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I am constantly blown away by the resilience and creativity from the designers in our community.

Twyla Dill is one radiant example.

While living in Turkey, Twyla learned how to make Oya, a delicate lace crocheted from thread.

With plenty of inspiration, but no background in jewelry, she set to work creating pieces that blended the Turkish lace technique with a modern aesthetic. Eventually, Twyla Dill Designs was born.

In April of 2019, Twyla’s second year in business, her mom passed away after years of battling Multiple Sclerosis.

Needless to say, it was a tragic loss for Twyla and her family.

Balancing business and grief is no easy feat, but Twyla navigated it with grace and was even able to increase her sales from the year before.

She sat down with me this week to share how she did it.

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“Something that I told her was that I would love to make a jewelry collection inspired by her, that I could donate a portion of the sales to people living with ms because I love designing and that kind of how I express myself.”

Welcome to Thrive-by-Design. The podcast for ambitious, independent jewelry brands looking to profit from their products. Get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business so you can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? Alright, let's do this.

Tracy: 00:53 Welcome to the thrive by design podcast, episode two 17 hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, chief visionary officer over at Flourish and thrive academy and I love talking to our students. So today I have a special guest, Twyla dill of Twyla del designs to come and talk about how she increased her sales this year by 47% when one of the biggest tragedies of anyone's life could possibly happen. Now we're going to dive into this deeply this year, and I'm not downplaying her loss, but I think that this is really a really important lesson because one of the things that all of us are trying to do as creative thinkers as designers, as brands is to recession proof and life proof and health proof our business in a way, right? Because the truth of the matter is, is as someone who is a passion preneur or jewelry Preneur, whatever you call yourself or identify with, meaning that you've gotten into this industry because you're passionate about it and you started a business because you wanted to do something that you loved, you wanted to create a sense of freedom.

Tracy: 01:59 You want it to have this sense of accomplishment knowing that the work that you were doing actually mattered and you want to set yourself up for a really good life doing it. But how do you do that when you don't have a steady paycheck and you don't necessarily have ah, benefits or paid family leave or you know, sick days and all those things because you are the person driving the revenue in your business. Like how do you protect yourself when it all comes down to that. And the bigger question is is how do you protect yourself? Let's say if a family member died. So Twyla, his mom passed away this year and we're going to be talking about that a little bit more in the story today, but I just wanted to bring her on because she has in our ss coaching program and SLS is our strategic online success accelerator and it's really about setting up your business with what we call the desire to brand effect and using that business model to be able to really attract, you know, the right customers and create a connection online with people and being able to have this really connected conversion so that when people are ready to buy, they already love you so much and then getting to a place where your business can scale.

Tracy: 03:09 But it doesn't have anything to do with you actually being the person doing all the things. Because one thing that I noticed, I just got back from an entrepreneurs trip. I spent a week, I kind of a week off the grid as in vacation in San Diego with my cousin and I was hanging out in Cardiff by the sea and then I went to Austin to hang out with some entrepreneurs to do some personal development work and then back that up with basically a business conference, mastermind event. And one thing after speaking with people in the industry in hundreds and thousands of entrepreneurs over my years is that founders who start companies, they're all kind of in the same boat, right? They do something that they love and their business starts to grow and then things start to fall apart. They get overwhelmed or overloaded, however you want to say it.

Tracy: 03:53 They hit these business plateaus where they can't really do anything more to make their business grow without having someone else or having a look at actually stepping back to look at what's happening inside their business. And quite frankly, everyone, I've talked to, one of my consultants, our COO over here, or chief marketing officer who's consulting for us right now, Shelby, we were talking about this today because she said to me, she's like, you know, Tracy, one of the things that I found, you know at this thing, I really feel like this would resonate with your audience too, is that people are embarrassed. They're embarrassed about all the problems that they're having in their business. And those problems result in basically preventing a business owner from actually growing their business and removing themselves. And so what ends up happening is you start to feel trapped, you feel a little bit overwhelmed, you start wondering why you started your business in the first place and you start to, you know, second guess yourself.

Tracy: 04:46 And I know just only from personal experience is that when I was starting my jewelry company and maybe in your five or six, the business was really growing and I was so embarrassed that I didn't have all the answers and I was so embarrassed that things were kind of messy inside my business. And instead of actually asking for help, I just kind of brush those things under the rug. And I put that like started like facing frontward in my business, letting my ego drive the way instead of really being humble and saying look like I'm smart but I don't have all the answers. And this is one of the things that I think can become the difference between designers who actually are able to scale and lifeproof their business and designers and brands. And I should say like designers who are able to scale and lifeproof their business and become in demand designers is what I want to say.

Tracy: 05:33 And those who continue to struggle and those who continue to feel overwhelmed and those who feel like there's no options because they don't know what to do next. And when you're in that phase of like feeling really stuck, typically what's happening is you become the bottleneck in your business. And so the reason why I asked Twyla to be on the show today is not only because she's a remarkable designer, when she started working with us, she was already doing over six figures when she joined us. And she really wanted to be able to set her business up in a place for scale because when she joined the program, her mom unfortunately had ms, which we're going to share the whole story and she'd been suffering for a long time and she knew that the end was going to be coming soon. She didn't know when specifically when she joined us, but she literally had a plan of zero growth this year and you are going to be blown away when you hear what she's done.

