Help and Hope for Start Ups and Makers With Full Time Jobs with Candice Eve Padro
2:04PM Jan 14, 2022
new york city
full time job
I have so many more options now like to grow the business in different avenues that I wouldn't have done before. So, if you want to take this seriously, I would definitely make an investment in yourself and in your business.
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're 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.
Welcome to the thrive by design podcast episode 337. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy and the host of Thrive by Design. I think you're really going to love today's episode, especially if you're still working a full time job and you're trying to grow your jewelry business. If you're someone who is a full time mom, trying to make time to get your business off the ground or you're someone who just wants to transition from your career and do it all. I'm interviewing a designer named Candice Eve Padro of Abstracted Reverie. And she joined our Laying The Foundation program about 10 months ago or so. And I just love hearing her story because she is talking about what it actually has taken her to navigate. Building her business on the side while working a full time job while launching her first website right before COVID hit and all the things and how she's really navigated that as a creative, I think you'll find this really inspiring if you're someone who gets frazzled by your business a lot if you're someone who is working a full time job and you just think that there's no way that you could get your business off the ground or whatever it might be. Or even if you're just busy in general. So I think you're going to really love today's episode. I'm going to talk a little bit more about that in just a moment. But what I wanted to give you a heads up on is next week, we are opening up enrollment for our Jewelry Brand Makeover Boot Camp. It's a free three day boot camp plus Bonus Masterclass. So the boot camp days are it's actually over the course of three days. There's a fourth day, which is a bonus masterclass. But we are open in the group for about two weeks, because we're doing some great contests and giveaways right now in the group. So you definitely want to join.
And then after we're doing some inspirational interviews, and bringing in mentors to answer your questions about your jewelry business, so I would love to invite you, this is a great opportunity for you to step into your role as successful jewelry designer this year, whether you already have an established business, you're someone who's trying to get your business off the ground. Or maybe you're someone who is starting up and you don't know where to start, we're going to be giving you so many great insights on how to position your brand, price your products and create content that connects. Plus, we're going to be talking a little bit more about how to basically get into the mindset of what a successful business owner is. And I think that's one of the biggest hurdles. And Candice actually talks about this on in her episode about her mindset shifts and how she had to change the way she was thinking about herself if she wanted to grow this business and eventually get to a place where she could do it full time.
So if you'd like to join us for the jewelry brand makeover boot camp, as I mentioned, it's backed by popular demand, it is our best bootcamp that we've ever done. Ever. We ran it for many years in a row. We retired it for a while, but people kept asking, When are you bringing it back, so we decided to do it this year. So if you'd like to save your seat and RSVP head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/makeover. And we'll also have a link in the show notes so that you can grab it easily. Alright, so Candice is a student of ours, she's taken our Laying The Foundation program. She's an active member in our Diamond Insiders community. And she also joined us for the Diamond Insiders Plus Mentorship. It's a quarterly mentorship SPRINT program where we're helping people in our laying the foundation program get results really fast. So you're going to hear a little bit more about Candice his story building her brand, Abstract Reverie, some of the challenges that she's faced, and also how she's created time in and been able as a highly creative person to give herself the structure that she needs to actually get a lot done in the little time that she has to build her business. So I don't want to give it all away. I'm just gonna dive right into The episode right here with Candice Eve Padro. Well, I love featuring students at all stages in their career on the podcast and I'm so excited to have one of our Laying The Foundation grads, Candice Eve Padro, here on the podcast with me today. Candice, welcome.
Thanks. Thank you for having me.
Thanks so much for being here. Thanks so much for being here. I'm just so excited to talk to you for a lot of reasons. You have been you're an LTF grad. You're also an active member in our Diamond Insiders community you've been taking our basically mentorship in the Diamond Insiders are taking us up on mentorship in the Diamond Insiders in the DI plus. And our coaches have been raving about your progress and how much you're showing up for your business. So I just had to interview you. I'm so excited to have you here. So before we get like we kind of jump in to the core of everything. I'd love to hear just a little bit more about your jewelry and your background in the jewelry industry.
