June 24, 2012
Herbie Business: Shelly
Today we're spotlighting a vegan owned jewelry company, Lavoro Designs. Shelly uses no animal products in her creations and makes gorgeous bracelets, earrings, and rings, and necklaces. Many of her designs are fruit, veggie and animal themed!
Tell us a little bit about your businesses.
Lavoro Designs is affordable handcrafted jewelry made to be simple, timeless and easy. The Lavoro style is as varied as your personality. You'll find flowers, hearts and dragonflies among the skulls and industrial metals. Alluring genuine gemstones, twinkling crystals and fun-loving beads. Stone, glass and wood. From work to play, you'll find something that works for every mood, every destination and every meeting! I believe a varied jewelry wardrobe is important so that we can show the world the unique prism of our personalities. Some days we feel like hearts and flowers and other days we feel like skulls! Most days, I feel like skulls.
I do not use any animal derived materials like leather, silk, bone, shell, coral or natural pearls. I also take custom requests. I very much enjoy the process of hunting down whatever it is my client is looking for. I love wearing jewelry so I keep my jewelry affordable so people can build a large accessory wardrobe.
How did you get into jewelry making?
Lavoro came about in November of 2009 when I was unable to find the type of earrings I liked and wanted to wear - simple, timeless and easy. I wanted earrings that were versatile and classic while still being unique and interesting. I decided to make my own. Soon, I expanded into making memory wire bracelets (because they are fun and affordable) and chain necklaces that incorporate charms. I also offer necklaces, pendants, bookmarks, bracelets, keychains, rings, children’s styles, non-pierced and more!
What motivated you to start selling jewelry and specifically, vegan jewelry?
I was making earrings for myself and then my family and friends started to become interested in buying them. Soon, they started to request necklaces and bracelets and I expanded my designs to include a variety of accessories. I decided to offer them on Etsy so I could have an income coming in. Because I’m vegan, I never considered offering items made with any animal byproducts and I make sure I market my line as being vegan.
Is this a full-time gig, or something you do on the side? a hobby?
It’s just a hobby now but I’d love to be busy enough for it to be an actual income generating hobby!
How long have you been a member of the HH community?
I’ve been vegetarian since 2003, vegan since 2010 and I discovered HH in the late summer of 2011
What advice do you have for anyone interested in pursuing their dreams of opening an etsy shop and selling their crafts? Any advice to those looking specifically to make vegan jewelry pieces?
Provide exceptional customer service and always be thankful for every single order. Be polite and stay in touch with the customer. I make sure I provide communication thru the entire ordering process. I treat customers as I would expect to be treated because nice matters. Stay true to your design process and style.
What is the most rewarding part of your business/work?
I love being able to provide affordable pieces that people love to wear. It makes me happy when my clients tell me that they got a compliment on one of my designs. I also love doing custom work and bringing a design idea to life.
What is the most challenging aspect?
Staying on a budget with materials because I love to buy beads! It’s also frustrating to not have many sales. I’m grateful for every single sale I get. It means a lot to me because I know that people have a choice where they can shop.
Does your business directly relate to your Herbie lifestyle?
I often use the money I earn from my jewelry sales to buy new vegan cookbooks and specialty vegan food ingredients!
Anything else you'd like to add or share?I’d like to offer the HH community members a special 15% off code that can be used thru my Etsy site. Just use the code HERBIE at checkout!
I also have a Facebook ‘fan’ page if anyone wants to ‘like’ it.And .. I have a vegan blog!
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Shelly! Shelly has generously offered to giveaway her best selling item- a vegan stamped necklace. It's gorgeous!
Elizabeth, you won! Please contact andrea @happyherbivore.com. Congrats!