EP338 From Corporate Leader to Full Time Jewelry Entrepreneur with Joel Ingwaldson
9:55PM Jan 20, 2022
I didn't even question it, whatever resonated, it's like scooping the cream, you know, cuz they give you so much information. You can't take it all in, you know. So I just like scoop the cream, whatever resonated, I'd Scoop it, scoop it, implement scoop.
Welcome to thrive by design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you are a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business. So you can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? Alright, let's do this. One of the biggest reasons that creative businesses fail is because they aren't structured and they don't have a systematic way to grow their company. And so even though they might have gotten some success and sales and traction, you know, just doing all the things and putting themselves out there. What ends up happening is eventually they end up backtracking because they don't have the structure internally in their business to actually set themselves up for success. So if you are struggling as a creative to get more traction in your business with your jewelry or your product business, you are going to love today's interview. So make sure that you listen in for the reason why, Hey there, I'm Tracy Matthews on the chief visionary officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, the host of the thrive by design podcast and the author of the Desired Brand Effect. And I help jewelry brands grow their sales to six figures or multiple six figures and beyond using our methodology called the desired brand effect. And my guest on the show today is Joel Ingwaldson. She is a jewelry designer who has been in the industry for over 25 or 30 years. She shares her story from going from corporate to go to building her startup and the journey that actually got her there. And the cool thing about Joelle is that she had a really successful business for a while, and then COVID hit and she had to relearn everything all over again. So, you're going to really appreciate how Joel has navigated the times that we are in right now, how she's picked up herself up from the bootstraps, and really thrived in her company by creating structure, which we're going to talk about, and so much more. So let's dive in to this amazing interview with Joel from Dashan Sacred Jewelry. You're going to love it. I am so excited to interview another Rockstar student of ours, Joel Ingwaldson Darshan, welcome to the show.
Thank you. Hi.
Well, I wanted I told you in the pre interview, I wanted to interview you for a very specific reason, because Dawn, are one of our di plus coaches. You've been working with her and our diamond insiders after taking Laying The Foundation, to grow your business and to reach your goals. And she has been just like shouting out like how awesome you've been doing in your business. And so of course, I'm like I have to figure out what she's doing and talk to her. So thank you so much for agreeing to be here. It's a pleasure to talk to you.
Hey, thanks for asking me. It's fun.
And please forgive my slightly croaky throat. I'm getting over COVID Right now add a little nasal Lee. So me too. I feel like this Omicron is like spreading everyone's getting it. So hopefully this wasn't as bad as some of the other variants. But you know, that such as life, you know, life must go on. So I want to just tell our listeners a little bit about your business. Tell us about your background. And you said before you have a spiritual name, so let's hear about that.
Okay, well, gosh, about this over 25 years ago, I was working in retail and managing the store and retail clothing store and my, my dad's ex girlfriend kept pursuing me to come and work for her. And back then in the 90s I was like, Okay, I don't want to be granny in the mall. You know, so let me just do this ago. And it was a jewelry store. She a bridal jewelry shop. And so I started working with her and simultaneously like she was all about growth and transformation and, you know, learning, you know, and so I did some, you know, kind of programs like that, and I started yoga, and when I started yoga, I you know, I dove right in like I do everything and met a teacher and he saw my future and he's like, Oh, your name is Darshan. And so that's where the name came from. But anyhow, my background is just in retail clothes. And then it got in I got into into jewelry, you know, to such because I didn't want to didn't want to be granny in the mall.
That's so funny granny in the mall. So Darshan sacred jewelry is the name of your company, correct? Yeah. And so tell us a little bit about like, how did you you worked in a jewelry store? But how did you kind of get to the point where you wanted to launch your own company?