So, um, I have like a long history actually went to school for metal smithing and jewelry design at Rochester Institute of Technology. They have the first ever American craft school in the country. And they had a very solid partnership with Tiffany's. So I had an interesting entry to this industry. And Rochester was a very like artistic city, which I didn't know beforehand. I grew up in Queens in New York City. So like, in my mind, like no city could ever match us in New York City. But I was pleasantly surprised. So I started doing in person craft shows while I was a student at Rochester, and that was pretty much like my entryway into this business. And that's how I like fell in love with it. Um, after I graduated, I kind of went corporate, which I didn't even know was an option for me with how you like how do you go corporate with a metal smithing and jewelry design degree. But I did. I got a job with a Korean jewelry company. Which I basically was a product developers so you basically work with overseas factories to engineer the jewelry uhm, a little bit of design is is incorporated to it negotiating costs sourcing materials. It's actually really fun. I actually really really like it and I think it set me up well to start my own business. I learned a lot of like, the background of having a jewelry business. I was only at that Korean company for a short amount of time. I actually got a job with Avon doing the same thing.
And Avon for over seven years now. Like you can just go on to Avon website, all the jewelry See I've I handle like 40% of their jewelry. So I handle like 40% of the jewelry business. I solely handle this sterling silver and women's stainless steel collection. And then I split the costume pieces with the other manager on my team. So yeah, it's been a crazy ride. And then in 2018 I decided to start my own business because I've always wanted to have my own business since I saw Betsey Johnson's fashion show when I was 13. And I was like oh my god, like, she's so much fun. And like, you know, I have blue hair and tattoos. I know, I didn't have blue hair and tattoos back then. But I wanted blue hair and she's and she's crazy hair and doing cartwheels down the runway. And her clothes and jewelry is so much fun. And I'm like, I want to be her like. So this was always like a lifelong dream for me to have my own thing and work for myself. So 2018 I finally pulled the trigger. And I was starting to like take classes like business courses and social media courses. And I set up my website and all that great stuff. And I got my first collection together. And in beginning of 2020 I launched my website, which great and interesting timing. I didn't realize January of 2020 that in March, the whole world was going to shut down but it was okay.
I think a lot of I think a lot of people didn't expect the world to shut down. But it was interesting, too, because some people did really well. I think it would be challenging to actually start your business at that time. But if you had an existing business, some people were able to transition their offline customers online. I mean, it was really just like a mixed bag but learning lessons for all of us to to be resourceful and really like, pull up our bootstraps and get working, right?
Yeah, sure. I was like, I was in Bali in February.
Oh my gosh.
I literally on my layover and new by coming home my boss texted me and she was like, things are crazy here.You're not gonna be able to come back to the office. I'm going to drop off your laptop and all your things at your apartment. When you come back. So just let me know when you're home. That was it. I my my last day in my office was the beginning of February.
So oh, so they shut down at Avon much sooner than a lot of other people.
Well, they quarantine they quarantined me because I was traveling and
that's right. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.
So, They shut down when New York City shut down. But that was literally the day my quarantine was up.
I remember that. Because that's the day that I that day that New York City shut down was t he day that I flew to or the day before I flew to Arizona for two weeks. And I ended up here for five months.
My best friend had the same thing. She flew to Arizona her boyfriend has a house. She flew to Arizona and just never came back.
Yeah, I mean, had to come back. But because all my stuff was there. I think it is I sought an assistant who was going back and forth. She went to Virginia, my assistant at the time, went back to Virginia to her mom's house for most of it, but she was in New York City occasionally enough so that she could help me like when I needed to grab stuff or whatever. But you know, it was interesting. Such a weird time. It seems like so long ago, but also like yesterday, doesn't it?
Like, I I think 2020 and 2021 never happened? It's..
it's just all like one year ago, like mushed together?
Yeah. So you're you're really in the startup phase still of growing your jewelry business. And that's part of the reason why I wanted to have you on because you know, a lot of times I interview people who are like, you know, many years down the road, and they've already, they already had this big transformation. And your business is transforming. But I also wanted to talk a little bit about some of the struggles that you're experiencing, or you had when you were starting out. Because it there might be struggles that you're having now or in the past. What are some of your biggest challenges that you're facing, or you had faced growing your business?
