Kristy Boyle has found her place creating and sharing beaded costume jewellery, based from home. With buying trips to Bali, market stalls in regional Western Australia and a growing online presence, Kristy looks forward to a bright future for her business.
My little business idea started when I was pregnant. Once my daughter Abby was born and things settled into routine, I knew that I wanted to do something extra to keep me busy and to bring in some additional income on our farm wage.
I thought about the usual party plan businesses but didn’t want to get locked into having to sell or host a certain amount of parties per month. In November 2006 at the Albany Show, I saw a jewellery market stand that really appealed to me and I had a ‘light bulb’ moment. I talked to the owner and thought: I can do that; it fits perfectly into my life; I can work for myself. From then until February 2007, I sourced jewellery wholesalers, bought tables and stands, created a business name and then invited my close friends and family to my first party.
My stand consists of beaded costume jewellery at very reasonable prices. This is easily achieved because I don’t have a shop or overheads. I now travel to Bali
and hand pick 90 per cent of the jewellery I sell, which cuts out the middle man. I am selling fashion jewellery, not diamonds or pearls, so it shouldn’t be expensive. It’s purely there to accessorise along with the season’s clothing trends. With most prices between $8 and $15, there are always comments on how cheap they are. I choose a large variety of jewellery as it is sold to a wide range and age groups.
On my Bali trips I can see exactly what I want and there is always something new and exciting that catches my eye. The whole process of picking, packing and then at home unpacking and doing the paper work makes me feel like I am a business woman and that it’s not just a hobby, it’s my career. I believe people think I don’t ‘actually’ work because I work from home or don’t understand the extent of my business which is frustrating. Then other people say I have a great job and I believe I do – I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.
Over the last three and a half years I have increased my stand size, tried different trends and maintained keeping my prices to a minimum. I do parties, markets and shows, have a website and sell on commission to surrounding towns. I’m currently moving into selling on a very small scale wholesale and next year, when Abby will be at school full time, I will have more time to dedicate to marketing and networking sales from home. At the start of every financial year I set myself a sales turnover target which helps to keep me motivated and always willing to try anything.
The future for jewelpani is bright and the expansion of my empire is exciting. I have many ideas and new things coming to keep everything fresh and always exciting for my customers.