Laurie Books, creator and owner of Laurali Designs, turned her hobby into a successful jewelry business after losing her tech job. Learn how she did it as she shares her tips for business success.
Laurie Books’ journey into the world of handmade jewelry started out as a way to unwind and find solace from her busy life.
“I was a single mom, going back to college, and working at a tech job,” she says.
The process of working with beads and stringing them into beautiful bracelets and necklaces brought her a sense of calm, and she would gift her creations to friends and family. They were the ones who encouraged Laurie to turn her hobby into a business.
After much thought, Laurie made the leap and began selling her jewelry at Sunday markets. Laurali Designs was founded in 2012, when she was laid off from her tech job. However, it was when she joined Handmade in Amazon’s store in 2015 that Laurie experienced one of the biggest moments for her business.
“Amazon Handmade has been an absolute game changer for me,” she says.
Signing up for Amazon Handmade allowed Laurie to take advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), a program that enables sellers to outsource fulfillment processes.
“Once it leaves my door, Amazon does it all,” she says. “They do the payments, they do the returns, they do customer service. [Joining Amazon Handmade] is probably the best thing that ever happened to my business.”
Laurie’s tips for small business success
1. Don’t be afraid to give your idea a go
Believe in your ideas and don’t be afraid to try them out, Laurie advises. If she hadn’t started creating jewelry at home and initially giving it away to friends and family, she wouldn’t have discovered her true passion.
“It was a lot of hard work,” she says. “But it was worth it.”
2. Always keep great records
Being organized and maintaining thorough records, or as Laurie puts it, “your books basically,” is crucial for business success.
“It will help you keep track of how profitable your business actually is…and what investments you need to grow,” Laurie says.
3. Sell with online retailers
For Laurie, venturing into selling her jewelry online propelled her business to new heights.
“It opened me up to a lot more customers,” she says.
She expanded her jewelry line to cater to special occasions such as weddings and holidays like Mother’s Day.
“Sell online because it’s the best thing you can do,” she says.