EP336: From Poverty to Thriving Multi 6-Figure Business Owner
9:16PM Jan 12, 2022
Inspiration comes in a lot of places and today I want to feature an amazing story. You could say from rags to riches maybe of a student of ours named play Flom. She went from being in a really bad place of being in extreme poverty, to now running multiple six figure business and I'm really excited to dive into your story on today's Thrive by Design Podcast. I'm Tracy Matthews. I'm the Chief Visionary Officer of flourish and thrive Academy. I'm the author of the desire to brand effect and also, the ringleader and head mentor have a brand new boot camp that we're leading called the jewelry brand makeover boot camp. If you'd like to participate and give your boot camp a little facelift so that you can get more sales this year without ignoring your children or spending all day on social media, or even having to have another 25% off sale. I'd love to support you.
You can head on over to flourish thrive academy.com forward slash makeover to enroll or sign up for our free boot camp today. All right, let's dive in to this amazing episode with click Play Flom. She is the owner of spriggan stone. It's a retail store chain and formerly Quann designs which was her jewelry brand before she purchased these retail stores. And you're gonna love her story. She shares her journey with flourish and thrive Academy and her journey from losing her job and having a business that was only making a couple $1,000 a year to building a multiple six figure empire. So let's dive right in.
I am so excited to be here on the show today with one of my favorite people Quay Flom, she is the owner of Sprig and Stone I had to look over because actually quite I've known quiet for a very long time. And she's gone through huge business evolution recently, which we're going to talk about. And I'm just so so proud of you.
Thank you, Tracy for having me today. I can't wait to talk about this with you.
So I asked you to come on today because if you've been in part of the flourish and thrive community, you might know quite because she has been a community leader in our diamond insiders program. She's been a mentor in the DI plus, which is a program that we run inside the diamond insiders. She's also been involved in our momentum program. She's a graduate of LTF, she worked for flourish and thrive for years as our customer service manager, and so much more. So I asked her to be on here for a very specific reason. Because in May, she called me up and said, Tracy, I have to step down from my full time position at flourish and thrive. Because my I have an opportunity that I can't pass up and my business is growing so quickly, that I still want to be involved. But I can't take on full time work anymore. So anyway, this is it. This is exciting. It was bittersweet for all of us, but exciting for you. So I'm really excited to highlight you a little bit more. So before I dive in clay, why don't you give us a little bit of background on how you launched into the jewelry industry?
Well, Tracy, I have been making jewelry since I was a kid. But ultimately, my evolution really started when I was just really sick and tired of not being able to wear jewelry due to medical reasons. And that's just allergies to certain metals. And so I just started creating for myself, and I think that's how a lot of people tend to get started is you know, I was just creating stuff for myself because I couldn't just go out to the stores and buy anything. And so then friends are like, Oh, where'd you get that piece? I'm like, Oh, I made it. Oh, you know how that goes. Next thing you know? What stuff and family wants stuff? Yeah. And so that is really how my jewelry journey began was initially just creating for myself.
Okay, awesome. So you found out about Flourish and Thrive. How'd you find out about flourish and thrive Academy.
So I had been creating jewelry and friends and family had convinced me to start selling stuff other than just making for them and and so I just literally did a Google search on like growing my jewelry business, because I'd been doing it for quite a few years. But I was making the same income and I wasn't growing. And so and I wanted to grow I wanted to make more money at it. And because I really loved it and so flourish and thrive Academy came up. And so I got Add on the email list, I totally binge on the podcast. Love it, I'm not gonna lie. And then I took I think it was like a mini course something about collections creating collections. And then I was still on the list. But what really wanted me to work with flourish and thrive was when I went through boot camp really should. Yeah, the
jewelry brand makeover boot camp, which we are we're bringing back we're bringing the uncle, I'm, I don't know if I call it an encore, or if we're bringing it back by popular demand. But it was one of our most popular boot camps for a very long time. So we're bringing it back this year. So if you're not signed up, make sure that you sign up now because it's epic. And I will tell you how epic it is. Because that led to her doing so much with this because you took the jewelry where makeover boot camp we talked about are laying the foundation program, then you eventually want to scholarships laying the foundation in took the program and your business just started growing right?
Oh my gosh, 100%. Laying the foundation was the trigger point that I needed to move my business forward. And I recommend it to anybody,
anybody and everybody to anybody and
everybody who wants to grow their jewelry business, or even if you just have an art or craft brand that you want to grow, the same principles still apply.
Right? So let's talk about it. What was your biggest challenge at that point, when you decided to join the jewelry room makeover boot camp? Or am laying the foundation? What were you struggling with in business?
