Today I want you to meet my friend Amanda, whom I met several years ago when she first moved to Canberra. Amanda is a total handmade dynamo and market-superstar with a great attitude and fabulous products!
Who are you and what do you do?
Hey there I’m Amanda the person behind LLL-Designs. I am currently based in Canberra and I am a defence spouse. Hubby and I live with our 3 very spoilt kitties, named Tiger Boo, Witty Kitty and Dexter. I am a fairly outgoing person and I love to have fun and catch up with other creatives at local Markets and Events. I’m also a leader of the Canberra Etsy Team, known as Meeting Place ACT. A little known fact about LLL-Designs, is that the LLL part actually stands for my favourite quote – Live Laugh Love. LLL is a fun and fabulous handmade Jewellery Biz, with a focus on bold designs that bring a smile to peoples faces.
Why is it important to you that you run your own business?
It is SUPER important for me to have my little biz! A few years ago I had to give up my ‘regular career’ due to health challenges. I started making jewellery and candles as a hobby and a way to fill my days with something positive. I have since ceased making candles, but the Jewellery side of things has grown into the fabulous biz I have today. I feel very lucky that people love what I do and purchase my pieces. Every time I see someone wearing one of my pieces it just fills my heart with joy.
What is the most significant way in which your life has improved since starting your own business?
It has truly filled my life with so much joy and COLOUR 😉 Having a purpose and goals to strive towards makes life so much more rewarding. Being able to structure my work life around the other commitments I have – makes life so much less stressful. Having your own biz is not easy though, you definitely have to be committed and willing to push yourself. Working from home can most definitely be a challenge sometimes, the couch and tv are sometimes a little too tempting.
Why do people love your product/service?
I receive a lot of feedback from customers saying they love the unusual and quirky designs I make. They love that it makes not only themselves but others smile as well. I love to go Big and Bold and am not afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to Jewellery Design. I really like to go the extra mile for my customers. All my online orders are sent out is fun bright packaging including confetti, a handwritten note and a sweet treat or two. I also love to get to know my customers and enjoy working on custom pieces. My goal is to have each and every customer walk away with a smile after they make their LLL purchase.
How did you work out exactly who your ideal customers were?
This can be tricky sometimes. It does sometimes change and evolve as my biz does. But for me it comes from working with and for the people I am drawn too. I love bold outgoing people who aren’t afraid to be themselves – and I think that reflects in my designs.
What was the motivation to move your business from a casual gig to a full time business?
This was a gradual progression that happened over time. The joy it brings was the motivation to keep pushing and strive to go full time and make it my main focus.
Where do you go for inspiration on how to continue to build and grow your business?
Inspiration comes from just about anywhere and everywhere. From mother nature to random colours and patterns noticed whilst out and about. For me the key to continuing the growth of my biz – is to keep adding new designs. Every single market/event I do I always bring new designs. It does keep me busy – but it is so worth it. It’s great to think that even if someone came to each and every market I did – they would still be able to be surprised and delighted by a fun new designs. I like to keep it fresh 😉
What would you say your biggest strength or asset specifically as a woman has been, in running your biz?
Adaptability, I think. Women seem to have such resilience and a willingness to go with it and work with what you have/can. And another BIGGIE is the support – Women are such cheerleaders for each other! I love the supportive vibe from the local Canberra Biz Ladies and also the online community too. There is always someone willing to help with advice, support and in some cases just to listen when you need to vent some frustrations. It really helps in a big way! Some of my fav groups online are – The Makers Collective, The Women’s Collective and Meeting Place ACT.
As a small business owner, what is one thing you would say that every business owner should be doing right now in their business?
Embracing and utilising social media! It is such a powerful tool. Instagram drives a huge percentage of my online sales and I have only ever done paid posts twice in 5 years. I do think paid posts is something I want to try more, but even without them – social media is still very great way to promote your brand.
What words of wisdom can you give to anyone just starting out on their small business adventure?
Don’t be afraid to jump in! I was so scared to open my online store – I waited years until I finally had the courage to just go for it. And I have never looked back. When you get that first sale – the feeling can’t be described – Don’t wait – just do it! When I opened I had just 3 items listed… You don’t have to have heaps of stock you just need to have a passion and a can do attitude.
What excites you when looking ahead at the next three years for your business?
I am currently learning new software that will expand what I am able to do design wise and I can’t wait to see were this takes me in the next few years.
How can people find you?
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/llldesigns/
My Online Etsy Store – https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/LLLdesignsbyAmanda
For more inspiring stories of women and men running their own creative businesses, read more Meet the Maker posts.
CAN YOU CONFIDENTLY SAY YOU ARE WORKING ON THE RIGHT THING, RIGHT NOW IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Sometimes, even when we are doing all the right things, it can feel like we’re spinning our wheels and not moving forward at all. This could be because you’re focusing on the wrong area of your business – or doing all the right things, but at the wrong time.