Perseverance was all I could think of when Krystal Moran shared part of her tale with us. A woman who’d faced everything from personal to financial to career woes, she pushed through and at the other end she found a love for jewelry making and started Love Always Design Co. Fresh out of the gate this year, Krystal is excited about where she’ll take Love Always Design Co. as she heads towards a new year and new opportunities.
Kendra: I’ve talked to a lot of people who are a few years into their own business but you just started this year. That’s exciting! Are you learning something new every day?
Krystal: Just starting my business this year has been exciting! I find that I am constantly seeking out new information to learn and absorb so I can better my chances of being a contender in a very saturated e-commerce market. Whether I am commuting, working out at the gym, or I’m home crafting, I am almost always watching Etsy business coaches on YouTube, tuning into webinars, or googling things like “ways to improve SEO.”
Kendra: You’ve mentioned that you were tired of the fear of failure holding you back. As someone who has been in the boat more often than not, what finally pushed out to paddle towards your goals instead of just waiting for the wind?
Krystal: I realized my life was filled with these huge, repetitious waves that kept crashing down on my husband and me (job loss, financial instability, the challenges of parenting, coping with depression and anxiety, being in a car accident, moving states, and so on).
“Smooth sailing” was just a term and nothing more. The timing was never going to be “right.” I just needed to take the plunge. I had begun forming Love Always Design Co. at the beginning of this year and I just knew this was it. Sink or swim, kid.
I’ve always been a creative and knew that I would never be fulfilled working a typical office type job, which up until this past August is what I did. I managed an office for a local landscape company. I needed to be all in and not just hope that my hobby would magically turn into a career.
Kendra: Another thing we have in common is dealing with depression and anxiety. Was bracelet making something you found helped you cope on the bad days?
Krystal: Crafting and things that challenged me to think creatively have been a great way to cope with depression and anxiety. I needed to keep busy to stay distracted from my thoughts. Through the years I’ve picked up journaling, photography, drumming, baking, making head chains, painting, designing vinyl decals, creating gift boxes, custom vinyl shirts, keychains, and bracelets. Bracelet making wasn’t the original intention for LADC, but it became one of the things I enjoyed doing most that also felt like a viable business option.
Kendra: In the past, you’ve dipped your toes into starting something on your own. Was it always jewelry based? What drew you towards bracelets and keychains?
Krystal: My first business venture was in photography. I thought that was my calling and so my friends who already had a photography business helped me get started. I quickly realized it was hard to book shoots with strangers when I was already working full time and had a newborn, so that fizzled out.
I became known for my baking, particularly my fudge, back in Colorado and was convinced by others to turn that into a business. I made it through one holiday season before the pressure of fulfilling orders while working two jobs got the best of me. Then there was my vinyl business. I loved the freedom of creativity but didn’t particularly love doing custom orders which was most of the work I was asked to do.
I’m not even sure how I landed on keychains and bracelets. I think my mom and I went to the store one day to get some bead cord so she could fix a broken bracelet. The store was having a sale on jewelry supplies, so my mom and I loaded up on materials. I loved it! I could sit down at the table and lose track of the time and my thoughts while I created these beautiful things.
Kendra: Are you only on Etsy right now or have you tapped into the local farmer’s market and craft fair scenes?
Krystal: Currently, I am only selling through Etsy and marketing/branding through Instagram, Facebook, and my website. I have started visiting local craft fairs and boutiques to take note of how other handmade businesses do their setups. I plan to start getting into doing pop-ups and would like to see my products in brick and mortar boutiques next year.
Kendra: Will you start expanding to other forms of jewelry like necklaces, rings, and earrings as we head into 2020?
Krystal: As we head into 2020, I plan to take my product lines down a few different avenues. I’d like to do a collection of head chains, a collection of gift boxes, and a collection of hair accessories for boys/men with long hair. My five-year-old has hair down to his lower back and I find it insane that seldom do you come across hair ties and headbands that are marketed as gender-neutral or for males.