I was struggling with stagnant sales to tell you okay, I was making the same amount of money every year doing the same thing over and over again. And I was literally stuck in a rut. And I knew if I wanted to move forward, I needed to do something different. Well, that's when boot camp and everything came around. And it was something different. So I was like, I'm going to give it a try. And we're going to see where this takes me.
Okay, awesome. Well, I really want to you know, I know this is like kind of personal. And I hope that you don't mind sharing, but I really want to dig deep into what was happening in your personal life. And in your business, when you first decided to take the laying the foundation program, what kind of hardships were you experiencing? Because I want to talk about this because you are literally such a force. And I want people to understand that people in really difficult situations can actually do this for themselves. So why don't you tell us a little bit about what's going on in your family?
Sure. So I was a mother of two that were still at home at the time. And we were in the process of actually getting custody of three of our grandchildren who, whose parents couldn't take care of them. And so they were unfortunately in the foster care system. And so my family was ready to go from four to seven. Yeah, rather quickly. And so, and I was let go from a job to where I helped pick out the software program that replaced like 80% of what I was doing. Great. Yeah, that was, that was so overjoyed, awful. And so and I was just doing my jewelry as a side hustle. You know, it was extra income for the family, it would let us go on vacation and things like that. But I was just at a point to where my husband was a stay at home dad due to medical reasons. And so I was the sole breadwinner. And so without having a job and no source of income, gaining three more miles into the family. I had to make some really serious and drastic decisions.
Yeah, and I thank you for sharing that. I know that's like not an easy thing to talk about publicly on podcast. But I think it's really important because it just shows how committed you were. And you started taking laying the foundation, we had a position open for a customer service role. You applied for it, we ended up hiring you, which was fantastic. And you worked for us kind of part time, I think at that time. And eventually that role turned into a full time role. Or like almost full time role, like maybe 30 hours a week. And you worked for us. How many years did you work for us? I can remember three, four years.
Over four years now. It was four years in October.
Yeah. So you're doing your your jewelry business and working for us full time, but your jewelry business really took off. So why don't you tell us? Tell us what happened because you took laying the foundation and you implemented it. I want to know some of the things that you did to help your business grow and to give people some perspective on what happened because the you you evolved so much since that time.
Yeah, so I mean, this was about five years ago that I think it's been about five years, maybe since I took the 2017 I remember the year And so one of the major things I did was, and I'm gonna lay this all out on the table, I love it, I was not pricing my work correctly, and I have a feeling a majority of designers are in that same boat. And when I went through laying the foundation, and through the pricing module, I literally was on the floor, and like the fetal position just sobbing. Because I was actually charging under wholesale cost for my work. So I mean, pretty much no profit. And so with just that one tweak in 2017, I doubled my sales, and I'm not gonna lie, I was making like five to $8,000 a year. And so I made almost $14,000 That year with just that one tweak by raising my prices when I sold less jewelry, but still made more money.
Yeah, that's incredible. And that that was just the first year. So you were you were kind of that was kind of when you were having the hobby business. But let's talk about some of the other things you implemented and some of the growth that you had on an ongoing basis. Because I remember one time, it was like two years into you working for me, and you're like, Tracy, like, do you want me to come in and like kind of talk about my growth? Because like, I like my business is like quadrupled since like I started and we're like, Clay, why aren't you telling us about this? So why don't you tell us a little bit more about some of the things that you've implemented us with laying the foundation and, and how you've been growing your business and kind of the results.
Yeah, so not only that, I actually retake and go through the LTF program every year, which is one of the amazing benefits of it is you get lifetime access to it wants you to participate. And so I revisit it every year, and I make tweaks to my business every year. And based on those tweaks, I have seen growth. So whether it's marketing, making sure I'm at the right in person events, cutting out the wrong in person events, so I'm not wasting my time and money. dialing in my dream client and really knowing who that person was really changed how I even spoke to people at in person events. And so just changing even just that verbage just drew the right people into me. And I have had some people who have come in and they are still customers, even though my business has made changes over these last five years, they have followed me on that journey as my dream client, which is a huge part of laying the foundation.
Yeah, that's so fun. I love hearing that. So you because you probably primarily sell in person, right?
I primarily sell in person, I do have online sales, I was doing consignment sales with a gallery at one point, which I now own that gallery. So all set into that
we're gonna get into that. Yeah.
And so, so yeah, it's just really going in and making these small little tweaks and testing and tweaking everything. And, you know, taking the strategies that are taught and laying the foundation and just really putting them into practice year after year after year.