Tracy: 06:21 Simple things that have made a huge difference that have increased their online sales by 10% she's already surpassed her sales from last year and it's only September, so at the end of August she had already passed her sales from last year. She's up 47% over the previous year. In the months that her mother passed away. She ended up beating her previous year's sales and each of those months then march, April, may where she hardly worked, her sales surpassed what she did the previous year because of the systems that she set up to allow herself to remove herself and she is no longer working nights and weekends and is really able to, you know, set herself up for success. She knows what she needs to be doing in order to grow the business and she also knows how she can replace herself to scale her sales. Doing that through automations, doing that for through online marketing and doing that through the systems that actually set her business up to get her to the next level.

Tracy: 07:13 And I'm just so proud of her. So I'm excited to share her story. We talk about a lot of different things in this episode. Originally when I was interviewing her, it was about launching micro collections and she talks a little bit about a couple of collections that she launched and also launching one of a kind collections. But really the bigger message here is about what Twyla did to life proof for business so that she could spend the time with her family that she needed to during the time when her mother was transitioning from living to moving onto the next realm or whatever you want to say. And then from that time that she needed to take off to really grieve her mother's death. And so this is just a really heartfelt, powerful story. And it's hard for me to even record this intro without getting teary eyed and emotional because she just really is someone who understands what it takes to get to a place where everything's not going to fall apart just because things in your life are falling apart.

Tracy: 08:07 It's about keeping things going when things are crumbling. And so I hope that you find inspiration in this. And if you are someone who feels like you're in a state where your business is not lifeproof, where you might be in a place where you're working nights and weekends, you know you're smart and you've worked so hard to get yourself to where you are and things are looking up and you're doing great, but for some reason like you've become this bottleneck in your business and you might not even realize it, your business might've hit a profit plateau where your sales aren't growing anymore and maybe your expenses are creeping up and you're kind of in that place where you're feeling overwhelmed all the time and you think that the only way out of it is to work more. But really the way out of it is to work a little bit less and to work to slow down a little bit to really think about your bigger business strategy.

Tracy: 08:53 And I love to help you with that and I'm going to be going through something that I like to call the desired brand effect fact. And this is really the bigger picture model of how you can create systems that help scale your business. Help you remove yourself from your business, help you break through your profit plateaus and help you get to a place where you really feel the sense of enjoyment so that you're not like running scared and like reactionary in your business so that you're actually slowing down enough so that you can be strategic. Even in the midst of like feeling this panic, like if I stop, my sales are going to stop. That's not what it's about at all. So I'm going to be walking you through this amazing model on a very special masterclass that we have going on next week. So I'd love for you to register.

Tracy: 09:37 You can head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash breakthrough and right there you're gonna get on a page that is going to ask for some details, just your email address and your name and you can register for the masterclass that we will be presenting live, which will be super, super duper fun. So definitely go and register now because you're going to want to, and if you're someone who would like to get on the phone with us right away, I'd love to invite you to jump on strategy session. So if you're someone who is already doing at least $40,000 a year, but ideally you know upwards or closer to about six figures a year, you're at that place where your business is kind of hitting that profit plateau. You know, you want to leverage the power of online marketing or scale your online marketing that you have so that you're making more sales online and off, but using digital strategies to automate things so that you're not manually doing everything in the process so that you're creating a, basically a huge pool of repeat customers that build your business for you.

Tracy: 10:35 One of the key takeaways that we've helped Twyla with this year is to get repeat customers. She's never had any until this year, and it's made a huge difference in our business. And to get to a place where you're actually building your email list every single day and using email marketing strategies, the right kind because there's several different kinds out there. It's not just about sending a random email. We have very strategic way of teaching this to build your business. But more importantly to get you to a place where you feel grounded, where you feel a sense of purpose, where you feel a sense of freedom and where you're actually doing your best work and getting to a place where you're feeling that critical mass in profitability, not where you're scraping by and spending more money to try and throw money at the problems. But getting to a place where the money you're investing into your business is paying off big time and the amount of overwhelming feelings that you're having are reduced significantly so that you are clear headed and moving forward in a way that you know is going to make a big difference.

Tracy: 11:35 And you're seeing that results by looking in your bank account and seeing the financial rewards of that. So this is great for a designer at any level. We just have some baseline parameters. We know that if you're not doing at least 40 to 50 to $60,000 a year, you might not be in a place where you're ready for this kind of work, but if you're, you know, upwards of 100200300 thousand and you're feeling stuck in your business and you want to really be able to scale, we can 100% help you. So that's that. If you'd like to get jump on a strategy call with us, head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash strategy and you can book your free call. We're just going to send you to an application, ask you a few questions and if you are a good fit we will let you know and we'll give you a booking link to book a call with our business accelerator strategists and Tasha, which is Super Fun. All right, I'm going to dive in today. Today's episode, you're going to really love what you hear from Twyla. Let me do a brief intro of her before we get started. Twyla della makes hand crocheted lace and metal jewelry for the modern, adventurous, inspired by travel and adventure and encouraging women to live on their own terms. Twyla is jewelry is just a beautiful accessory and compliment to any outfit you want to check out her. Work head on over to Twyla [inaudible] dot com or Twyla dill designs on Instagram. Let's dive into today's episode.

Tracy: 12:57 I am excited because I have one of our students and a brilliant jewelry designer on the show today. Her name is Twyla Dill. Twyla - Thank you so much for being here today.