Well, I didn't really know I want to launch my own company. You know, I worked a lot in different aspects of the jewelry industry from managing a retail store, a bridal store to just learning all the back end of manufacturing, designing, connecting with retail customers, learning how to sell all of that and growing the sale, excelling in that and then developing the sales team. And then from there, I just, I met different people in the industry, and I dibble dabbled and tried different aspects of like diamond wholesaling, and, and then doing Cash and Carry shows, give shows around the country all over for different companies and working downtown. And then I was introduced to Guillermo, who was my old boss from Pomellato, he was the president of MaxMara, in the United States. And when he developed MaxMara, the clothing company, and he left there, and he got into Pomellato was the president of Pomellato after my friends, my friends with all that fashion background, and they knew him. They're like, Oh my god, oh my god, you got to connect with Joel blah, blah, blah, she's in jewelry now. So then that connection happened. And then it took off even more my career. That's so great in wholesale, just traveling the world opening and developing the Pomellato in North America, South America and the Caribbean. And I traveled
so you, you were the sales rep for Pomellato is am I getting that? Right? You call it like area managers? Okay, area manager,
I think, yeah, but area managers, it was the telling company, so we'd go to Italy every year, and do the by the US market, and you know, it and, you know, and then I had to open up 5 million accounts.
I mean, it's a, it's such a fun way to go out and be a salesperson, when you don't have as much attachment to the, the product, I feel like it's you're so much more attached to their product when it's your own right.
Um, you know, what, I took complete ownership, though, you know, I, when I get, if I'm gonna put myself out there and connect myself with a brand or with anything, I really have to feel it. And if I feel it, then I take complete ownership from A to Z, and I go the extra mile to make sure, you know, my accounts, my accounts with Excel. And with the brand. I didn't want my line just to sit there in the case, like every other brand. Yeah, you know, I wanted to really make sure that it was really performing. And so and I dug in, I sunk deep into that career. And I loved it for many years until, you know, until I didn't,
yeah, and yeah, so let that's a perfect segue until you did it. So why did you leave corporate?
Well, I left. I had a health scare. You know, I was traveling a lot. And I was just go, go, go, go go fast paced. And then I had to squeeze in a mammogram and in between my travels, and then they're like, oh, it should be fine. If there's anything the doctor will call you. And then like an hour later, I call and like, yeah, and I was like, oh, MG, MY world came to a stop. And I was kind of in shock. Because I had always been very disciplined in yoga, and you know, meditation and my health. I don't drink smoke or do drugs and just very clean lifestyle. And so that really shook me so I knew it wasn't like, this wasn't like a physical thing. It was more like emotional that I had to get an alignment. Somewhere I was off. And so part of my healing my journey was like, trying to figure that aspect out. And so I had taken time off from work because it's surgeries, blah, blah, blah. And then in that process, I rediscovered jewelry again, another
Wow. So did you so after your health scare, and I'm sorry, I'm glad you're in recovery now. I'm assuming you're in recovery. Oh, yeah. So after a health scare, is that when you launched your business or were you just taking some time continuing to take time off to think through it?
Well, I I started it but I didn't really know I was starting it. I had just picked up some you know, things that I had and yeah, I know everybody downtown for manufacturing, and so I just started putting things together. And then I don't know, I had fun with my new iPhone and I just started taking pictures. And I posted some things and people were buying, they were, Hey, how can I get that? And I was like, Oh, okay. This was going on for a while I did notice have been sent, like a big paycheck. Yeah, it wasn't like what I was making, you know, it's just likely,
you know, some extra side money.
Yes, you know, while I'm healing, and, and then this healer that I work with Nicole, who's like, phenomenal. You need to start taking note of like, write down every step, get an Excel spreadsheet, whatever. And you're going to see, all of those little numbers are going to are adding up and it's really going to surprise you, and it really did. So then I just started, you know, getting more serious about it.
That's so cool. So when was it? When was this?
