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E.69 How To Create A Jewelry Brand From Scratch With Melissa Clayton

Welcome Back!

This week we are joined by Melissa Clayton, founder and CEO of Tiny Tags, the online jewelry store that sells original pieces exclusively for mothers. She shares her journey to the top, as well as some tips for creating a jewelry brand from scratch!

 

Melissa’s journey started “small and slow.” At 35 years old, she left her career as a CPA to start her own business, but never expected to end up with a jewelry brand. The idea for her company, Tiny Tags, was sparked when Melissa was searching for a necklace with her son’s name but couldn’t find one that she liked. After giving up on some DIY attempts, Melissa started up a conversation with the woman next to her on a plane ride who happened to be a jewelry salesperson. They exchanged information, met up later at her store, and Melissa was given the guidance she needed to start making jewelry she liked.

 

During the first few years of business, Melissa found that she was most inspired by the feedback from mothers. She began to narrow the focus of her brand to what truly aligned with her heart, rather than selling designs that were unrelated. Tiny Tags became Melissa’s way to connect with moms and women in general. By staying true to her mission and the vision of the brand, Melissa has grown Tiny Tags to the incredible business it is today, reaching many loving mothers including Meryl Streep and Hoda Kotb.

                        

 

For other entrepreneurs out there looking to create a product-based brand, Melissa shared some amazing tips that she’s learned over the years: 

  • Charge what the product and labor are worth
    • Don’t undervalue your product or labor as a favor to someone else
  • Find a mentor
    • Contact CEOs on social media, most will are willing to give you at least 15 minutes of their time
  • Read business books, listen to podcasts, talk to people
    • Stay up-to-date on your industry
  • Join relevant trade associations, subscribe to trade publications, go to trade shows
    • These are valuable learning and networking opportunities
  • Use social media with a mission-driven purpose
    • Melissa believes that motherhood is about building a life and relationships that are strong and healthy rather than “Instagram-able.” Tiny Tags uses their social media platforms to educate their community and consumer base on things they care about, like holding a water safety webinar with the Phelps Foundation and an IG Live session with a sleep expert 
  • It’s okay to say “I don’t know what I’m doing”
    • Melissa made mistakes in the early days of marketing her business, like paying full price for a magazine ad and not monitoring the work of expensive outside digital marketing firms that all proved ineffective. She eventually found the most effective marketing strategy to be partnering with influencers and individuals who organically and authentically spread the word about the brand because they are passionate about it

 

To support Melissa, visit the Tiny Tags website:

www.tinytags.com

and say hi on her Instagram:

www.instagram.com/tinytags

 

 

 

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