Are You Dabbling in A Hobby that You Can Turn into a Business?

We had the opportunity to talk to Christine Street-Gregg – the Owner and Designer of Chocolateandsteel.com.

A Little Background

Christine worked in retail, customer service and merchandising at Anthropologie after college.

Even though she liked her job, she didn’t feel fulfilled.  Not only that, but every time she was promoted up the ranks, she was getting further away from what she really loved to do, which was to work with her hands and create.

When she wasn’t working, she dabbled with creating jewelry.

Then…

She had her first son.  After returning to work from maternity leave, she really started missing her son and wanted to be home with him more.

So, with the encouragement of her husband she did a little experiment.

She took two weeks of vacation to completely focus on making her jewelry.  Her goal was to test the waters and see how much money she could really make if she focused only on making and selling jewelry.

And…

Success!

She was able to replace her income at her job and decided she was going to take a leap of faith and put in her two week notice.

Christine’s optimism and energy is contagious.  She has been able to scale her business and create beautiful, unique pieces of jewelry.

The world needed her to quit her job and bring her jewelry to life!

Don’t have time to watch the entire interview?  Pick what is of most interest to you below by time. 

  • 7:55 – When she discovered her artistic talent.
  • 11:16 – How Christine was able to combine all the skills she learned at her former job and how that prepared her to run her own company.
  • 12:05 – Thoughts on not having business experience and how she got past that.
  • 14:20 – Christine talks about how Etsy has changed and how it launched her career in 2007 and the difference between Etsy and her own e-commerce site.
  • 15:30 – The importance of branding and how her business has grown up as she has grown up.
  • 19:50 – Scaling – How Christine has been able to scale her jewelry business through different channels.
  • 24:50 – Traffic – How she developed traffic to her site.
  • 30:00 – Pricing – How Christine prices and why.
  • 36:30 – Wholesale – How she started on the wholesale side and some challenges she has had.
  • 42:50 – The spikes in sales she has experienced and where they came from.
  • 47:55 – A view of her actual home studio.
  • 49:00 – Finding Rhythm as a mom and business owner.
  • 53:28 – Advice to others who are just starting out or on the fence.

Other Insights

  • Technology She Currently Uses
    • Accounting – Quickbooks
    • Shipping – ShipStation
    • Blog – WordPress
    • For Visibility on Etsy Etsy On Sale – automatically renews her items.
    • Facebook Insights – she loves using this to figure out demographics of customers

 What about You?

What is the one thing you can implement from hearing Christine’s story?

None of this information is useful without action.   And….

Sharing your Action = Commitment.

Share in the comments and let us help support you.

By the way, you can find Christine on Facebook also.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.