I love that. So I have a quick question for you. I mean, it's not really a quick question. You know, I know there are a lot of people listening to this who have full time jobs, they have a jewelry side hustle with that they want to maybe take into build a six figure brand or multiple six figure business, or maybe they just want to build some sort of lifestyle revenue where they can, you know, make, you know, two to $5,000 a month to bring in some extra income from their family. How did you manage working a full time job and running your jewelry business at the same time and have a jewelry business that was doing just that like bringing in 1000s of dollars a month at the same time?
Well, I had to implement quite a few strategies to make it all happen. Yeah. One of the first ones was time management with time blocking. I literally schedule out almost every minute of my day. Yeah, so then there were times I was working on jewelry. There was times I was working my full time job there was times I was working on my family. Yes. And so that was one of the things was huge. I was just really implementing that into just everything that I did. The second thing was was making sure I had some solid teams on my sides. So for my family it was having my husband and my daughter in the future a nanny to where they're doing stuff for me to where I could take myself out of a lot of the family stuff from like having to do the dishes, having to do the laundry. You know things like that, I mean, I hire my daughter to do my dishes because I don't want to do my dishes. There's other things I'd rather be
doing. Yeah, that my buddy Rosalie?
No, it is my oldest daughter.
Okay, just a sidebar here, I don't want to interrupt your flow. But quase daughter, Rosalie is such a badass, she is going to be like a crazy entrepreneur, she always is winning the Girl Scout Cookie competitions, and makes like the most sales in her region every single year, and gets to send her whole trip to camp.
Yes, she does. Are you
teaching her how to how to sell?
Maybe she's learned a lot from mom, which I have learned a lot, thanks to laying the foundation, you know, and so I'm actually able to pass that knowledge on to now future generations of entrepreneurs.
Okay, so I didn't want to get you out of your flow. But what else did you do as a busy mom and working full time to make it all work.
So I did the time management, I made sure I had people doing things that would free me up to be able to do the things I needed to do in my business. And then I really got strategic about it, I really sat down. And when I would go through laying the foundation, I would also come up with a plan for the year and based off of the tweaks I wanted to make in my business, is how I planned out what I was going to do for the year. And so doing a quarterly and annual planning was huge. And knowing what steps I wanted to take, and then planning out actually literally for the year and each quarter, what steps I was going to do during those times. Because if I didn't have a plan, I was just going to be kind of tossing all those balls up in the air and probably not getting anything done. So I strategically worked on specific projects, and made sure that they got done in order to move my business forward.
That's awesome. So the strategic planning that we teach in laying the foundation, you you implemented that on an ongoing basis. This is I want to highlight this because I think a lot of people don't think about how important creating a plan and following a plan. You know, if we look at this is across like tons of different methodologies, you know, like the EOS entrepreneur operating system has runs based on a similar type of thing. And you know, we talk about 90 day sprints, or there's books like the 12, week year, all of these things together, like planning is really, really important. And one of the things that we try to help you do when when we're helping makers and designers grow their business is to get really clear, what is it that you're trying to create over the next three months? And what do you what needs to happen in order for you to get that stuff done? And so the fact that you took that out of it, and you actually follow through while working a full time job, and doing all the things is really amazing. What is what why did that help you so much?
Um, I think because it kept me laser focused is why I mean so much because I knew exactly every month what I needed to get done every down to the week and down to the day. You know, every week, I would plan out my week according to the tasks that needed to get done. And I know as flourish and thrive, likes to teach his work in threes. Yeah, so I would have three tasks I would want to get done, whether it was in a quarter, a month, a week or a day. And it's literally breaking things down into bite sized bits. And so you know, you can say, update my website, that's a really big project. Now, if I said, I am going to re write my about page for the website that really laser focuses as to what my project is, and what I'm going to get done versus ooh, I need to revamp the whole website. That's a big task.
Yeah. What I think that what you're trying to say here is that like, giving yourself like getting crystal clear on the specific parts of the website that would need to be updating is the way that you actually get it done as as opposed to creating this overwhelming task, like maybe your whole website needs a refresh. But if you try to attack it all in one, it's like, what are they? What's that saying? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So you need to like break it down into these tiny little bite sized pieces. So if you're saying like, Okay, I'm going to update the images for this one collection and rewrite the product descriptions. That's a lot easier than saying like, I need to redo all the products in my entire website or if I want to update the copy on my website, you can break that down into just doing your about page or the homepage or whatever it might be. So breaking it down into bite sized chunks that can be done So you can eat your elephant one bite at a time, right? But also about the planning helps you.