Twyla: 13:08 Thanks for having me Tracy. I'm so excited to be here.

Twyla: 13:11 Since I've met you. I'm just so impressed by you because you're one of the most positive people that I've ever met first and foremost and I just love number one. I love your collection and your designs, but I just love how you're really taking action in your business even when things aren't quite going your way. And I'm just leaving it super vague cause maybe feel that maybe will come up in this conversation, but in light of like really deep personal tragedy, you're, you've been really able to keep your business moving forward and I just really admire you for that. And I just wanted to say that before we get started.

Twyla: 13:44 Thank you. I appreciate that. I mean it's been a good thing to have my business. It's kind of something to fall back on when I am feeling sad or like I need some space out of life, you know?

Tracy: 13:56 Yeah. So I'm sure if you don't mind, can we talk a little bit about what happened later?

Twyla: 13:59 Absolutely. Yeah.

Tracy: 14:01 So before I get started, I always like to ask my guests like a little bit about their journey into starting a jewelry company. So why don't you tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today?

Twyla: 14:11 Yeah, so kind of short story. I moved to Turkey about seven years ago and I didn't have any jewelry design background and when I was in Turkey I learned to do oil, which is a lace that's traditionally done on the edge of headscarves. And I just fell in love with it and kind of started playing with that and wanted to do something that was smaller and a little different than the traditional thing. And so I started making lace jewelry hand crocheted, and I fell in love with that. And I have always had this philosophy of start before you're ready. Even before I had a business. And so when I fell in love with making jewelry, no metal work, just lace, I decided I'm going to start a business making jewelry. Hindsight is, I didn't know how to make jewelry, but at this point in time, like it really benefited me to start before I knew what I was doing.

Twyla: 15:03 So I started my business four and a half years ago. And at the time I was doing mostly lace, crochet, a little bit of woodwork actually, and leather in with my lace, but no metal. And really quickly I learned that the market wasn't going to support the price for the pieces with that aesthetic. And so I kind of pivoted really fast. I added metal into my pieces, I learned to do metal work and that has what's taken my business from where it was four and a half years ago to where it is today. So that pivot was really crucial

Twyla: 15:37 For my growth. Wow. You know, I like that you were kind of thinking about your business in a different way. We have a lot of designers come into this community and they're like, oh, it takes so much time and you know what you're talking about is perceived value. Absolutely. And so that's really the struggle when it comes down to jewelry design because there's all sorts of jewelry that you can make and sometimes super labor intensive pieces that don't have a perceived value because the people look at maybe the cost of materials or this could be done in another country or something like that, and they aren't factoring into account that it took you hours and hours to make this piece of jewelry, but you can't really charge what you're worth at that point because their perception of how much it cost isn't there. Right.

Twyla: 16:20 Yeah. So, yeah, my aesthetic when I started was very much, and nothing wrong with this aesthetic at all, but it was more on the very Bohemian hippie kind of side. And I couldn't sell those pieces for the amount I needed to in order to make that time back because the lacework I was doing was very time consuming and it's beautiful. Oh yeah. Beautiful. And time consuming. Yes. And you know, at the time I was only making bigger lace pieces. And so I really started to think about what can I do to still do this and create this really unusual aesthetic but have the perceived value be there. And so adding metal in really helped because even with brass, which is what I started with now, I do a lot of silver and 14 karat gold plating and even a little solid gold now. But even starting with breasts, adding that in and going from wood or leather to the brass with the lace it ups that perceived value.

Twyla: 17:12 And then each time I improved my skill set and made the, either the design more in depth or my aesthetic and design abilities evolved. And so I've been able to kind of consistently raise prices over the life of my business while making that feel like my customers are still getting a product that has a, you know, quote unquote fair market price. Like they are willing to pay that price. And you know, I do put a lot of time into the pieces with the lace, but it's been an interesting journey of figuring out what people want and what they'll pay for.

Tracy: 17:48 Yeah, I think that's interesting

Twyla: 17:50 Because when I look at your collection, I think it is really well priced and it's like the right price, you know what I mean? Cause not like too much. It's also you're not underpricing your work either. I think they just gotten there. I mean I would say it was pretty well priced last year but as of joining SOS and then revisiting my prices now as you know, March of this year, so just a few months now it's really at the price where it makes sense for me and for the customer.

Tracy: 18:19 That's awesome. And for those of you who don't know, SLS is our coaching program over here. It's a one year, it's actually a three year coaching program with a one year commitment and Twyla is in her first year and some really awesome things have been coming out of working with you. And we will discuss some of that throughout this interview. But the real reason why I wanted to bring you here is because you are in my inner circle and SOS and you drop me a comment in our winds channel cause we have this private winds channel where everyone shares like epic things that are happening. And I love it because sometimes people are like, I'm redesigning my custom ring tool and I'm adding all these custom features so people can basically build their own ring. And so like Jennifer was posting that and then Jesse Robbins was posting, oh it just got, you know, one of the featured artists in the Sundance Catalog for their 20th anniversary.

Tracy: 19:09 And then you drop this bomb and you're like, yeah, and I just hit my goal of $30,000 for the month of July and I'm like, girl, go get it. And you aren't even selling fine jewelry. So that's no, that's pretty awesome. And you have a really small team. Awesome. I'm just so proud of you. So wanted to hear a little bit more about like what you're doing to really launch these collections because I'm just going to bring it up now because your mom passed away this fall and you just launched a capsule collection in the sprint. So tell us a little bit about, you know, whatever you feel like sharing about that and why you wanted to develop a collection for her. Absolutely.

