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Running a business is a full-time job. There’s so much to keep track of, and it takes serious focus to stay on top of everything. Now imagine running TWO!

Introducing, Mary Ann Saville…

Mary Ann owns two different businesses, Vedeli Designs, and VDI Jewelry Findings. She started our Strategic Online Sales Accelerator (SOS) at the beginning of this year, and her sales are already up by 40%! She anticipates that the number will be closer to 75-80% by the end of this year.

Talk about record growth!

When I heard about Mary Ann, I was so inspired, I wanted to get her on the podcast pronto. I’m always going on about how great SOS is, so I think it’s about time I had someone on who can talk about the benefits firsthand.

And who better to conduct the interview than F&TA Community Director and SOS Director Jessica Gebauer?!

I met Jess three years ago when she applied to Flourish & Thrive Academy. At the time, she was fed-up with the archaic way most of the jewelry industry operates. I was so impressed by her passion for our mission, I just knew I had to hire her.

Now, Jess works closely with our SOS students, and she and Mary Ann hit it off from the get-go.

The two got together to talk about how Mary Ann was able to transform her businesses so quickly, with just a few simple changes.

Read Full Transcript

"You realize there's so much you can change from within and in your daily practice and in your daily mindset, and so that was a surprise for me, I did not think that would be something I need to work on or that I would get through SOS, and it's been huge."

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: Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast Episode 221. This is Tracy Matthews, the chief visionary officer over at Flourish and Thrive Academy and Creatives Rule the World and I am super excited to be here today to talk with you about some cool stuff. Now, today's podcast is a little bit different because I have one of my favorite people in the world doing an interview today and it's not me, it is Jess Gebauer, our director of education over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy. Here is the thing. If you are following us on Facebook and you watch our Facebook live shows or if I've ever taken any of our courses or programs, you know who Jess is, but if you haven't, Jess came to me I think three years ago now, she applied for writing position, we didn't end up hiring her for the writing position, but she was so passionate about what we were doing over at Flourish and Thrive and she was so passionate about community and education and sort of breaking through these barriers in the jewelry industry and in the products in fashion industry that she basically pitched me on hiring her. In a subtle way, she didn't know that she was doing this.

Because she came from a background where she was a jewelry designer, a jewelry maker, she had spent her career she before she had started her business, her jewelry business Jessica Allison Jewelry, she had been working for other jewelers here in New York City and she saw some really dirty, nasty things happening not only in the way that she was treated, but in the archaic way a lot of the jewelry industry is run, and she thought what we were doing was so refreshing. I remember her sitting here last year at our at our Flourish and Thrive Live event was the last live event we did at that time , and we were having a team dinner and she started crying and she's just like, "I'm so grateful for you Tracy for starting this community, because you have no idea what I've been through in my career and how helpful this is for so many people." She's like, "It's helped me not only in my jewelry business, but as a human, become better, but also like the impact that we're making on so many people and their lives and their businesses."

Jess went from being our customer service person to helping out with some other stuff in community building to eventually, now she's the director of education, she is a master at all the things that she does, and she really just loves to honor people so hard, I just couldn't ask for a better person to be working with me to create this amazing community that we've done over at Flourish and Thrive Academy.

So the fun part about having Jess on the show and doing this, I'm probably going to eventually bring her on as a correspondent because I just love her so much, is that she gets to talk to our students all the time, so she's always behind the scenes telling me like what's going on with people, how are people doing, what are all the things. She does interviews and talks to people and she was sharing with me the story of Mary Anne, which I’m going to talk about in a little bit, and I was just so inspired. I was inspired because as I was listening to them chat, it doesn't matter how long you've been in business, there are points in business when you just, you hit these roadblocks or you hit a plateau or you feel like you're backsliding, you're not sure what to do. Mary Anne is one of those people, she came to ask because she was trying to really not only build her jewelry business, but to also kind of grow her findings business, because she has this other business where she sells findings and she had kind of that in this weird rut or kind of plateau place, because she's been in business for 23 years and she was feeling a little bit stuck and didn't know how to get out of it.