Um, this was like, down, this was about seven years ago is when this happened. Okay, and so then for so my first, um, like, I would say, three years. And in doing my own little business, I was, it was like, the wild, wild west, pure excitement. I was at corporate doing my own thing, making my own money and crushing it and doing really well. But slowly, it just started to dwindle, because I realized I had no structure, okay, or foundation to sustain. And I was kind of at a loss. And I really was like, I was, I was bummed, you know, I was like, but I used to do it. And I knew how to do it, you know, and yeah, like thinking back on, on my, on my career and all that I've accomplished, which was a lot. I was really down on myself. And I didn't and and I realized that well, you know, these that I worked for, they have a marketing department at a production department, sales department, this department, that department, CFO, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And here, I'm like, How am I supposed to do it all? You know, I can. And so, and then I stumbled into you know, it was like, down and now after COVID You know, that really just took me down because I was always doing like pop ups.
Oh, you were you built your business kind of on retail pop ups for many years, like doing like in person events. And so when it hit you were hit pretty hard.
Yeah. Because I was just about Yeah, yeah, I was doing festivals, yoga festivals, and doing, you know, setting up my 10 by 10 tent. In selling and traveling a lot. And you know, but by, you know, after toward more towards like that third year, I was I was just getting tired. You know, I because I didn't have the structure that I had, and I didn't back then I didn't really realize it. But my radar was off and I wasn't choosing the right avenues today to to make money, you know. And at some point I found, you know, on social media Flourish and Thrive, you know, that's kept popping up. And it kept popping up. They kept popping, and I was like, Yeah. I love that. And I was ignoring it. Because, because I thought I knew what I was doing.
You know, that's interesting. Okay. Yeah, I want to talk about that. Because I think a lot of people who've been in business for a while, I mean, clearly, you're an experienced business person, you ran a whole area for a jewelry company, you know how to sell. So that's not really a problem, right? Like if you're in person in front of someone. So you find Flourish and Thrive Academy and you probably had an opinion about what it's all about maybe like, oh, that's for absolute beginners or whatever, you know, whatever. I don't know it's I don't want to put words in your head what was going through your head? That's I'm just curious. This is because he will say that to me all the time. Oh, you're just for beginners. I have people who have half a million dollar businesses who are like, now reaching out to me saying, like, I need your help, because my pricing structure is off, or I need. I don't know how to do this, because like, I've always done my business this way. So I'm curious what it was for you.
Well, I mean, I didn't think I needed it because I kind of knew every aspect of the business, but I don't know at some point, it just hit me. Ego, my pride, everything gone, you know, and it was just like, I was just there was an opening. And I was like, okay, and whatever you were saying in that video or you know, I was like drinking it. And so, I was like I am I just couldn't stop thinking about it. And so I told my boyfriend about it. And he's just like, okay, and then I call I made an appointment and talking to Natasha, and she recommended the Laying The Foundation. I was like, Okay, I guess I'm not ready for momentum. Okay. Yeah. And then I'm just so grateful, though, you know, like super grateful. Super duper, duper grateful.
Yeah. So I think this is like,
all of my career.
No, continue to say, oh, no,
I'm just saying, I'm just grateful, because this program has given me a foundation, you know, and structure to grow my business. And I'm tapping into all of my past history, you know, of everything that I've ever done in my career, all those jobs and careers, and the titles and all of that. It's like, I'm now I'm able to utilize them again, but with structure in my own company, and I, and I love it.
That's so great. So let's just talk specifically, like, what were some of the challenges that you were facing in your business? Pre COVID. And during COVID, like during that lock downs of COVID that really prevented you from growing? Or that you're kind of experiencing?
Yeah, I mean, I had a website, but, you know, wasn't really performing because I didn't put much energy into it, whatever. And I didn't, and I didn't really know how to excuse me use it. So that was like a big thing. Like, I was like, Okay, if I can't travel, and people are spending money, because they are that first year COVID Yes, like crazy, you know, everyone's online shopping. And I'm like, I didn't have really, I couldn't access my, my DC because I didn't I didn't have like, I wasn't set up. You know, and,
and by DC main dream client. Yeah, my dream client.
we have some lingo around here that I was talking about, but outside listeners might not know.