Well, in the past, a big thing for me, was my mindset for sure. I was like, the money like I was living in Brooklyn at the time, like my rent is like half of my salary,
I know, right?
Like, like, I was like having all these conversations in my head. And like I didn't know like, where to start, I didn't have enough money to like set up a bench with a studio and a torch and all that that was like, in my heart of hearts what I really wanted to do. But I just was honest with myself that I couldn't do that right away with the money I was making, or the money I saved to do this. So a huge issue was trying to find a manufacturer I thought I was going to find a manufacturer in Manhattan just blew up in my face. I went to so many places that like, like, did not treat me properly. They charged me crazy prices. Like I lost a lot of money like starting off and looking back at it like I should have just used my connections from work. I don't know why I didn't think of that in the first place. Like I have, like an amazing amazing relationships with these overseas factories that are like I like overseas factories have a bad rep. But Avon has a really rigorous interview process with an testing process with our factories like they have to be a certain caliber and treat their workers a certain way. They have to prove to us on a yearly basis that they're upholding our standards for you know, like how they treat their workers so like I don't know why I was so against it at first to do it for my own business, but I gave in because like, like COVID happened manufacturer I had in Manhattan literally ghosted me for like months like I had orders coming in and I couldn't fulfill the orders.
And I like panicked and in panic mode, I reached out to a manufacturer that I have seven years relationship with and they they became like, like for friends on Facebook. Yeah, my family like, you know, they, they know me. And when I reached out to them, they were so excited. They're like, Oh my god, we're gonna support you and help you grow this business. And I was just like, like my mind, like, blew up. I'm like, Why did I wait so long? So like, I feel like, that was like a huge issue for me in the past was like, Why did I wait so long?I should have done earlier, you know, like, but I give myself grace. It's like, you know, life is life and you make your decisions. But now everything's great. So that was like a first struggle. But now I'm struggling with getting people's eyes on my work. That's like my biggest struggle, because like I said, I started this, I launched my website in 2020. And I didn't have the opportunity like do in person shows. So a big struggle right now is like, how many platforms can I get on? What other avenues can I use? So people can see my work? Because every time someone sees my jewelry, I'm going to like toot my own horn. Every time someone sees my jewelry, they're like, they like, are shocked. They're like, because when you say, Oh, I have my own jewelry line.
Yes, I know,
They automatically think it's like, wire wrapped stones or like beaded stuff, and which is fine. But they see my stuff. And they're like, oh, it's like real jewelry.
it's real [inaudible]
It's so funny. Um, so I wanted to just kind of circle back to something that you said, it's like, you were talking about, like how you're kind of and I'm gonna rephrase and re paragraph like, rephrase what you said a little bit, in my own words, because I think a lot of people do this, you're beating yourself up for feeling like you made a mistake, or you didn't like, use the opportunities that are in front of you. But you wouldn't have known unless you tried it, right? So there's nothing wrong with that, you know, there's nothing wrong with not knowing or just wanting to do it local, or for whatever reason. And I feel you with the manufacturer's ghosting, like we've had it. My favorite jeweler, actually from New York City moved to Miami. During COVID I was so bummed because I'm like, so hard to find. It's not hard to find good people. I don't want to be like that. I think that you definitely can. It's just when you get used to working with someone, you know, their quality, it just stinks when they're not, you know, there anymore, or whatever.
Yeah, like I was getting pieces that were like they had burnt plating and like, the stones were crooked. And like, you could see the glue and I was just like, this is the diamond district in Manhattan.
This is like, you know, like, I was going to reputable places. And yeah, so it's fine. Now I know. I can't just think Manhattan's the center of the world and has all the best.
Yeah, exactly. They do have it. There are good manufacturers there it does. You know, it does take building relationship. Some some of the good ones are hard to find. But at the same time, I feel like I'm gonna have to have you on another episode to talk about manufacturing sometime. More in depth.
That's my life. I like literally, that's what I do every day with my nine to five and my business. So yeah, it's, I love it.
So you're building a side hustle right now. And I think from what you said, your hope is to bring this to a full time full time work someday. And you join Laying The Foundation, our center program, why did you decide to join it and take a leap?
I was literally like, searching for a program like this like, because I've like I said earlier, in 2018 I started taking like all these business coaching things and social media coaching. But nothing was for a product based business, let alone a jewelry business. And i i in my heart of hearts truly feel like it is so different than like a coaching business and influencer thing like a photography thing. Like and that's what like a lot of like what the market is right now. It's like coaches, coaching coaches.
Just teaching coaches how to coach other people.
Yeah. Like. I'm just fine. And I did learn a lot, like, in my experience, but I truly needed that guidance. Like, I didn't know, I didn't know about wholesale like how to like, register my business as an LLC like my, like my tax ID number like stuff like that, like the nitty gritties like I went to a craft school and I was making jewelry in college like we didn't learn about how to manage a business, especially like a real business, where you're like selling online instead of just, you know, going to shows and like making side cash like how do I make this like my main source of income And it's funny. My dad's ex girlfriend from high school, saw my pieces on Facebook and was like, your pieces are amazing. You should look into Flourish and Thrive.
And that's how I.. Yeah that's how I found you guys.
Oh my god. Yeah, so amazing.
You Yeah, so I followed you guys on Instagram for like about a month and then you announced Laying The Foundation and I was like, all for it. Like, I'm the kind of person like once I decide to do something, I just do it like, I don't think twice about it. So like I literally like immediately signed up and had that call. I think it was Natasha I talked to?.
So yeah, I did Laying The Foundation.
I'm gonna pause for a second. Is it echoing to you? I'm like, I was getting some feedback for a minute. But all then you can edit this out. Yeah, you spoke to Natasha, that's awesome. So well, we're so glad to have you here. Because Dawn in the DI has been talking so much about your growth. And you've been an active member of the community for a while. So I want to just ask you, in your viewpoint, like, how is the community been supportive of your business? And how has that changed things for you?
I love the community, like I'm like, like, even Dawn told me to my face. She's like, you're like one of the only people that constantly ask questions in the Facebook group. And I am like, I'm like, because like, like, I'm always like, I'm always thinking, you know, like, what to do next. So like, when questions arise, I'm like, I'm just gonna ask everybody and I get so many good. So like, ideas and support, and like, everyone just jumps on everybody's questions to, like, help them to achieve that, whatever it is. And, yeah, it's like, the community is amazing. I have made really great friends to like through the weekly calls, like you see the same people every week.
Sounds so great.
It's just really fun. And the coaches are awesome. Like, they're so cool and knowledgeable and like, it's something to be said to be coached by someone who has their own jewelry business too. So like, it's not just like someone who is good with business as someone who's actually doing it on a daily basis. So they're giving you real advice from their experience. And I, I love it. I'm always in that group.
And the cool part about coaches... I know, right. And the cool part about the coaches and the Diamond Insiders, Nicole, Sara, and Dawn is they all have jewelry businesses, they're all graduates of our programs. So they've all taken Laying The Foundation, they've all been active members of the Diamond Insiders for a while. And they've all grown their businesses to a level that they want to. And what I mean by that is, you know, one of our mantras over here at Flourish and Thrive is that we want to support people reaching their jewelry business schools, meaning like, there's not a one size fits all thing like Dawn is a hairstylist, she has a part time jewelry business, so she does it part time, that's all she wants to do. She also teaches jewelry making classes, and she coaches for us in the Diamond Insiders. And you know, she's she's got a different approach to business than Nicole who is single, you know, and Dawn's also grandmother and has like, you know, robust family life and stuff like that. And then there's Nicole who is single living on an island, you know, living the island life, like doing doing her thing, she owns a retail store, she has a really successful six figure business or, and which is growing a lot. So it could even be like multiple at this point. And same thing with Sarah, she lives in Australia and is you know, she's a full time mom and doing her business, also teaching and also helps our students do other things with their business. So she's such a valuable asset, as well. And so I want to I want to mention that because everyone's got a different idea of what success looks like for them and everyone's building business on their own terms, which is one of the things that I love so much about the community.
