We talk a LOT about online business – but what about traditional brick & mortar maker business?

My guest today is a traditionally trained jeweller with a successful small business in South Australia – Shannon Cornish.

I’ve known Shannon online for a few years now (she’s a member of my Thriver Circle community) and I’ve always admired her beautiful work.

In this episode, we talk about her journey to becoming a jeweller, opening her own B&M shop, taking on her own apprentice and staff jeweller, and how her business has become – and continues to be – a great success.

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Highlights from this episode:

  1. Unlike a lot of creative entrepreneurs, Shannon’s business is run through a bricks and mortar store in the Adelaide Hills in Australia.
  2. Most of Shannon’s customers are local but she does have people travel from interstate or use email and Skype for design consults.
  3. After many years of opening the store seven days, it is now closed two days a week.
  4. “Working Sundays was lovely for the customer but exhausting for us” {Shannon}
  5. To keep up with orders and administration, Shannon has a small team including two jewellers (Josh and Ben), an administration assistant (Yvette) and a bead worker/designer (Skye).
  6. Not long after she opened, Shannon was approached by a high school student who had begun to teach himself jewellery making. Josh joined the team as a school-based apprentice and is now a qualified jeweller who runs jewellery making lessons in the shop.
  7. “We do compare our pricing structures so that its similar so people don’t look at a bangle I have made and say why is that is so different to the price of a bangle that Josh has made. We do try to make sure we’re pricing our work using a similar formula” {Shannon}
  8. Two of Shannon’s team are paid with wages and two are paid on consignment. She also provides perks and incentives to everyone throughout the year to share her appreciation.
  9. After five years of running her bricks and mortar store, Shannon established a website for the business. As she didn’t want to do this herself, Shannon outsourced the setup of her website and development of SEO which saved her time and frustration. 
  10. 32:50 “If you are going to outsource someone, make sure it is the right person and it is working.” {Shannon}
  11. 33:25 “You want to be nice, but sometimes you just need to be the boss” {Jess} 
  12. 35:24 “I struggle to define success. Because it’s not an end goal for me. It’s just a continual process” {Shannon}

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