In this episode I talk to a jeweller with a very similar ‘origin story’ to myself… 

Raphaela of Fifth Heaven Designs started her business the way so many of us do – on the side, as a hobby.

Fast-forward about a decade, and she has an incredibly successful online jewellery business – and today we discuss exactly how she got from there to here.

Much like myself, Raphaela’s spouse also works with her in the business, and we talk a bit about the pros and cons of working with your partner, too.

Raphaela also discusses how an adult diagnoses of Aspergers has given her insight into her work patterns, and has helped her to create systems that work for her.

I adored chatting with her, and I hope you enjoy this interview!

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Highlights from this episode:

  1. Whilst on medical leave from her administration job, Raphaela began her jewellery journey armed a book Soldering Made Simple, a crème brule blowtorch and a small collection of gemstones and metals. 
  2. Over the next few months, Raphaela began to sell her jewellery and slowly built her business into her primary income.
  3. Jess and Raphaela both agree that economic uncertainty across Australia, and around the world, has made it more difficult to kick creative businesses off.
  4. “It was a different world back then. There was a lot less competition. It’s a lot more challenging now. And a lot more people have woken up to the idea and having this crafty business on the side… It does make it a little more difficult for everybody on the whole.” {Jess} 
  5. While the rings Raphaela makes could be seen as fashion rings she consciously has marketed these as engagement rings and created a niche for her business.
  6. “Two people might be making similar products but the way that you title it and market it and write about it can actually influence how people are finding you” {Jess}
  7. “If you think that my stuff is not that unique think about how you can aim for a particular niche to help you be more successful” {Jess}
  8. Raphaela works with her wife Jenna who manages marketing, web content and photography. They use Evernote on their phones to make sure they aren’t missing or doubling up on any tasks. 
  9. Raphaela was diagnosed with Asperger’s as an adult which has provided her with insight into her work patterns and styles. 
  10. “I’ll have a short playlist on my phone of music, it’ll be 30 minutes or so, and that’ll give me long enough to do the task and the music stops and I have to revaluate what to do next” {Raphaela}
  11. “Being able to work from home and not having the stress of an outside employer—that is the most exciting thing to me” {Raphaela}
  12. Raphaela’s business is solely online and made to order. By approaching business this way, she ensures her overheads remain low.

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