Sujaa tells you about the origin of Kalalayas and what she did to make it a success
When did you discover your love for jewelry-making? Tell a story if needed.
Answer: I went to India for my sister-in-law's wedding. While I was There, my mom and my sister were making quilled jewelry. So it hit me to try few while I was still there. My Sister-in-law and I bought a few materials that were required and started trying some together. Then, I came to the United States. One day, my 3-year-old son and I thought of making a quilled earring. Once we did them, my son’s reaction was WOW! He was so surprised by how paper strips could turn into beautiful earrings. He had a lot of questions. This triggered my passion for jewelry making and also was the birth of Kalalayas.
Why did you decide to start a jewelry business?
Answer: As I said before, I was trying to make some basic quilling earrings. Then whenever I visited friends, I would gift them my handcrafted jewelry. One of my best friend’s was so surprised that it was handcrafted and she asked me if I was selling them. In that moment it struck me that I could turn it into a business.
What types of jewelry media do you make?
Answer: I do quilling, wire and bead jewelry a lot.
What type of jewelry media would you like to try in the future?
Answer: I have started to do a few terracotta and silk thread jewelry pieces.
How did you grow as a jewelry maker?
Answer: Since making jewelry, there’s been an increase in creativity and level of confidence.
What is something in the handmade market that you would like to see regarding jewelry-makers?
Answer: I really look forward to working with a group, which will help to increase production. I also want to be involved with events where handmade jewelry makers meet.
How did you learn jewelry-making techniques? (DVD, Tutorials, Classes, Etc.)
Answer: I learned basic techniques mostly from YouTube, as well as some Pinterest tutorials.
When learning how to make a new piece of jewelry, what is your strategy?
Answer: I usually look at a lot of images from google. Then I will select a design and learn how it's made. I will then start designing the piece.
What value do you as a business owner deliver to your customers?
Answer: Quality of the product, customer satisfaction and on-time delivery are all values I aim to uphold.
Do you participate in craft shows, trade shows, fairs, etc.? If so, how has your experience been so far?
Answer: I haven’t participated in any yet.
How do you attract customers? How do you retain them? How do you reach new customers?
Answer: I send them my creations once in awhile. I update the Kalalayas website and also post in several jewelry makers public groups. I also make sure to tell friends, friends of friends etc. To attract customers, I give discounts, customize jewelry, and offer free gifts for the first time purchasers.
What is your ultimate business goal?
Answer: To be the best entrepreneur possible and to make Kalalayas a successful business.
How has social media and online presence helped you as a jewelry-maker?
Answer: It definitely has played a major role. Social media is very important and it makes everyone know about Kalalayas with just one click.
Where do you sell your jewelry? (Etsy, Etc.) Has it helped your business?
Answer: I have created my Facebook page, where customers can see my products and contact or call me for orders. I’m also going to start an Etsy store soon.Do you have any upcoming events, plans, etc. that you would like to share?
Answer: I am planning to have a booth at an event very soon. The details will be posted on my Facebook page Kalalayas.
Where can you be found on social media? Website? Blogs?
Kalalayas Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Kalalayas
Kalalayas Instagram https://www.instagram.com/kalalayas/
It is amazing how spending time with loved ones crafting can birth the passion and idea to create a business around that craft! Sujaa Sriram did just that with Kalalayas. From making quilling earrings with her son to eventually selling them, she proves that you can grow as a jewelry maker.
What is your favorite craft or a technique you would like to share? Comment below!