Today we’d like to introduce you to Heidi Dametz.
Heidi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I suppose the true beginnings of Aha Crafted started when I was in my early 20’s. Back then I sold my handcrafted beaded and leather earrings to help pay for college. When I graduated I put that creative hustle on the side and worked my way up the corporate ladder in a career in Business Development.
Then, about four years ago I met Jamie, a talented graphic designer. We started dating and quickly realized it felt very natural to work and create together. Within a few months, we decided to combine our efforts and partnered to launch Aha Crafted one of the first leather earring companies.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth road, no. But, are any start-ups ever an easy ride? When we launched our company, we were one of the first to sell leather earrings. While being a pioneer in an industry has its benefits it’s not always ideal because there are no road maps, or examples to follow.
I truly feel that as a business owner you have the ability to choose how you internalize and react to the bumps in the road. There are constantly things that can send you off course. You can choose to either learn and re-route or get frustrated and give up. Giving up has never felt like an option for me.
During the early years of building the business, I struggled with essentially working two full-time jobs. The business very quickly turned into an endeavor that commanded at least 40 hours a week of my attention.
While the momentum we snagged was great, we weren’t profiting enough that I could give up the steady paycheck from my corporate sales job. So, for a few years, my partner and I did everything on our own, and both put in around 80-hour work weeks. We hung in there, and as the business grew we were slowly able to hire people and take back our lives!
Aha Crafted – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Aha Crafted specializes in unique and original, handcrafted leather earrings. My partner and I have lived either on the East or West Coasts for our entire lives. Living so close to the shore changed my life and was one of the greatest inspirations for the Aha brand. The first leather earring shape we designed was actually modeled after a surfboard. It is the “Signature Aha Shape” ©, and to this day, it is our best-selling earring design.
We didn’t plan it this way, but there has been a sense of community that has started to form around our brand. Our earring shape is recognizable even from afar, and because of this, it has a way of bringing people together. Over the years we’ve received countless stories of how it connects people who might not have been drawn together otherwise.
Women recognize AHA’s on other women, and it serves as an icebreaker. Conversations are started around the earrings; people realize they only have a few degrees of separation from each-other and friendships are formed. This tribe of sorts and sense of community is what we are most proud of.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Happiness equals success, hands down. If I am to be completely transparent, I will confess there were short periods of time I wasn’t truly happy building the business. This was solely because I took on too much and I convinced myself that I needed to work every waking minute.
At the end of the day, working yourself that hard just isn’t worth it. No matter how many sales you are bringing in, or how great the speed of your business is growing it’s only a pursuit of your “dream” if you are smiling and skipping along the way.
- Leather earrings from range from $18-$58
- Address: 950 Glenneyre Street Laguna Beach CA 92651
- Website: www.ahacrafted.com
- Phone: 413-489-2677
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ahacrafted/