Twyla: 19:43 Yeah. So my mom has had ms for my whole life pretty much. She passed away at the end of April and it was her decision, death with dignity is legal in Washington. So that was her choice to go because her life was really hard and she was suffering a lot. So before she passed, you know, this is not a usual situation and we had a lot of time to prepare for her to go. And something that I told her was that I would love to make a jewelry collection inspired by her, that I could donate a portion of the sales to people living with ms because I love designing and that's kind of how I express myself. And so my dream originally was to have her help design it, but in her last few weeks of life, that was not something that could happen. So over the time after she passed, she passed at the end of April.

Twyla: 20:32 It was an interesting thing. I decided that I wanted to release the collection around what would've been her 60th birthday, which was August 30th so just a few weeks ago. And over the summer I was still kind of grieving her, diving back into business, just really having a very busy summer and I didn't really have time to design a collection and I didn't have any inspiration. And it was really interesting. I was like, I still have this goal of releasing it. I've told everybody I'm going to release this collection kind of at the end of August and I don't have anything to show for it. And then one day I had this idea to design a collection kind of based on her love of flowers and Greens and plants and the fact that she grew up in Pennsylvania. So kind of a Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing, which if you know that aesthetic is very kind of like graphic floral, so and then incorporate the lace technique that I do.

Twyla: 21:27 So it's funny how inspiration hits. I sat down and I designed this collection maybe in two hours, so pretty terrific. Thank you. Yeah, for having thought about it all summer and not having any ideas. All of a sudden I had this idea and I designed it in two hours, so it ended up being a lot more last minute than I had anticipated or hoped to do. And so with a collection release date of around August 30th which I ended up releasing it on the 26th actually, I probably drew those initial drawings a month beforehand, fabricated that week. So three weeks before the release I had finished pieces. And what I did is I wanted to release this as a preorder collection because I wasn't sure exactly what the response was going to be. And these pieces were definitely more time consuming in the metal department. Usually my pieces are laced heavier.

Twyla: 22:27 These were very much metal heavy in the design. And so I wanted to make sure that I wasn't putting all of this time into the metal work and then not knowing what people would be drawn to. So I decided to release it as a preorder collection. Meaning after I designed one of each piece and I think I had 16 pieces. So it was like what is, how many necklaces? Six necklaces and 10 earrings or something like that. I didn't do rings or bracelets cause it was more of a delicate thing that may not have held up well to bracelet and ring where I photographed one of each piece on a white background for the website and on myself as a model because I felt that was the easiest at the time cause I didn't have a lot of time. And also it's about my mom and for my mom.

Twyla: 23:12 So that made a lot of sense for me to wear it. And I started teasing about maybe the three weeks beforehand as I was fabricating, I was taking videos and doing little pictures on Instagram of behind the scenes making the pieces, the pieces without lace, like halfway in fabrication to kind of get people excited about the collection. And there was a lot of excitement. It's a little bit different than the things that I've done in the past with the floral aesthetic cause I don't usually have that floral aesthetic. And so people were getting really excited in terms of a strategy for sharing it. I didn't particularly have a social media strategy, but my goal was to post a lot and to share a lot. And I started sharing the fact that her birthday, her 60th birthday would have been on the 30th of August. And kind of just talking about ms and talking about how I would was going to donate a percentage of the sales to people living with ms and how that was her wish was to have money go to people, not just for research but for people who are like living with it day to day and can't make money.

Twyla: 24:17 And so then I made a sequence of emails to go out. So I decided to release the preorders on the 26th of August and then I was gonna close them on the 31st because again, I'm making all of these pieces and I didn't want all of these orders trickling in afterward. I kind of wanted a hard deadline for the ordering window. And so I understand why you did this. Are you going to reopen it at any point? I'm pretty sure I'm going to reopen it, but I haven't quite decided how, part of me was thinking that I would reopen them before the holidays and that I would leave them as only made to order on my website. You can not order them in person at a show. So traffic. Exactly. So I haven't quite decided. I'm debating still right now if I really, if I have them evergreen on my website but only made to order and not at shows or if I release them once a year around her birthday.

Twyla: 25:21 And so I kind of build up hype once a year. I haven't decided if that's too long between releases to keep excitement there. So I dunno, haven't decided on that. But for this particular release I knew for example, I'm going to New York next week for SOS event for our SOS event and I don't want to have all these outstanding orders trickling in when I'm not able to be there and make them in the studio since they are a preorder and you know, having a closed ordering deadline kind of drive sales. So not kind of, it actually drives sales. So what I decided to do was that four day, am I doing my dates wrong? Let's see, I closed it on the 31st which means I opened it, I opened it Wednesday, Thursday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. So it was open four days, which means it would have started on the 28th not the 29th or not the 26th excuse me.

Twyla: 26:16 It doesn't matter. It's not that, you know, four days before you close and then closing four days later. So what I decided to do was the first email I sent to my list was two. That's where I was getting that other date was two days before opening. So I didn't do a lot of teasing to my list ahead of time. I did a lot of teasing on Instagram. The first email that was a teaser email, which was essentially just information about the collection, where the donations were going to be going and then not a photo of everything but kind of a zoomed out photo of some of the main pieces in the collection. That went out to my list on the 26th of August. So that would have been two days before the actual release date. That didn't generate any sales. It wasn't meant to generate any sales.

