If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!
This week, we’re joined by Lindsay Mann of Lucky Penny Designs, a local, handmade jewelry and accessory business named after her beautiful young daughter, Penelope! Lindsay has lived in the Elko area since 2013 after moving to our community with her high school sweetheart husband from Wyoming. She’s a very gifted entrepreneur, and we’re excited to have her here with us today!
Thank you for joining us this week, Lindsay! One question we don’t ask enough during these “Small Business Friday” segments is where you got your desire to become an entrepreneur! It’s not for everybody, and that’s understandable. So, what made you want to become a business owner?
“Growing up, instead of dreaming about Barbies and all that stuff, I wanted to be a business owner! I remember being in elementary school, and I would create businesses. I had a “salon” where I would brush my mom’s hair or put lotion on her for a quarter. I would have a bakery and a bookstore, and my customer was always my mom! I always knew I wanted to own a business; I just didn’t know what I wanted to own.
“I’ve always had a love for being my own boss. I’ve had “normal” jobs before, and I just can’t do it! I’ve always wanted to be a person who could make their own schedule and have control over their income. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, and I didn’t want to miss out on memories and milestones. That was a big priority for me.”
Fantastic! Now, can you tell us more about what your business is and how it came to be?
“I make handmade leather jewelry and hair accessories that can be worn by little ones and adult women! Everything I make is stainless steel because I wanted to cater to people who have sensitive ears.
“I’ve been involved with direct sales by doing Arbonne. That was good for me because it gave me experience with selling. Eventually, I started making my own jewelry for myself, and I would post it on my Instagram stories. People would reply and ask if I could make them something. It kind of grew from there! I started selling on Etsy, but a lot is going on with Etsy right now. So, I left and now have my own website and a Facebook VIP group that I go live on.”
Lucky Penny Designs has been in business since July of 2019. What have you loved the most about running it so far?
“I love doing custom orders because I like being able to give people exactly what they want. I see my customers more as my friends, and I like building relationships with them. I want to help people feel good about themselves. Maybe I get to make a piece of jewelry that helps someone feel confident about rocking a date or an interview. I love being a part of what helps them feel that way. It’s also special when I get to newborn or family pictures when they’re children are wearing my bows because that’s something I get to be a part of. I got to help make those moments special, which is really cool!”
Lindsay, let’s end our time together by circling back to discussing being your own business and running your own operation. What would you say to someone who may have that same desire to work for themselves as you but find it scary to take the leap into it?
“I can relate to it being really scary. When I first made Lucky Penny’s Instagram account, I stared at it for twenty minutes before publishing it. When you do something like this, you’re really putting yourself out there. You don’t want people to think your idea is stupid, lame, or not going to work. But I finally realized that I didn’t care what other people thought because I knew what I wanted for Penelope.
“I want to show my daughter that this kind of stuff is possible. Even before I had Penelope, I knew my kids were going to be a big driving factor for me. It’s important to show our children that there’s more out there. If you’re passionate about something, you should pursue it, even if other people don’t think it’s going to work. If you’re passionate about it, you can make it work!”
I always admire people who have one, the artistic ability to create something, and two, turn it into their livelihood. As someone who is trying to make a living out of a passion (I don’t just do this for fun, but I would), I understand the scary feeling that can accompany making the leap from passion project to business!
I could not be more admirable of Lindsay and her determination to making her business work. I also really appreciate that she considers those of us with sensitive ears, I can’t wait to put in my own order for some custom jewelry! This type of craft I always feel especially proud to wear, knowing it was made with passion and love.
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Until next time, we’ll see you around, Elko!
Photos by: Jamie Richey
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