Okay, yeah. So it's really, you know, it's just really frustrating. And, and I was just trying to stay positive. And, you know, it was just it was, it was hard, you know, and then again, you know, when I found you, the advertisement or the pop up, or whatever it was, you know, I was like, super stoked, because you guys just spoke right to me, you know, and I didn't even really know what I needed. I was I was like, really flat. I mean, I have like, all this knowledge and all this information. But I was like, I was flat. I was defeated. I was humbled. I was like, What is going on? You know, this isn't me, like, I know who I am. But I wasn't. I wasn't able to tap into those those. All, those talents that I have? Yeah, no, for running business.
I think that it can get really challenging to and I don't know if this resonates with you, it's like, you can do something so well. And you're like, I'm set. But like, as soon as that thing goes away, right? Like you're in person shows or you want to make a shift. It can almost be detrimental to a business. I remember the beginning of 2020, like no one could have imagined, I remember like fleeing New York and coming to Arizona and no one could have imagined that the world was going to be locked down at this point. But I remember in that time, like me even having PTSD from 2008, because when things just like switch so quickly, it can be hard to navigate. So like, immediately, I was like moved into this mode, okay, like, I've been here before, like, how can I help people overcome this and I knew one of the things that is really going to save most brands out there, especially these small businesses who don't have big budgets, or they can't hire a big marketing team is that they need to learn for themselves how to really build an omni channel brand. And what I mean by that is like, how can you have money coming in from multiple revenue streams of one goes away, or, you know, you can't, you know, you decide not to do a show this season or whatever, it doesn't actually put your business out, because I think that's the most important part of it, right?
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I, I had zero plan. When I was in my healing. Things were selling on on social media and I thought, okay, from there, I've ventured off into yoga festivals. I'm like, Well, I know how to travel and do trunk shows and things like house parties so of that. And um, you know, but I wasn't I didn't have any like long term vision. I was just like, it was like the Wild West. You know, it wasn't like a there was no structure you just like went for it. I just jumped in and and did And then, you know, not really. Oh, yeah, it's not a smart way of doing business is shooting from my hip all the time. It's just, you know, I need you to if you want it for me at least if I want to sustain business, I need to have a plan laid out.
So let's talk about that plan because like you, how did you mentioned earlier that your business and have a lot of structure that you were humbled because you had been successful in business before, but you had a big team around you, like, I'm paraphrasing here, obviously, you were confident with sales, because that's what you were doing in your previous job. So you had like, in a way, like certain skill sets, but then it was requiring you to hone in on other skill sets. So as a creative as like, someone who is out there in the world making things happen, how did you create the structure for yourself? And how did the program help you with that?
Well, I listened to I just I listened, my zipped it up. I just listened, I listened to every module, I did the work, I got frustrated, I was like, you know, went through all the emotions, I reached out to the coaches and the DI. And I just listened. You know, they suggested I was like, okay, and I just gave it a go, you know, I didn't even question it, whatever resonated, it's like scooping the cream, you know, because they give you so much information. You can't take it all in, you know, so I just like scoop the cream, whatever resonated, I'd Scoop it, scoop it, implement, scoop, implement, and, you know, working on my year plan now for 2022 Like, these last few weeks, you know, I'm like, in it, you know, yeah, with my plan setting, and I'm like, Oh, my God, you know, years ago, sit, you know, doing these meetings with Pomellato or any of those other companies. It was like grueling, you know, I mean, I did it, but it was like, so hardcore, you know, like, it was, it was a tough industry. But I, I'm so grateful now, because it's like, I'm tapping back into all of that, not that you, you know, Laying The Foundation, just this a structure, the DI Plus program is like giving that structure of like, quarter, you know, quarterly goals, and that your goal and then breaking it down into quarters, which is like, amazing, you know, and it's really just really me back in so I can slow down sink in and really think like, clearly, what do I want? You know, how do I see my company wanting, you know, what's my vision? How do I want it to grow? And, and just taking small, you know, bites and plugging it in into those quarters? And then, you know, breaking those down again, you know, weekly like I did those with the Monday commitments, you know, in the degree