Marilla DiNatale is a driven young entrepreneur who is already proving herself in the business of jewelry creation. At 17, she runs her own jewelry business selling unique earrings, necklaces and pendants in her Etsy.com store called Elements of Surprise by HisChild http://www.etsy.com/shop/Hischild.
Even as a child, Marilla has always demonstrated her creativity and flair. As she describes herself in her Etsy profile,
When I was little I was one of those kids always sitting at the table “making something”, while everyone else was playing video games. I would take fabric and try to make myself clothes – not that they ever fit!
Have you always been creative person?
I think so! I have been making all sorts of thing since I was a little girl!
What inspired you to create these jewelry products? Are you planning to offer additional products?
My inspiration varies from piece to piece. Some of them come from nature. Some come from books I’ve read or movies that inspire me. Sometimes I go into Macy’s or J.C. Penny and look at the jewelry for my inspiration – most often I leave, saying, “I could do better than that.”Then I go home and do it!
How do you describe the style of your jewelry?
For the most part it is costume jewelry, though I am trying to create some more classical pieces. I am teaching myself a silver soldering process right now. I’m very excited about that!
What made you realize that you could turn your creations into a business?
When I started have people ask me where I bought my jewelry, I realized that I could sell what I made.
Why did you choose to sell on Etsy?
I had tried selling on Ebay, but I ended up losing money pretty quickly. A friend told me about Etsy, and I decided to try it out!
What do you think are the most important factors to succeed in selling in a marketplace as Etsy’s?
1.) Promotion – you need to be seen. At this point, I’m not selling much because I promised myself that I would wait to put advertisements out until I had earned enough money to pay for the ads.
2.) Pictures are very important because they are the only way your customer can virtually “try on” the product. Through your pictures, you can sell the product to the customer.
Aside from Etsy, where else do you sell your items, both online and offline?
During the summer, I sell penguin jewelry at swim meets for my “Penguin’s Swim Team.” I also display jewelry in my house in conspicuous places, because my parents are social butterflies and many people visit our house. I have only been displaying my jewelry for a short while, and I have made quite a bit off that venue.
How has your jewelry business changed your life?
I am on the computer a lot more. It has also taught me not to be afraid to try something new. Three years ago, I never would have imagined myself doing this!
What are your plans for your business in the next five years?
I would like to develop my business towards something that is concrete – an actual storefront. Selling my jewelry online is very impersonal, and I enjoy being able to interact with customers.
What advice can you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to try something. Don’t listen to negative comments. Believe in what you create!