She told us that after a year in SOS she had a 40% increase in sales. Up to this point since she's been in this year and she thinks that after holiday she's going to be, have a 75-80% increase for the year, which is huge. And she already had a very established business. This is so fun, and the things that she loves the most about SOS are really the mindset trainings that we do, the community, the accountability, having experts come in and teach some ninja things and really getting coaches who are diving deep into her business. I think the one thing that's really helped her stay focused is by having a plan and being in the know with all the new technologies and social media and planning and content and all the things that you have to do to really start collecting and creating that fan base of a 1000 true fans, and it's really awesome.

I'm excited for you to be able to listen to this, because Mary Anne is going to talk a little bit about her background and her history and we're going to hear a little bit about what she's done to grow her business so well over the last year. Before I do, I just want to remind you that we are closing enrollment in just a few days for SOS coaching program. If you're interested in having results like Mary Anne's, I'm not going to talk about how awesome it is, all you got to do is apply for exploration call. On this call you're going to get on with my business accelerator specialist Natasha, and we're going to talk about your business, we're going to see, talk about where you want to go, so through your vision of like in a perfect world we're going to help you paint that picture of what will be happening in three years from now. We're also going to talk a little bit about where your business is so that we can get clear on why you're not reaching those targets and goals and kind of get clear on the roadblocks that are standing in your way. Then if we think it's a good fit, we are going to tell you a little bit more about SOS, and if not, you're going to have a clear path forward on what you need to work on in your business,

Now we don't except every one of these calls, there are a limited number of seats, it's by application only, and we filled about half the seats in SOS up to this point, we have three more contracts out and there's just a few spots left, so I want to make sure that you get in on this round of enrollment for SOS so that you can really finish the year strong and so that you can also really launch into 2020 with a bang, because that is what it is all about.

So if you're interested in learning more head on over to FlourishThriveAcademy.com/SOSNow, that's FlourishThriveAcademy.com/SOSNow and apply for you our exploration call with our business accelerator specialist Natasha. Alright, let's dive into the episode.

Jess: Alright, today I am joined by Mary Anne and she is one of our SOS students and she is absolutely rocking it out, and she has two businesses, which is absolutely fabulous. Mary Anne, please say hi and introduce yourself.

Mary Anne: Hi, I'm Mary Anne Saville and I have a jewelry company, Vedeli Designs and a jewelry findings company, VDI Jewelry Findings.

Jess: Yeah, that's awesome. Thank you so much for joining me, Mary Anne. So Mary Ann is one of our in demand designers over in our SOS high level one to one coaching program, and she's joining me today because first of all, she is rocking out two businesses like she just said. She's got her jewelry design business and she also has a findings business, so I'm totally going to let you just shout that out Mary Anne, because you have some of the best like findings that I have actually ever seen here, so unique and amazing. And since we have an audience of jewelry designers here, you guys should totally hit that up. It's so good. VDI Jewelry Findings. So where can everybody find you or your findings especially?

Mary Anne: Okay, so my findings right now is just on Etsy under VDI Jewelry Findings, but I will be launching my findings website I believe October 27th and I'll have all sorts of announcements on social media, so if you follow me you'll be able to see when the launch is. They're all artisan hand crafted, we use the lost wax techniques so it's all hand carved, and we have literally every type of finding you would need to create jewelry.

Jess: That's awesome. Mary Anne has been one of my favorite findings people since I discovered, since we met in SOS. But also, what kind of jewelry are you making for your jewelry business itself too?

Mary Anne: So my jewelry business, Vedeli Designs is also using the lost wax technique, it's very rustic, it's very bold, I do a lot of silver, I'll do silver and gold, I do some stones, I do some diamonds. It's definitely for the type of person who wants to wear jewelry and have it be seen, it's bold, it's rustic and it's somewhat timeless, it's cool.

Jess: You have really, really cool design. Alright, so you have been in our SOS program for almost exactly a year now, I think November will be an entire year. You have just absolutely been rocking out, you and I have done a lot of coaching together, I know you've coached with Chelsea, you've coached with a bunch of other of our amazing SOS coaches, but before we kind of dive into your SOS experience, everything that you've done I kind of like to hear just a little bit about how you actually got started in your business.

Mary Anne: How I got started in my business originally?

Jess: Both, yeah. Businesses.

Mary Anne: Okay, so originally I was a stock analyst straight out of college, I majored in finance and economics and I was stock analyst on the buy side for mutual fund company and I love numbers, I hated it. It felt like prison to me, and you know you could never take vacation, there is no freedom, which is so important to me, and I went on a trip with my husband to Bali, this was back in 1995 and they had all this amazing jewelry in Bali and that was actually how I got my start, is I started importing handmade jewelry from Bali. Then from there, I did that for about two years and then I decided, you know what, this is what I want to pursue and I left Wall Street and I've been doing it ever since.

Jess: That's awesome. So you've literally been doing this now for almost 30 years. Is it that long?

Mary Anne: So I started in '96 and I went full time in '98, so probably like 23 years. And it's evolved. Obviously I started out importing and then I slowly started carving waxes and having it made here. It has changed so many times; it's been a real evolution, but a fantastic journey the entire time.

Jess: That's awesome. Okay, so let's dive in a little bit to where you really kind of see your business going. What's your three year vision for your company, for your jewelry company and your findings company?

Mary Anne: Well obviously I'd like to grow them both, and I think probably on a numbers basis, I'd like to be north of half a million, up north of $500,000, maybe $600,000, $750,00 in sales. I definitely would love to have some employees, I would like to implement some systems to get me a little more organized, a little more streamlined. So I mean I have a lot of plans from where I am now to where I want to be in three years, it's going to be very different.

Jess: That's awesome. So tell me a little bit about what was going on in your business, what was the catalyst that really made you decide that you needed to join SOS? Because you were already established, and even though you said you wanted employees, I know that you are to do you have employees, it's your family business so you do have other people that work with you.

Mary Anne: Right, so.

Jess: Yeah, absolutely. So what was the catalyst, what was going on in the business is that you were like, "I just really need help at this point."

Mary Anne: Well you know, it's funny. For three or four years before I even found out about SOS and Flourish and Thrive Academy I had been wanting a business adviser. I felt like I needed a little more help and guidance, but I hesitated with anyone because I feel like the jewelry industry is so specific, you know it's a very specific industry, it entails obviously a business side, but the creative side and that kind of makes it unique. One day I saw Nina Designs post something about your seminar, and I was like, "Wait a minute, what is this?" I started investigating it and it was amazing because that is what I've been, Flourish and Thrive Academy and the SOS program is literally what I have been looking for for four years. I mean my heart is racing when I was looking it up and watching, listening to some of the podcasts, I was like, "Oh my gosh, these people know my struggles, they know my challenges, they know my ...." It was just, it was literally a game changer for me really.

Jess: And really serendipitous too, because Nina Cooper is actually one of our coaches in our SOS program too. I mean at that point probably when you heard of it wasn't around yet, but that's pretty amazing. I've heard that from a lot of members as well, we recently had an incredible live event in New York City for our SOS members, and I got a chance to talk to some of them, and a lot of people came out to me and were like, it's so specific to the jewelry industry but it has all of the experts that they need wrapped up in one program. If I have a question about SEO we have a coach that specializes in SEO. If I have a question about marketing funnels and email funnels and I need to dive deep into that, have somebody help me with it, I can have a coaching call with that coach. Or if I want to streamline my production, we have coaches that help streamline production. So we really have everything kind of covered A-Z when it comes to a jewelry business, which is exactly what we're formulated for. That's a terrible word. That's exactly what we're formulated to do, which is... I got to work on that one.

Mary Anne: Yeah, literally Jess, I mean before SOS I was just like fumbling on Google, like what are the changes to these social media, I'm trying to figure out how to build a website, promote a website, what am I supposed to be doing on social media. And honest to God, you're just googling it and you're listening to weird videos, you don't know if these people are credible, you don't know if really know what they're talking about and it's changing literally weekly, if not monthly. I mean it's changing all the time. So being in SOS, that has been one thing that's been huge, is that you have an entire staff and members to support you, to help you keep up with all these changes. I mean the internet side of things for SOS has been just fantastic. Because it is always changing. If you're not in the know, you're really not in the know, you're behind. So it's been great.

Jess: Thank you for sharing, Mary Anne. Okay, so what do you think has actually been the biggest benefit to you for joining the SOS program?

Mary Anne: In my first year?

Jess: Yes.

Mary Anne: So what I was just talking about. I mean before... With being in SOS I literally have this entire staff of coaches who all have some sort of expertise that will address any problem you have. I have my SOS members to touch base within our Facebook group, to post a question, to get input, what they've tried. I have mentors, I have Tracy, I have you. So there's not a problem that I'm coming into in my business that can't be solved within my community at SOS, which his huge. I mean like I said before, you're just fumbling around on Google and YouTube and trying to figure out what's going on, you're already behind the curve. So that has been just totally amazing asset to this program for me. I feel like I'm on top of things, I feel like I know what's going on, and like I said, it really does change all the time, so you have to be in it. So that's been amazing. And for me, I've shared this with you in the past, but I had to do a lot of mindset work this year. If you had asked me at the beginning of SOS if I had to work on my mindset, I would have said no. I mean like I'm driven, I'm focused, I'm working hard, I'm not procrastinating, but as we got into the program and you start breaking down things and one thing that's so great about SOS is that you have to become really clear, you have become really clear about where you want your business to be, what your business represents, who your dream client is. You have to focus in on all these things and there's so much help with addressing maybe old mindset, applying new mindset practices, which for me what has happened is every time that I implement a new mindset practice or I use an old mindset practice, it directly affects how I work. It changes what I work on, what I focus on, how I focus on it, it helps me analyze like am I working on the things that are making me money and moving me forward with my goal, or am I working on busy work. Little things like that, that when you're busy and you're a business owner and you're literally being pulled doing a million things, you don't even have the time to think about it or focus on it.

Jess: Oh, totally.

Mary Anne: So what has happened for me is every time that I've been applying these new mindset practices, it changes how I work and it has directly increased my sales every single time. So that has been so empowering for me because you realize there's so much you can change from within and in your daily practice and in your daily mindset, and so that was a surprise for me. I did not think that would be something I needed to work on, or that I would even get through SOS, and it's been huge.

Jess: Well the funny thing is, and when you said this to me, because we've talked about this before originally, I was like, "Oh my goodness, I'm so glad that somebody else besides me is seeing this." Because you're in year one of SOS, and year one is year one of a three year program is what we have over here. A lot of times people come into SOS and they are just like, "Yeah, I'm going to get it." and like you've seen growth, like a lot of growth, but some of growth, I mean in sales is what I meant, the other thing that I also see is this major mindset shift with all of our members. They really, just changes their perspective about how they should be working, what they should be working on, how they structure their collections, their websites. Like all of these things that are sort of like preconceived notions that are just in your head that you don't even really realize that you're doing to yourself, all the sudden now you have a mirror to look at, somebody in front of you that says, "First of all A, believe in yourself and here's why." Or, "C, let's debunk this myth that you've been telling yourself forever and teach you the right way to approach these things." and I actually think that's a super, super, super powerful part of the first year of SOS. I was so happy to hear you say that.

Mary Anne: Yeah, it's amazing. It's not like I'm amateur, I've been doing it 23 years. Having that opportunities this past year to kind of clean it up, it's like I can't wait for next year, because I know what I'm going to be doing next year. I've cleaned out a lot of that mindset work and it's like, you know, bring it on, I'm ready to go. That's been so amazing, really. I mean really amazing.

Jess: Yeah, that's fantastic. It totally just warms my heart to hear you say that too, because it means the world to me when I have members coming into the SOS program where they're going from feeling like they're struggling or they can't move forward or that they're not doing it right or they're not good enough, whatever that that issue is, to see people make that switch, that's why idea what I do. Like that coupled with like seeing people's goals hit and exceeding their goals and reaching whatever vision they have for their company in their own unique way, that's why I love doing this and what why I have spending time with all you guys, it's absolutely amazing.

Mary Anne: Here's the deal too, just really quick. This is totally my opinion, but if you don't get your mindset right, I don't think you can be a success, I think you really have to start with that and then that opens up everything for your business, it really does.

Jess: Yeah, absolutely, I totally agree. It opens you to so many more opportunities sales wise and growth wise and, yeah, absolutely. So let's talk about what's been some of your favorite things about SOS, besides the mindset and me. Just kidding.

Mary Anne: You, right, number one. I love the coaching calls. I love the coaching calls because it's every month and you always have something different you're addressing and you have something specific you can talk to, so that's been really helpful. I love my pod so much. So for those who don't know, you get a pod, so it's like four or five other designers, and our pod meets once a month and it's just like the coolest pod and we share and we help each other out and it's really interesting, I don't know if you guys facilitated this, but we all kind of have different strengths and weaknesses, so it's this perfect group and we're all in it together, we're all doing it together and I just love that. So those are probably my two favorite, and just the community that you have, I love the mindset calls so much, I love Tracy's podcast, if anyone has not listened to them and you're in the jewelry business, listen to every single one of them, which I did the month before I started doing SOS.

Jess: Thrive by Design shout out.

Tracy: They are amazing and they address everything, you can just go down the list, that's what I'm having a problem with. So her podcast is amazing and I've learned so much from that podcast alone. I mean there isn't much I don't like, I like it all, I just like the sense of community and support, and like I said, I'm never going to have a problem that can't be solved by my community at SOS, never. Someone's tried it, someone has heard about it, someone has a contact for me someone, someone has an app that I should use, so it's just a great, supportive community.

Jess: Yeah, absolutely. Well thank you. So if anybody is interested applying for SOS, we currently are open for enrollment, enrollment is actually going to be closing mid next week. So if you'd like to get a chance to apply, find out little bit more about the program, you can head on over to FlourishThriveAcademy.com/SOSNow. Okay, so we've talked a lot about some of the benefits of joining SOS. So what has your business actually been able to do you since you joined the program? Like we're kind of growth have you seen, changes, all that kind of stuff?

Mary Anne: So much. Okay, so let me think. Well just initially I seen a growth in sales. So my jewelry business is up 40% right now, but honestly, given what I did last year October, November, December and what I have planned for the next three months, I think it will probably be close to 75% or 80% increase in sales. I've seen an overall increase in sales, I've seen an increase in my email list , which you will learn in SOS is so important. So important. I've seen an increase in my knowledge of social media, an increase in my followings, and increase in my activity, which all of that's just marketing, it's feeling more people to join my email list, which is getting more people to buy from me. So a lot more exposure. I also am a lot more clear, so I'm much more focused, I'm more streamlined in how I work and what I work on, I'm much more efficient and I'm thinking of those things all the time. How can I do this quicker, how can I do this more efficiently, is this something I need to outsource, is this something I need to get a virtual assistant for. It's just changed how I'm thinking and how working on a day to day would be, monthly basis. I'm really more productive, for sure. And I'm actually focusing on the things that are moving me forward, versus busy work, which is still easy to get caught up on.

Jess: It's amazing how much busy work you can do and think you're actually doing real work.

Mary Anne: I could do it for a lifetime for real.

Jess: No, all those things are incredible changes and I am just absolutely thrilled and so happy for you. I'm also so happy to have you as part of our community as well, because you are always, you have such an amazing, wonderful, warm personality and you bring so much to the community as all our designers do, It's really lovely having you in the program, so thank you.

Mary Anne: Thank you so much. I'd just say to anyone who's thinking of joining SOS that it will pay for itself. Honestly, any extra expense in a business is something you have to consider, but I will tell you don't worry about it, you'll make it, you'll make it first year back easy. It's really worth the investment.