Yeah, there's definitely a wide, worldwide range of experience and like levels of people's businesses like I think my most favorite part of the community is that because you know I am at the beginning stage and I'm seeing like I'm in the DI plus group with people who are selling like six figures and and more a year so like it's something to aspire to and something I want to get my business to so like, I don't look as it as it like I don't feel bad about myself. That is not I'm not there yet, but like it's more of an inspiration and like they're some of them became my accountability partners and giving me ideas. It's just like, it's really awesome. Like, it's an experience that I never thought I would have. And like, I don't think you can find something like this anywhere else either like to have like such a wide range of people there to help you get your business to like where they are or above where they are. It's awesome.
Yeah. And I love that you said that because like, even someone like you, you have so much experience, it's just a different way. Like you've been working with offshore manufacturing for years, which a lot of people want to know about that. So you have so much to add, just from a different perspective, even though you're in the initial stages of like, starting a jewelry company. Anyway, just saying. So you mentioned in our pre interview that you really love the community so much and you want to stay involved, why do you want to stay?
Cuz I'm, I need that accountability. Like, I'm a true artist, like, I'm a very dreamy person. So if I'm left to my own devices, nothing will happen. Because I'll just eat, like sitting there dreaming up my dreams and never, like, implement anything like, so like, I, I need that accountability. And, you know, like, I need also to remind myself that, like, this is something I want to make a full time career for myself and support my me and my family and eventually, like retire on it. And I need that inspiration that yeah, I can have a seven figure business if I do all the things, you know, and like, that's possible. So I need that reminder too. Because, you know, everyone goes through this, like the anxiety like, Oh, my God, like, like, I have my business like, I don't, I can't like imagine getting to that point. But I know it's possible. So it's good to be in a group where I hear this on a daily basis, like this one made $50,000 in Q1 Like, like, that's like, and I'm like, okay, she did it. So I can do it, too. So like, I just need that motivation, like constantly.
So, right. Yeah, let's talk about your growth. Like what's changed in your business, since you took Laying The Foundation, and you've been involved in theDiamond Insiders community
Structure is a huge thing. Like I said, I am a true artist. Yes. And I, I'm, I do what I want to do, and no one can tell me otherwise. But I definitely learned how to strategize and pre plan and like, I did not have that before. I was just like, oh, like black Friday's coming, I'm just gonna do one post about it. And like, That's it, like, I'm not gonna offer anything, you know, like, I now I have like, like legitimate strategies that will bring revenue to my business and, and a structure where I set time aside every day where I'm doing something to move my business forward. And time blocking Dawn's time blocking been a huge, especially because I, my job is very demanding. So I'm, like, slammed all day, every day. So but I've figured out a way to merge my work schedule with this schedule, and I lock my time out. And I lock my work calendar too. So no one puts meetings on my calendar for that time. And that's my time to work on my business. And I didn't have that before. So strategy and planning and more structure is, has definitely helped me get my mind straight. For sure.
I want to really just highlight one thing that you said about the structure because I think this is really important. A lot of creatives are creative. And I'm I'm this way too, I have it's so hard for me to stay organized and be structured. And the only way that I can do it is by creating theme days and doing that time blocking exercise and making sure that there is space in my calendar dedicated to the things that I need to focus on. And that I think the people who are the most successful, who are working a full time job and trying to launch a part like their side hustle or part time business or trying to get that transition in from going from a full time job to a full time business. That is going to be the one thing that I think will change the game for anyone listening. Would you agree?
Yeah. 100% Because, like I said, like, creatives, like we're awesome. And we come up with all the ideas. It's just how do you rein it in and actually implement it, you know, and that's what I needed. And it's it's definitely been a huge help. Got so much done this year. And I only started LTF I think. I think I started in in February and then I did the DI in Q3. So I did a lot of work in a very short amount of time. And it just, I like, to this day I'm like, oh my god, I did all of this in like six months.
That's so great. I love it.
Yeah, like, yeah, it's been a huge help
So how did this affect your, your sales and your email list and all that stuff?