Twyla: 27:10 It was just like a, Hey, remember I told you about this? And I've teased about it in the past. Like, Oh, I'm going to be designing this collection inspired by my mom. So I said, Hey, this collection release is coming up. Here's all the information. Make sure you, you know, watch for the email as a VIP. And I also put a link in that email saying, join me on Instagram live tonight and I'm doing a full preview of the collection. So awesome. So I did an Instagram live two days before of a full preview. Oh. And something I forgot to say was as I was sharing Instagram stories and Instagram posts about this collection, I was directing people to sign up for my VIP list because they were going to get a special VIP price for the first day. And I got a ton of signups from that.

Twyla: 28:00 Oh, awesome. So I was directing, I have a link tree in my Instagram. I was directing people there to sign up for the collection or to sign up for the VIP list. And I don't remember how many I got every day, but I know the first day that I shared about it, it was like 10 signups within the first half an hour of posting that on Instagram or something. Oh Wow. That's yeah. So I got a lot of new signups from that, just kind of driving people to the VIP list. So what I did was the VIP has got 15% off, but I didn't say that they were getting 15% off. I said they were getting a special VIP price for the first, let's see, I released it at 8:00 AM until midnight, so it was most of that first day. Awesome. And so I kind of teased that a lot to make sure to sign up for the VIP list to get the VIP price for the first day.

Twyla: 28:53 And that email went out. So let's see on that Wednesday, and it had, the open rate wasn't huge, but it was going out to my whole list and that was a 19.5% open rate and I sold $1,370 from that first email. Okay. Awesome. And so that was in the am of the first day. And then what I did was I kind of set up a sequence of emails, kind of targeting either people that had clicked on the email but not followed through to the website or not opened the email, but received the email, that kind of thing. So I could kind of target the different subgroups. Smarty pants, I'm learning from SOS, so 10 hours after the first email. So still during that sale period for the VIP or the special price period. And this I did with no discount code, they just, the price was on the website but it's on a hidden page so you can only get to it from my VIP emails, which we can talk about later.

Twyla: 29:56 But that's what I do with capsule collections as well. So it's on the special page. There's no discount code needed. It was already there 10 hours later I sent out the second email and that was going to all non openers. So to anybody who received the first one but never opened it, I wanted to make sure that the VIP has got a chance to purchase right away before the VIP pricing period ended. That open rate was also fairly low, is 10.3% and I sold another $306 so you know it was a little bit more. But the nice thing about all these emails is they were almost exclusively kind of like a copy paste from the previous email with some changed words that changed subject line and they didn't take a lot of work. So I was able to basically continue to automate these emails, have them go out and each time at least some more came in some more orders.

Twyla: 30:46 Yeah. So then the third email was four hours after that second one. So these are all in the same 24 hour period. So those went out at 10:00 PM pst and that's right before that special price is going to end. And so it said essentially like you've got two hours left, just wanting to make sure that you know pricing is going to end. And that had a high open rate because I only sent it to people who had opened but not purchased from the previous email. And so they'd already opened the email, they'd seen it, but they hadn't purchased that had a 46.9% open rate. And then I sold another four 57. So essentially a few more people decided to buy after that email went out. So you essentially sold like about 20, let's see, just over $2,000 on the first day. Yeah. First 24 hours for 24 hours. So throughout that first day, no orders came from anywhere else cause I hadn't shared that it was open for ordering on Instagram or anything like that. So only do the VIP ps. So then here's something you can learn. I was going to send a fourth email that next day essentially announcing that you can still order the collection even though, excuse me, the VIP prices over and I think that I somehow did my segmentation wrong. And so the email went out to zero people. Oh the next day.

Twyla: 32:13 And I didn't notice until later. So you know, something to learn there. How'd you figure out that that email went out to zero people? It says it on my Cleevio yeah, cause I, I made a segment and I just didn't, I just didn't do the segment correctly. Sometimes it can be a little confusing. How you segment people and the wording there. So I'm, I'm sure I did the segmentation wrong, but you hindsight. That's all right. So that next day, which would have been that Thursday, I didn't have any email go out or I had one go out that went to nobody. But that was the first day that I opened it to anybody, not on the VIP list at the regular price. So then I was sharing on Instagram and so I did have some more orders, but they didn't come from an email.

Twyla: 33:01 Okay, awesome. And then actually that day I also did an in-person offense and I sold just two pieces at that event. And that was just kind of wanting to show it to people in person if they wanted to come try things on. But in hindsight was actually much better to have it just online because talking about it with people in person was a little hard for me because it's still recent that she passed. And so it was better, it was a lot better for me to just do it online and not have it be an in person thing. So I learned that as well, but still sold two pieces that day. And so then the third day of the release I sent out a fifth email and that one went to all the people who received the email previously but didn't open it again. So majority of my list, again, this is at full price now, not at the VIP price that had a 22% open rate and I sold another $666 just from that email within a few hours.

Twyla: 34:00 And then I sent one last email on the left day. So the fourth day of the release, that would the sixth email, I sent it to all non purchasers again who had previously opened the email and that one got no orders. So that was interesting because I did actually still have some orders come in from Instagram and my posting there. Okay. Yeah. So all in all, I just, I sold $4,000 but it was just four days and it was only this specific collection and I can attribute, let's see, I wrote it down here, 2,799 so basically $2,800 to my emails. And then the other 1200 were directly from those two in-person sales or the ones that came from Instagram and Facebook. Awesome. And yeah,

Tracy: 34:54 So the majority was really online. You know, Jordie was online Instagram. That's awesome. And you weren't really, so let's talk a little bit about the rest of your business model because yeah, one of the things that you do is you haven't a space at Pike's market in Seattle, so you're in front of your customers a lot. And so your work this year has really been to build your email list and start starting to make those passive sales online. Right?

Twyla: 35:19 [Inaudible] yeah, I really, I'm okay having employees at the market, but having myself there all the time has not allowed me to grow.

Tracy: 35:26 Yeah. You need to be working on the strap, removing yourself and having your employees work the shows. And on average, I mean I know you had an epic month in July, you sold about 30,000 or maybe a little bit more, 30 to 32,000 and your price point, what's the average price point or what's your range?

Twyla: 35:44 The range is $48 to four 50

Tracy: 35:48 Yeah. So you're, you're kind of, what's the median like in the hundreds or two hundreds? Yeah,

Twyla: 35:53 About 150 200 okay. That's what you saw out of my average sale is maybe about one 15 cause I sell a lot of my small pieces in person. Awesome. yeah, yeah. But I am in person a lot and this summer I had some situations where employees needed time off or had to cancel last minute. And so I was actually there way more than I planned to be this summer in person versus being able to work on the business. I was working a lot in the business this summer.

Tracy: 36:26 That's all right seasons for everything, right? Absolutely. Yeah. And tell us a little bit about how you're building your email list at those in person events and in person events because you have like a standing space there, but it's literally someone there in person and you're working on building your email list all the time. Yeah, so I have an email signup sheets

Twyla: 36:47 With my VIP list. It essentially says at the top of the list, join the VIP list to get exclusive shopping events and something it doesn't say to get any percentage off. So that sign up sheet is on the corner of my booth at all times and it asks for their name, their email and where they're located. Because for me specifically, people are coming from all over the place to visit Seattle and pike place market. And so I want to know where they're from. So I really am conscious of asking people if they would like to be on my VIP list when they've made a purchase specifically. So as I am having somebody either close out a cash sale or sign their name on my phone for a card sale I sent, I have a little like tagline and it's would you like to be on my VIP list for new collections and exclusives in the future?

Twyla: 37:42 And most everybody says yes. And in that case I put their email directly into my system and if anybody says no thanks or you know, sometimes people will come back at that with oh well I don't live here. And so then I have a little spiel about how everything's online and you know, people get first access online to everything versus in person. And I have trained my employees to do the same thing and they, I've talked to them about not saying email list, they say VIP lists and you know, talking to people and making it sound like a really exciting thing because it is, they get all first access to my one of a kind releases, which we'll talk about, I'm sure. So I do that in person and it depends on the day and how busy it is. But I would say we get a minimum, usually of five signups a day and sometimes as many as 10 or more. And during the summer we were open seven days a week there. So a lot over the summer.

Tracy: 38:36 Yeah, you're really building like a great following, which is [inaudible]. And have you seen, you know, I, I know that like in four days you sold over 4,000 you know, with a medium price point of $100 what kind of increase have you seen in your sales online since you started doing this?

Twyla: 38:52 So I looked at my numbers for last year, first three quarters versus this year, first three quarters. And my online sales went from 6.3% of my income last year for the first three quarters to 16.3 this year. So I've increased online orders 10% of my overall sales, and that's with a 47% overall increase. So, oh wow. So from last year, January through August two this year, January through August, my overall sales have increased 47% and online is 16.3 of that.

Tracy: 39:34 So you were already making six figures and planets when you can.

Twyla: 39:40 That was already six figures last year. Yeah. So essentially with my numbers now, I am just a few days away from hitting my overall sales for last year and we're in September. Oh, so good girl. Yeah. Yeah, it was awesome because I had a sales goal that was essentially, you know, I am at my sales goal and it's been really interesting because my mom passed away. I didn't hit my sales goals for April, may or June, which was okay, like life happens. That's okay. I didn't need that to happen because I was needing to take a step back. So with taking a step back for those three months and just not working as much, definitely for most of April and a lot of May, I didn't really work at all. I just kind of, and thankfully I had employees at the market and so I still had some income coming in and some online sales. So even with taking a step back like that, I didn't hit my sales goals for this year, for those three months, April, May, and June. But my sales did not fall below what they were last year. They were still above the same month last year.

Tracy: 40:49 Oh, so you had an increase even a sales goal. But then when I was talking to you at the beginning of the year and you were telling me your situation, like you know my heart just dropped because you know I lost my mom. So they're like, I'm always like connecting with people like have lost their mother like way too young of an age. It's hard. Yeah. So hard. And I know you started in the year you're like, I'm just going to be gentle with myself. I'm not going to try to like make any crazy goals. I just, if I may. Yeah. And I'm like within like the first month you were already crushing it and packed that you didn't meet your sales goal. But Matt, you're exceeded your last year, year over year revenue says a lot about how you've been able to train your customers to buy from you online and also set up some of these automations where you're just getting sales. And I know that you're still kind of testing some of this stuff out, but I think in four days selling $4,000 is awesome. And then you know, having like hitting your sales goal of $30,000 and crushing it and making 32 in July, which for most people is oftentimes a slow month, be incredible. And you've been launching some one of a kind collections too, right? So why don't you tell us a little bit about that, like what's your strategy there?

Twyla: 42:03 Yeah, so shout out to Alex Camacho, who is also in the SOS program. When I started this program, I saw what she was doing, launching a one of a kind collection every month. And I was like, oh my gosh, that's amazing. And so I decided to also do a one of a kind collection a month. I started to add in some other things that are not only fun for me to do, but they also up the perceived value of my pieces. So I've added stones into my pieces and stone setting, which I wasn't doing previously. And then I've added hand dyed lace and without seeing my pieces, that's a bit confusing. But essentially versus crocheting thread into lace, that is a solid color. I'm crocheting my lace in white thread and then I'm painting it for color variegation so I'm pretty another step and more perceived value.

Twyla: 42:53 So I've done a a one of a kind collection once a month I believe starting in February or March. They started before my mom passed, but I don't remember if it was February or March and I've done one release a month either with stones or with hand dyed pieces or with just shapes that I want to try that are not what I have in any type of collection previously. And I've done this kind of in the same way that I explained the collection inspired by my mom, where I start designing the pieces. I show a lot of sneak peaks, like here's a picture of the designs all drawn out on paper on my bench, and then here are some in progress metal pieces and then you know, a video of me like making and finishing the metal pieces essentially like progressing the designs over the month and then driving people to my email lists to my VIP list by teasing these pieces and saying that they get first access if they're a VIP.

Twyla: 43:50 And then doing the same kind of thing with emails where I do a teaser email with a photo and then the release email that sends them to a private shopping portal. None of these are discounted collections. So the time constraint is just the fact that each piece is fully one of a kind. And so if they don't jump on it, they're not going to get it. And so I've sold anywhere from probably a thousand to like three or $4,000 over the few days after a release of a one of a kind collection. I haven't ever fully sold out online, but because I have this online presence, what I do is my VIP is get first priority and I always sell a good amount within the first like half an hour. It's an interesting thing. It's like half an hour after the email you get multiple sales, then there's a little lag and then like later that day I get a few more online and then the next time I met the market in person, I take whatever is remaining to the market in person and I then post on Instagram which posts to Facebook that those pieces are now in person and you can come try them on.

Twyla: 45:00 But again, I'm sharing that this is what's left over after the VIP is we're able to choose what they wanted. So you're getting people on your email list to [inaudible] musing. Yep. So and that's worked out really well. It's definitely helped my monthly sales goals with helps me reach those goals. It's also helped me reach the goal of having more online sales. At this point I'm still working a little bit like to the deadline. I haven't quite gotten at where I'm able to make the pieces ahead of time and that I'm scrambling in the last few days to like photograph and put them all online. But baby steps. Yeah. So that's my goal for next year is to be a little bit more ahead of myself in releasing those pieces. But I have kept up with releasing at least fifth teen. I think the smallest release I've done was 15 one of a kind pieces and the largest one was like 55 pieces.

Tracy: 46:00 Wow, that's so great. And I think the thing that I love about this the most is that you keep testing and trying things out and seeing how it's working. Do you feel like it's building?

Twyla: 46:10 I feel like it's building. Yeah. I feel like it's getting better. I've had a lot of people that weren't previously repeat customers who have bought from pretty much every one of a kind release. So that's really interesting. He like, I wasn't previously releasing collections all that frequently. I was releasing collections maybe, maybe twice a year and some new pieces here and there, but not all that frequently. And now I'm releasing, it's not a collection that's going to stay around but new pieces every month. And so I have some people who have made minimum five purchases from me this year and because of that they've been the one of a kind pieces. They've all been slightly higher purchases. So that's definitely driven repeat sales a lot more than previous than I previously had.

Tracy: 46:52 And we talk a lot about bringing the sharing economy and the desire journey and also the a thousand true fans philosophy where you're bringing people kind of along this process. And this is why, you know I did an interview with Austin Brawner I think in June in this episode. I'll look it up and Alex Camacho's was in May, I believe. So if you guys want to go back and listen to her one of a kind launch release, she's making

Twyla: 47:15 Great money every single month. Like upwards of five figures a month. Yeah, for one of a kind. Releases are impressive.

Tracy: 47:22 They are impressive. And you know, I have that vision for you too. I feel like this is a new thing for you that you're just testing out and you're training your audience about it.

Twyla: 47:29 But the cool

Tracy: 47:30 Part about it is that because you were limited in the number of items that you released every year as new collections, this is an opportunity for people who've bought from you before you do. But there they have basically bought what they want from the collections to get new pieces from you. This is why it's so important to keep producing new product and this is a way for you to do it where you don't have the, I don't know if it's like exhaustion factor or the, the mental weight of just thinking about like, oh, this big task of launching each collection when you could just do a smaller capsule collection.

Twyla: 48:04 Right. As long as I get ahead of myself at this point, there's still a bit of exhaustion factor because I'm really thinking I'm so last minute I, yeah, it'll be fine. I'll keep working on that. And essentially, I mean my goal is to look out a little further so that maybe in January I can be designing this stuff to be released in March and just be a little bit more ahead of time so that I'm not so stressed out in needing to get it done today or you know, work into the evening to do things cause I'm trying to not work quite so hard all the time.

Tracy: 48:37 Yes, 100%.

Twyla: 48:39 I'm not fully there yet but I am starting to train the woman who works for me to take a drawing of mine and flesh it out in metal because currently I fabricate all of my, one of a kind pieces which I do love. It allows me to have studio time to play but sometimes it would be nice for some of the ones where the focus is more on the hand dyed lace or something to have her do the simple fabrication for those collections. So she's learning to work from my drawings versus just a metal example.

Tracy: 49:09 That's fantastic. You know, I did back in the day when we were just getting started with metal pieces cause I trained everyone how to do the, I was started out as a beaded designer even though I was a trained metal Smith and then eventually had a production team and I trained art, my head designer, how to basically interpret the drawings so that she could do heavy lifting. Like I was still designing the pieces. And that was like really the point when I transitioned from being like a maker or technically to like just a designer because I was able to basically delegate like I was still designing but I could delegate that time consuming work on growing the business and keeping the sales coming in, which was really awesome. So I want to commend you for that because it's not an easy thing to let go of.

Twyla: 49:54 It's hard. It is hard. Yeah. I'm working on it. I mean she already does all of my production pieces for my regular collections. So having her start to do at least some of the one of a kind pieces or even the finish work, you know, if I'm able to do the main fabrication to just get the idea out there, she's able to finish it to the polished piece so that I can then put the lace on at the end. So handing over parts of that process is really amazing.

Tracy: 50:20 That's so great. So I wanted to just like kind of wrap up here. You shared some really great knowledge bombs about segmenting your list and testing new product ideas without going in deep with inventory. When you launched your collection for your mom, talked about releasing these capsule collections, you talked, talked about how you're list building and leveraging your in person events to make it not feel like, oh, do you want to join our email list kind of thing. But to make people feel special. You've also talked about how your sales have increased by 47% even though your mother passed away this year, which like I'm still blown away by that. I can't even, but pretty amazing. I mean, I just feel like I'm inspired by her at this point. You're like channeling her or something and then you also have gotten to this place. You're up 16% online because you're fine.

Tracy: 51:07 Like all this work you're doing is paying off. I'm up 10% Oh 10% overlap, 10% to 16% of total sales. So far this year it was 6% three and then it came up to 16 points percent, so up 10% of your sales online, which is awesome. Excuse me for misspeaking now. That's okay. I think that it's so awesome that you've really created this. You're starting to really create this true fan base. Like you didn't have a lot of repeat customers before and now you're getting them, which is awesome. And making the sales so much easier.

Twyla: 51:36 Yeah, it really makes a huge difference. I just have a lot more customers that are really excited about what I'm making or maybe I'm hearing about it more cause I know I had repeat customers before, but it just feels like it's been amplified somehow by doing the one of a kind releases and having those special pieces.

Tracy: 51:53 That's amazing. Yeah. Is there any way, anything else that you've seen like kind of shift or change in your business in this past year?

Twyla: 52:00 I've stopped working most weekends, not consistently because I've had to pick up some days at the market here and there, but I've started to work a little less and actually take evenings off. That was also big in that I moved my studio out of my house, so that made a big difference, but also just constantly trying not to be working so frequently. What else has changed? I don't know. I just feel very inspired and excited about it and excited about the business pieces of the business, which is great.

Tracy: 52:30 That's amazing. I'm so happy for you Twyla. Where can everyone find you and check out your beautiful work?

Twyla: 52:37 Yeah. My website is Twyla dill.com it's tw, y l a D I l l.com. Instagram is at Twyla dual design and if you want to sign up for my VIP list,

Tracy: 52:50 You can

Twyla: 52:53 On my website. It's all over the place on my website or just follow the link in my profile on Instagram.

Tracy: 52:58 That's so amazing. It's one of the, thank you so much for being here today. Thanks Tracy. I really appreciate it. Nice talking to you.

Tracy: 53:04 Thank you so much for listening to the show today. It has been an honor to bring you this amazing episode with Twyla. I loved love talking to her and I hope that you felt inspired by her story and I really want you to get to a place where you're recession proofing your business, so if you haven't registered for it yet, I would love to invite you to a free masterclass called breakthrough your profit plateau, the step system for breakthrough business growth, accelerating your revenues through six and seven figures and scaling quickly while working less. You can head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash breakthrough to register for free. And if you want to cut through all that and just talk to someone on my team, I love to help you just cut to the chase and see how we can help you head on over to flourish.

Tracy: 53:46 Thrive academy.com forward slash strategy and book a free strategy call with our business accelerator specialist Natasha. She is here to help you kind of take a look at where your business is now. Take a look at like your big picture goals and dreams and what you're trying to really do in your business and then also kind of take a look at what's preventing you from getting there. And then we're going to, you're gonna leave that call sort of with an action plan of what to do next so that you can really get to the next level on your business. Thanks so much for listening today. I'm looking forward to meeting you on the masterclass next week. Talk to you soon. Take care of our next time.

Tracy: 54:22 Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's my mission to help thousands of creative businesses inside and outside the jewelry space. Use their creativity to make money. Make sure that you're subscribed to thrive by design on iTunes, Spotify, stitcher, and were ever podcast or plate. And we'd love to hear what you think. Please rate and review the show. And if you're inspired, please share this with your friends. Cheers to seeing you flourish and thrive.

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