Um, let's see what else is there in regards to the planning along with the bite sized bits, is doing brain dumps. Because we all can get a lot, especially when we're busy. I mean, I've had a family of seven a full time job and my side hustle. And so really, you know, dialing in those brain dumps, and I would literally like, okay, everything going on in my head, it was literally going into a spreadsheet, because I love spreadsheets. And I can that way I can maneuver things around. Yeah, and really easy. And I would just then, okay, what is most important, what is going to bring money in the door right now. And that is what I would be focused on is those tasks that would be bringing money in the door. So whether it was reaching out in regards to custom orders, you know, filling orders getting things done, you know, that was my focus was what's bringing money in the door right now, everything else will come into places I have extra time.
Right, right. Yeah, that's awesome. And I love that. Because when you focus, okay, so I really want to drive this home. Because I think it's really important if your goal is to increase your sales, your number one focus needs to be the things that actually bring money in the door. So what I encourage people, we call this a 75% rule, what I encourage people to do is to spend 75% of their time, doing revenue generating activities that actually bring money into your business. If that's your goal, if your goal is sales, you have to focus on the sales piece. So whether that be your digital marketing, whether that be in person shows whether that be individual out or grassroots outreach to your network, whatever it is, those are the things that actually are going to grow your company. And when you can focus on those and make them a priority. It helps your business grow. And I really think that this is part of the reason why you've grown so much since that time.
Oh, absolutely. 100%.
Awesome. Is there anything else that that you feel that you've implemented over the past few years that have really contributed to some of this initial growth that you had in the early stages,
I'm having an accountability person to work with, and also having an amazing mentor. So Tracy has been an amazing mentor. Over the years, I have learned so much from you, and just flourish and thrive in general. But also, I now have people who surround me who are great accountability buddies. And it's really nice, because some of us meet once a week, some of us every other week, once a month, it just depends, but on everybody's needs, but my one accountability team that we meet every week, I mean, we literally talk about what we got done the last week, so we're celebrating our wins and accomplishments, which is huge, because then that really gives you that feel good, you know, juice going, then we talk about what we need to accomplish for the current week. And then we always end our call with what we are grateful for. Yeah, and I cannot tell you how much how many times I think pretty much almost every week flourish and thrive is on my gratitude list. And laying the foundation and all the opportunities that it has afforded me and my family.
That's so amazing way. Love hearing about it. Okay, so you've had some big changes this year. And I mentioned this earlier, you called me up in May. And I had to sit on the floor, because I thought I was gonna throw up when I heard this but as also at the same time, so happy for you. Because we just come to this place. You're like, Tracy, I'm, I'm all in, you know, my business is doing fine. Like I can still just keep doing it on the side. It's doing really well. And you know, I want to grow with the company. And so we're moving you into new position and all this stuff. And then like a couple weeks later, you're like, oh, by the way, so. So why don't you tell us what happened because I here's the thing. I could be really selfish and be like super bummed that you wanted to leave flourish and thrive Academy as like someone on the team. But also like, the reason I'm in the mentoring business is to see people do what you've done. So I want to I want you to tell everyone like what's going on now because a lot has changed over the past year. Plans. Yeah, why don't you tell us a lot has
just changed within about the last seven months? Yes. It's it hasn't even been a whole year which is crazy. Yeah, right when I was just really in my groove and move in with flourish and thrive and my jewelry business. I had an amazing opportunity. to buy the gallery that I had my jewelry in and actually expand that to a second and third location. And so it was really an opportunity that I felt because I was actually one of the top three sellers in the gallery month after month after month. It was a very big revenue generator for me. And I knew that with if I went into that I could grow that even more.
Yeah. That's so great. And so your your galleries are based, they're called sprig and stone, they're based in Duluth, Minnesota, or the Duluth area.
Yeah, we're actually kind of a little bit all over Minnesota. We have three, three different locations and three different cities. So and one's a seasonal, we're only open eight weekends a year. So
why don't you plug it right now? Where are they? Finally? So
we have Yellowbird fine art, which is in Grand moraine, Minnesota. We've got Yellowbird Arts, which is in Duluth, Minnesota. And then we have spriggan stone, which is at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. That's so fun seasonal spots.
Yeah, that's so fun. You do like great business at your Renaissance Festival, don't you?
Oh, my gosh, yes, we do. i Yeah. My jewelry was the number one seller again. So so
amazing. So how's your business doing now? I mean, it's kind of awkward to talk about money, but I kinda want to know, like, you know, I've heard you say a few things, but I'll let you say it.