So I mean, it's, the percentage for my sales is gonna sound crazy. It's increased 300% from the year before. Still relative, like, it's
numbers are small. Yeah.
Yeah, the numbers are small, but it was like, my biggest goal was to just cover the invoices from my manufacturer, so I'm not paying out of pocket for that. And I did it. So like that was like, my, my must have goal for this past year was just cover the invoices, so I'm not paying out of pocket. And I did it. And it's awesome. And now, this year, my goal is to, like, do a little bit more and maybe cover my, like, my rent, or my cell phone bill, like something else, you know, like, little bits at a time. My email list, I did not have an email list, I didn't know about email list until I did LTE. I didn't know how to go about it. Like, I was like, How did these companies sell emails, like I didn't know about Klaviyo, or MailChimp, or any, like, that's how you do it. So, um, it I have now 48 people on my email list and it's growing. And I have a strategy for that this year to to get more people on. And my Instagram went up 60% and...
And yeah, so I I stepped outside the box with the social media stuff. And I networked with other small businesses and did like some clap giveaways. And, you know, to attract my ideal customer. So like similar business to me that sell other things like, like bath products and stuff like that. But um,
Yey, you're following strategy!
Very beneficial. Like I from one giveaway, I got like, almost 16 new followers that were engaged, and, you know, was interested in my work. And they were my, what the customer I was looking for. And yeah, and now like, I'm building a new website with Sarah. So I'm going to start a blog, and I learned how to monetize my blog to make money from that too, and bring people to my website. And I have now a TikTok and a Pinterest account. So 22 is going to be growing those two, so we shall see.
So amazing. I'm so proud of you. It's so much progress. It's great. And you know, meanwhile, you're doing this all while working a demanding full time job. So it's, you know, it's awesome. I just have one more question for you today. Or at least I think I only have one more question. What would you say to anyone who's in the same position, they want to get their jewelry business off the ground, they're working a full time job, or maybe they are a full time parent, they have something else that's occupying their time full time? who's thinking about joining, joining Laying The Foundation? What would you say to them?
If they want to make this an actual business, and treat it like an actual business, like Laying The Foundation is definitely the entry way to do that. Like, I I truly that's why I joined I wanted to treat this like a business and not like and, and I don't want to say this like big, you know, just like a side hustle on Etsy, like, I wanted this to be mine and treat it seriously and, like professionally, like, this is what even if it if I do, which I'm not this is going to be my full time job eventually. But even if I just wanted it to be a side hustle, I still would want it to be a professional business. And you know, I wouldn't never know the things I know now if I didn't join LTF like it's definitely opened many doors for me. And it's I've learned so much and things that I didn't know even I could do like wholesale and custom work and all that other stuff that is mentioned and LTF like I have so many more options now like to grow the business in different avenues that I wouldn't have done before. So, if you want to take this seriously, I would definitely make an investment in yourself and in your business and take LTF for sure.
That's awesome. Candice, thank you so much for being here today. Where can everyone find you?
Um, my business is Abstracted Reverie. And because it's such a unique name, it's the same name across all platforms. So my website is abstratecreverie.com, my Instagrams, Abstracted Reverie, Facebook, Pinterest, Tik Tok, it's all just Abstracted Reverie.
Awesome. Awesome. Thanks so much for being here today. I know you're such an inspiration to so many here. What listening and watching.
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. We're gonna be bringing in one more interview next week with one of our students that I think is going to be really inspiring, I think you're gonna like it. In the meantime, now if you want to play around with Candice and other members of our community and join us for the Jewelry Brand Makeover Boot Camp, for free, please head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com /makeover, and I promise you won't regret it. We're gonna dig deep in a very short period of time, into some intense work that's going to help you transform your jewelry company so that you make more sales this year. I think you're going to love it. Plus, I'm going to share with you inside that boot camp. This is the only way you can learn about it, how to win a scholarship to are laying the foundation program. So if it's something that you've been thinking about, or it's something you'd like to learn more about, make sure that you RSVP for the bootcamp. join the Facebook group and play full out. Thanks for listening today. It's 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 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.