Yeah, yeah. The DI Yeah, I love those Monday commitments. I always did our, you know, yeah. And then if a coach would like, just randomly, you know, like, hey, and they tag a bunch of us how to, and I'm like, Oh, I mean, I really, I was like, you know, I felt like I was being called out and it wasn't, it was like, nobody was calling. They were, but they weren't, you know. And so I just had to like, step up. And it's like, and I remember you would always say on like, I was here at somewhere they've real business people take their businesses serious, you know, they're not on and I'm like, oh my god, yeah, I'm like, girl, and I would just like check myself, you know, all the time, like this first year and to an LTF. And I mean, that's really it. I mean, I did everything you guys suggested anything that coaches suggested there was a book club last year, and they recommended books one time to read that I can listen to an audible when I'm working. And I just Scoop Scoop, you know, I can't absorb and implement everything. I'm just one person because I'm trying to do everything, you know. So I just take a little here I take a little there, implement implement, circle back around and add again, and you know, and then I want to I want to
I want to pull that out because I think this is a really important point that you keep saying scoop their cream scoop the cream. And the reason why I think this is really important that people listen to it's a program like laying the foundation or being in our mentorship community. The diamond insiders, though it's there's a lot of information to implement, and our brains cannot absorb and it's the same thing with the audio books cuz I listened to a ton of audio books too, and podcasts and stuff like that. Our brains can only absorb like a certain amount of information. At any given time, like the first time we learn something, we only learn about 20% of what has been put in front of us. That's why we've done something really unique with laying the foundation, you know, we want to make it a resource tool for people to go back to over and over again, because we realize that, you know, in a 12 week period, assuming you go through the entire program, to close it down after that, you're probably not going to get all the value that could potentially be given to you in that program, because you've only garnered 20% of what you could possibly learn. So we created this program that can be used as a reference tool. So when you want to, you can go back and revisit a lesson, go back and dive deeper into something, go back and continue practicing. Because like, as you said, Before, I do say this a lot that serious business people take their businesses seriously. And you have to do that no matter what kind of business you have, whether it's a creative small business, or a jewelry company, or a handmade product, business, whatever it is. And at the same time, you know, you can have fun with it, taking your business seriously and take it just bit by bit by scooping the cream and implementing as you go, it doesn't have to be this. I think one of the biggest things that I see creative people struggle with the most is that they get down on themselves, because maybe they don't get something the first time or it just feels overwhelming because it feels like that to implement it all at once. But it's really about just taking these baby steps like little by little implementing it. So I wanted to make sure that I highlighted that you said that because I think that's the most in a huge important takeaway with in addition to creating structure and a business that helps creative people like you Joelle really thrive, you know, with structure.
Absolutely, yeah, it
helps me. So, I think I've gotten clear, like I'm why you decided to join laying the foundation. What I really want to know now is how has this newfound structure that you put into your business, how is kind of like showing up for yourself in your business, how is participating in the community and all that stuff? What has been the impact in your business growth?
Oh my gosh, so much. Um, I, I love the DI, you know, the DI plus. And I love the coaches and all of it, like the community, it's like, so many different creatives and all different types, we're all in it, and, you know, supporting each other, like lifting each other. And, like, there's no competition, it's just like, we're all wherever we are. And we're all here to, you know, kind of help each other. And I love that. I mean, I don't I'm an independent, you know, person working for myself working by myself, you know, like, most everybody else. And, but I also work well in companies and in groups, you know, group setting. So this community kind of gives me like, a little bit of that feeling, you know, especially like with the coaches and stuff when I need some kind of support or have a question or, you know, something to like, bounce something off of someone. So it's not just me, you know, trying to figure it all out, I can like, bounce it off, which has been like, really, really amazing. And really priceless.
I love that. And how can you would you mind talking about how your sales have grown?
Oh, yeah. So I'm like, I think I'm up, like 308% for the year. And my website sales were up 54% for the year.
That is so fantastic.
