Today we’d like to introduce you to Bridget Sonobe.
Hi Bridget, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I opened my small shop at the beginning of the pandemic. I was inspired by my friends who had decided to open up shops of their own to have fun with. In the beginning, my shop was a bit messy as I was still figuring out the type of jewelry I wanted to sell and the theme that I wanted to go off of. I experimented with wire earring making, charms, and different types of beading techniques. It wasn’t until a month in until I realized that maybe I should stick with a “kawaii” type of theme. Being half Japanese, I wanted to tie my culture into the jewelry I made so the cutesy-fun aspect was perfect for my shop. I began to get more orders, and more people began posting the jewelry they ordered from me on their Instagram accounts, spreading the word about my small business.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I started my shop when I finished my Spring semester of college. Throughout the summer, it was all I focused on so when I had to go back to being a full-time student again, it was tough to keep up with my shop and Instagram account. I became discouraged and even took a break from advertising my products to focus more on my studies.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
What I love about my shop is that any age group can enjoy what I sell and that it’s affordable. I have had pre-teens and even mothers purchase my jewelry. It brings me fulfillment when I see that they feel confident and cute wearing earrings that I had made! I am most proud of the learning process that I went through. From figuring out how to ship the packages then to knowing what my customers will want to buy, it can be a barrier that many sellers may face. It’s up to you to overcome those challenges and remember the potential that you actually have. I pay attention to detail with making the jewelry and even more packaging them. I love personalizing each order by giving the buyer a nice note and even writing their name in Japanese. It makes customers feel special. Before enclosing everything, I also like to add a piece of candy and some star glitter, just to add some more goodies to an order.
What were you like growing up?
I was always a very curious child. I was either dancing, doing arts and crafts, or running off to discover something new outside. From a young age, my creativity was apparent and was brought out most when I created pieces of my own. That being filmmaking with my stuffed animals, piano playing, and of course, jewelry making. I actually remember my mother buying me a jewelry making kit one year that was inspired by famous artwork pieces. It was one of the most personal and unique gifts I had ever received.
- Heart Lollipop Earrings: $5.00
- Soot Sprite Earrings $20.00
- Kawaii Candy Love Earrings: $10.00
- Dainty Butterfly Earrings: $6.00
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/sakurajewelryco/
- Instagram: @sakurajewelry.co
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Aleasha Bahr is a sales & marketing strategist known for showing introverts and ambiverts the Secret Art of Subtle Selling. She personally sold millions in revenue while discovering introverts are usually top sales people – as soon as they stop trying to act like extroverts. We’ve partnered with her to produce Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories. Check out episode 1 below: