from the craft shows and festivals. I do around 15-20 shows a year, so the income from those are higher than any of the other methods I sell through. Craft shows, by far, have always produced the highest volume of sales in the quickest amount of time for me. They are how I first started selling my jewelry so I have a lot of loyal customers who prefer to do their purchasing in person with me at the markets rather than online or in stores.
How have things changed for you since you started? How has your business grown and expanded?
So much has changed for me since I started over 3.5 years ago. I worked hard in the beginning to get my name out there and make sure I was building a brand out of my business. I was determined to get people to recognize and remember Cinder & Sage, so I made sure to have a good presence at local markets, develop a killer website and memorable business cards, and use social media to my full advantage. Then before I knew it, I started to get back what I was putting in. Word quickly spread, the Cinder & Sage name got out there, and wonderful things started falling into my lap… Stores were contacting me to carry my product, large custom orders were pouring in and great promotional opportunities were being presented to me. Cinder & Sage is now sold in 9 stores, has been written up in many publications, and has been a part of both the Canadian Country Music Awards and Toronto International Film Festival gift lounges. My business grows more and more each year and it’s exciting to think of what’s next to come.
What is the best thing about running your own business?
The best think about running my own business is definitely making my own hours… as I’m sure most business owners would agree with. If I happen to be on a roll and work late into the night, I love being able to take the following morning or afternoon off to meet a friend for tea or go for a bike ride. Above all though, I just love the creative freedom owning my own business gives me. The thought of being able to take Cinder & Sage in whatever direction I want it to go, is so fulfilling.
What is something that you still find you struggle with?
I definitely still struggle with keeping up with the paperwork! It tends to take a back seat to the much more exciting aspects of the business, such as the creating, the marketing and the selling. The less-fun paper part of it all is so important though, so I’ve been working hard at keeping on top of that lately.
What are some future goals you have with regards to expanding your business?
Well, I’m now at that point where it’s getting to be too big for me to handle alone. I think I hit this point a while ago, but I now finally feel personally ready to pass along some of the work. Having some help is going to allow me to take on more opportunities and focus on some design ideas I’ve had for a long time that I haven’t had the time to fully tackle. In all, it will be the first big step in expanding my business and allowing it to grow.
What are the key components for you to live your happiest life?
I need my awesome friends and family, I need to feed my travel addiction regularly, and I need to wake up every morning knowing that I’m doing what I love. Needless to say, I’m living a very happy life.
Can you share a great biz tip with us?
One important tip I would give would be to try your best to build a brand with your business. I think there are so many great crafters out there who make some amazing product, but don’t have the proper brand presence. Building a brand takes time, but it’s so important.
Have a question for Lindsay regarding her business? Write it in the comments section below…