Heather Jordan Jewelry has very humble roots. I started making jewelry as a way to cope with what was going on in my personal life. After years of persistent illness, I was granted a second chance to have a career; something so most others, in my situation, don't receive. I never purposefully set out to start a jewelry business; it just seemed to unfold naturally as time went on.
My first pieces were bracelets made with packets of stone chip beads from the local dollar store. I was able to sell them and use the proceeds to buy simple tools and materials from local craft stores. Again, pieces sold and I used those profits to buy even more supplies. The cycle continued. A friend offered display space in her store so I would have a place to sell full-time and I started doing local craft shows. Soon, I was outselling competitors and being approached by owners of local boutiques, who were interested in carrying my work on consignment. I started to establish a stable revenue stream and paid myself a modest salary. Next, I ventured out into online venues. By then, I had acquired a taste for being my own boss and wanted to see if I could build a real business.
I started working with wire just before I got my business license. This was a conscious and calcuated decision, on my part, for several reasons. First, no other local artists were wire-wrapping so it helped me stand out. Second, I would rather invest more time (making a piece of jewelry) than spend more to incorporate manufactured components that often lacked character. I found that if I made my own findings and elements with wire, I didn't spend as much on commercially-produced beads. Third, using wire gave me more design options. Using manufactured components limits creative freedom and I wanted my pieces to be different from anything else on the market. Wire-wrapping also gave me the ability to use materials that would otherwise be off-limits, such as un-drilled stones, fossils and meteorites.
Entrepreneurship is far more challenging than most people think, especially if you don't have a start-up fund to launch your business, and you're accustomed to traditional employment, with a regular salary. Not only did I have to develop my skills as an artist, but a businesswoman as well. In essence, I've spent the past few years engaged in an unofficial, yet rigorous program of independent study, simultaneously in those realms. I recently moved my business to Toronto so I could continue to grow and evolve. Starting a business isn't for everyone but it was definitely the right move for me.