Yeah, well, definitely, with laying the foundation. One thing I learned was that if you want to do this, you're in this for the long game, it's a marathon, it's not a sprint. Sometimes you can see overnight results that ultimately you need to keep working at it to really see a lot of results. And I went from five years ago, making five to $8,000 a year to where I am now running a multiple six figure business. So it took some time to really get there. But all the steps I took everything that I learned and implemented, implementation is key has put me on this new path that I am on currently,
I'm going to start crying. makes me so happy. You have no
idea. Just wait till I texted Tracy and tell you I broke the million dollar mark.
I cannot wait. Oh my gosh, you will make my day. You'll come back on the podcast to talk about that. I remember that. You know, it's funny because I remember the first day it a couple years ago, Jessica Bauer, who used to be on our team. She also recently opened a retail store, which is super exciting. And she messaged me one day she's like, do you know that clay is like totally crushing it and selling $1,000 necklaces? And I'm like, what? And we're like, why haven't we interviewed her ever about laying the foundation. And I don't know what it is. It's like you are a student first. But then you're working for us. I felt like there was this like, weird thing. But I know that you actually use what we teach to grow your business and look where you are now, which is so great. And I think the awesome thing is that you went from selling things for like, probably $20. Now you're selling pieces that are over $1,000 sometimes, not all of your pieces are that expensive. But sometimes you're selling pieces that are like, over $1,000 You're totally crushing it your businesses don't doing great, you now have a multiple six figure, retail store retail chain of stores, I should say. And things are going really well. You're still selling your jewelry, but it's kind of all in mashed into this other business. Is it you know, I'm really proud of you. I just I really want to know, is there any pieces of advice that you would? Well, I guess my first question, How has your life change with this success? I guess that's the best question I can ask you right here.
Oh, with the success, we are not living paycheck to paycheck, which is nice. I can tell you that. And I actually can put like money away in savings to where I was never able to do that before. Which is huge because savings is you know, cars break down things happen, you know, floods, blizzards, all kinds of stuff and you kind of need to be prepared. And so now I feel I'm definitely more prepared for life, which is great. My family doesn't want for anything, which is also another bonus. You know if they want to have Domino's one night sure we can order out Domino's, you know, we can go on more vacations as a family. And so we tried to stay and do a lot of stuff locally, because we didn't have a lot of money and now it's like if I wanted to take the kids to Disney World I can Take the kids to Disney World. And it's a really nice feeling to know that I am able to do that. Which is huge. And I owe it all to everything that I have learned from flourish and thrive and laying the foundation.
Cram so happy for you. I mean, I'm pretty sure you'd recommend the program. So I don't even really need to ask you that question. But at the same time, do you have any, like final pieces of advice or anything like that, for anyone who might be considering joining us for the boot camp, or considering investing in a program like laying the foundation?
Absolutely, um, I would say 100% is invest in yourself and in your business, you know, whether it's $100, or a million dollars, you know, whatever you're able to afford, you know, make it happen. I know that moving my business forward with what I was doing, I was going nowhere, and I needed guidance and help. And so and that came in the form of laying the foundation. And so taking that investment, and also helped me grow personally and professionally, and has made like, I looked, I actually looked back the other day because I was reviewing my life first laying the foundation documents to go through for this year. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I was literally looking back, like, look at where I was and how far I have come in five years. And it doesn't even seem like it's been five years, it almost feels like it was yesterday. And so I'm so glad that I had done that search and found flourish and thrive. And I've continued to make that investment to grow not only myself, but my business because you wouldn't think twice about going to college to get yourself some new skills. The same thing goes for laying the foundation and participating in boot camp. There's always so much great information. And as one of our members likes to say she likes to scoop the cream, and she takes all of that and uses it and implements it into her business. You know, and she has seen great success. So I was just like, I could never give it quite the analogy until she said it. And I'm like that's exactly what I did. Yeah. All the cream, took what I learned and implemented it. And it has worked.
That's so amazing. Clay, thank you so much for being here today. Where can everyone find you?
So everybody can find me at Yellowbird arts duluth.com
I love it. Thanks so much for being here. Clay.
Thank you for having me.
Thank you so much for listening and watching this podcast today. This is Tracy Matthews signing off until next time, before I do I want to remind you to join us for the jewelry brand makeover boot camp. We are in it to win it to help you get on the brink or crossover the break maybe I should say of having it all this year with your business. So we want to help you reach your sales goals. We want to help you do it with ease and flow and we also want to help you stop spending time on the things that don't really matter in your business so that you can grow. If you want to learn more and to join us for boot camp, head on over to flourish thrive academy.com forward slash makeover and register for the jewelry brand makeover boot camp today. I'll see you inside