Jess: Well thank you, we appreciate that, and I know you have really implemented and been super focused since you joined the program too. Obviously, you're like a rock start, which has been fantastic. It's been great to see, too. So how does all of this actually implemented in your personal life too, if you don't mind my asking.

Mary Anne: No, I love it. I feel more control, I feel less stress, I feel more clear, I feel proud of myself, to be honest. I mean I'm not someone who suffers from low self-esteem, but I'm proud of myself, I'm putting the work in, it's been challenging at times, I feel in control, I don't know if I said that, but that is something I did not feel like specially on the SEO, social media, internet sales side of things I didn't feel in control before SOS, because I had no idea it was going on and I couldn't keep up. So I feel more in control. Honestly, I was thinking about this the other day, this is the most exciting year I had in my business ever, and I've been in business a long time, and I'm so excited for the next two years. Like I know exactly what's going to happen, I know what I'm planning, I've worked with you and other coaches, we've got this plan and it's like I can't wait, it's so exciting. And for me to say that now, I think it's been great. So it's actually really affected my personal life and my state of mind and everything.

Jess: That's awesome. And it's exciting for me to hear you say so many amazing things from your sales results that you've seen to mindset stuff. I mean feeling more in control in your own personal life; I mean that is just, I mean not to be too cheesy, solid gold.

Mary Anne: Solid gold. No, it feels good, it feels good. It's exciting to be excited about your work and your job. Life is short, so it's great to be doing something I love and to find a community that can help me grow it to where I want it to be.

Jess: That's awesome. Well Mary Anne, thank you so so much for joining me, I really appreciate it. For those of you who are interested in finding out more about SOS, and I hope that is all of you, it's an incredible program. Every single month you're coaching with experts, you have a community of support fellow designers, coaches, mentors, it's awesome. We have really incredible trainings for you guys to access, we have a core path for you to follow, we have our phases for you to follow as well, so you never know, you never know, you always know where you're going and who to coach with and what the next step is, and there's just so much clarity and power in being able to have that control over your business, instead of feeling like completely overwhelmed all the time. If you guys would like to learn a little bit more about the program, you can head on over to FlourishThriveAcademy.com/SOSNow. So again, Mary Ann, thank you so much for joining me, I really appreciate it and everybody. Alright, bye.

Mary Anne: Thanks, Jess.

Tracy: Well thanks a whole bunch for listening. Wasn't that so inspiring? I loved listening to Jess interview Mary Anne, it's so good, I love it when people get results. Nothing makes me happier than being in the space where I can hold a space for someone to come in with goals and actually watch them happen, like to me it is like the whole reason why I do this. In fact I was talking with one of my business mentors, and she said something to me or she called out the truth about me and she's like, "You don't care as much about being an entrepreneur to make just a ton of money, what you care about is that you're actually helping people, and as a result that money comes later. It's really more about the service that you're providing that really matters." And to me, honestly like I could never do this if people weren't like literally just getting such awesome results, and we've seen it over and over again in all of our programs. I would have like thrown in the towel seven years ago if that first Laying the Foundation program that we launched didn't get our students amazing, amazing outcomes. So this is a really outcome based program. If you're interested in exploring more about SOS, I'd really love to invite you to jump on a call with our business accelerator specialist Natasha, and the reason being is because I want to be your cheerleader, I want to be the one who is rooting for you when you are making money, this just makes me so excited because I would not be here doing this, there is a lot of other ways that I could support myself and make a really good living. I would not be here if it wasn't to help you, help serve you. I want to really be that conduit that's going to lift you up and get you to the next level on your business. If you're interested in doing that, head on over to FlourishThriveAcademy.com/SOSNow and apply for your exploration call right now before all the spots get taken. Alright, this is Tracy Matthews signing off until next time. Let's do this. Ciao, ciao.

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 wherever podcasts are played. We would love to hear what you think, please rate and review the show. If you're inspired, please share this with your friends. Here's to seeing you flourish and thrive.

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