I know I made my stretch goal, oh, and you know,
well Dawn kept posting in our, in our business slack in our company, Slack channel, about how much you grow. She's like, Oh, my gosh, you guys aren't gonna believe it. Joel just passed her scratch stretch goal today. And you know, things are crushing it. And so I think it's really awesome to acknowledge how creating the structure for your for yourself, has really served you and reaching your goals a lot faster. Because for a lot of people this year was good. And for a lot of people it wasn't as good because I think a lot there were many makers who are kind of riding on the coattails of having an awesome year and 2020 like they really had their best year ever. And some people might think that some people rest on their coattails and then didn't have necessarily as good of a year this year, in 2021, or this last year, I should say. And so I really want to commend anyone who really leaned in to keep growing in 2021 Because that is and this year in 2022 because there is so much potential and opportunity for growth still, no matter what you might be thinking internally about what's going on in the world and stuff like that people are buying and they are they want to support small business and I want to keep reiterating that to.
Absolutely. I'm super stoked about 2022 You are your goals. Oh yeah, I'd like about that. Yeah. Oh my god, I so I did my whole year goal plan and I did my increases and like I always have like a super stretch. And my neighbor stretches like a 50% increase on last year. And I'm just super stoked, you know, I'm working my, my, my quarters. I did a snail mail like I think Robin is the one that always like says you guys should send out snail mail to your customer like more wholesale. And I'm doing it to my retail customers. Yeah, you know, it's
a great idea. Really beautiful postcards.
Happy New Year. My top 50 I'm sending out these custom fortune cookies are like chocolate dipped with my logo elephant logo and will sprinkles and like a mess custom messages inside. And yeah, just fun. You know, right. I mean, it's like my top 50. But really, they may not have spent all like, you know, high dollar spending some of them you know, some of them have been like, following me through my like my yoga journey, you know, my yoga jewelry journey. And they're fans of what I'm doing now. And so maybe that could be like a little push, you know, to, to jump over and, and, and get something custom made for them for their, you know, their Vedic Vedic jewelry. I love it. So I'm doing things like that. I just started working on my, like, a like a trifold you know? Yes. Like a brochure. Yeah, like a brochure but but like really pretty. And I'm thinking I was gonna do it for a second quarter. I'm like, no, maybe this will be my fourth quarter when I come up with like, a really great, you know, whatever. So I'm just like, super stuff. Like, I love all of it. Like all that backend stuff, as well as doing all the custom stuff that I'm doing for people. It's so amazing. Growing into my own, like Signature Collection on my website. So I'm still growing and learning and I feel like I have so much to learn. There's there's a lot that I know but there's a lot that I still need to learn and it's just about you know, time and space catching up. And then and then implementing you know, at that you know, and try not to get like too frustrated or you know too ahead of myself but just just flow with it. You know, super exciting I'm like totally stoked for this year.
So great. So what would you tell someone he was on the fence about joining laying the foundation?
Oh my god, don't even think about it. Just do it. You want to fly this program totally gives you the structure and the foundation to fly if that's what if you want to fly you know and really just excel and and and live your potential live your like live your best life, you know, and doing what you love to do.
I love it. I love it. So great. You all thanks so much for being here today. Where can everyone find you if they want to stalk you on social media or find your website
at Darshan underscore sacred jewelry?
Awesome. Thank you so much for being here today. Listen to an awesome interview with Joel well if you want to go say hi to her, make sure that you go find her on social media and tell her what you thought about this interview and give a girl some love. Also, if you would like some help creating some structure in your jewelry business, or other product based business, I would love to help you. I'm hosting a brand new free masterclass, called the top five traits of a six figure jewelry brand. And you are absolutely going to love it. So if you'd like more information about that and you'd like to join us, head on over to flourish thrive academy.com forward slash six figures. That's the number six and the word figures. And we'll take you right there you can RSVP and save your spot today. Thanks so much. This is Tracy Matthews, signing off. Until next time. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's my mission to help 1000s of creative businesses inside and outside the jewelry space and use their creativity to make money. Make sure that you're subscribed to thrive by design on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are played. And we'd love to hear what you think. Please rate and review the show and if you're inspired, please share this with your friends. Cheers to seeing you flourish and thrive.