In this mini-series, we discover what drives Toronto Creative Entrepreneurs MRKT Alumni to create, we’ll also learn more about their experience as a seller at the event.
Introducing Lisa Chang, owner of Lisa Chang Designs.
What is the inspiration behind your business/creative process? How did you get started?
5 years ago after studying in a field, I thought I wanted to pursue and build a career in, I decided it was not for me and it was like, okay now what do I do? I have always felt I was NOT doing what I really wanted to do with my career. I also always knew that I wanted to be my own boss one day. So, my amazing and wonderful sister in law Lana suggested that I take a Bead Stringing Course. Well, the rest is history! I took my very first Jewelry Making course with an amazing store called BeadFX here in Toronto and I was hooked! Here I was thinking I don’t know how to make anything with my hands but I had a creative mind, just needed the right outlet!
My business started the moment I finished taking that first course. I am a planner-in-my-head type of person! I see the future of where I want to be and I put steps in place to get there! Three years ago, I was struck by a string of bad health problems and it took some time to officially launch my business. I eventually got around to launching my Etsy Shop: LisaChangDesigns back in April 2018 of this year!
Struggling with chronic pain and fatigue, I have to prioritize and set mini goals, in addition to short term and long term to check off. Daily goals help me stay focused and not be bog down with my health issues. I work almost 7 days a week from home either making new Jewelry pieces, getting supplies, fulfilling orders, taking product photography and marketing through social media while also preparing for upcoming local shows!
What products/services do you offer?
I make beautiful one-of-a-kind Jewelry creations using Beads, Gemstones, Natural Stones, Swarovski and wire wrapped Earrings, Bracelets, and Necklaces. I also recently launched Sterling Silver, 14 K Gold Filled and 14 K Rose Gold filled metals and chains in my creative Jewelry collection. I see myself as ever evolving with my Jewelry designs as I am someone who loves to wear different kinds of Jewelry depending on my mood that day. I always wanted to have a Jewelry business whereby you can purchase a few different creative styles of jewelry pieces all by the same designer. I create for the woman who is not afraid to be bold sometimes but also like the elegant and timeless classic look both in Jewelry and fashion. Having completed the Image Consulting Certificate many years ago with George Brown College has really helped me in designing and creating my Jewelry pieces as well! Currently, I am back in school to completing the Jewelry Program with George Brown College.
How did you make your first 5 sales?
I had both online sales through Etsy as well as doing my very first show with Toronto Creative Entrepreneurs back in May 2018 of this year!
What was your experience like at The MRKT?
Amazing! I really enjoyed participating in my very first show with The MRKT! It really helped me figure out how much Jewelry to have for the shows later on that I did! Gave me a much better realistic perspective on what to expect at shows etc. Well organized an amazing group of people who make this happen! Great Vibe as well!
What was your experience like at the MRKT Bootcamp (or with MRKT Bootcamp E-Guide)?
I have not participated in the in-person MRKT Bootcamp as of yet, but would certainly love to do it one day soon. I have read the MRKT Bootcamp e-guide for my last show in May! It was very useful! I also called in to hear the questions that were being asked by the other vendors to the organizers prior to the show and that also helped me a lot as well!
What advice can you give to a first-time vendor?
- Once you have secured the show date, start planning daily, weekly or monthly goals
- Know your product or service very well because during the show you are the person the customers would expect to know what you make, how you made it, etc. Have pricing lists present and clearly, display payment methods as well on your table or booth.
- Have a good table banner made from Vistaprint, business cards, etc. spend the money to make it look top-notch! Use Pinterest to get some ideas on how to set up your table or booth. Consider how you want to package your products and also consider that the folks buying from you might need to go on the TTC so packaging needs to be easy to carry.
- Read all the policies and rules provided by that particular organization doing the show and respect them. Rules are provided for a reason. Also, you want to be invited to work with them again in future shows!
- Having beautiful products to sell but having a negative attitude or suffocating approach to selling can also having potential customers running for the door! So, the art of selling is crucial to learn either in person or online.
- Remember to Smile, tell them you are available for any questions but don’t pressure sell. If they are just browsing, provide them with your business card and let them know you also sell online etc. Even with no sale, they could be potential customers and they can also be your free “word of mouth” advertising!
- Have Fun!
Connect with Lisa: