This #GirlBoss makes the cutest jewelry straight from the studio she has in the barn at her home! I stumbled upon Elements of Beauty Jewelry Studio one day at a farmers market with my mom. It happened to be Mother’s Day weekend, so finding a pair of handmade earrings was the exact gift I’d been looking for for my mom. Soon after, I knew I had to reach out to Sandy to see if she and her business would like to be featured in my blog. From our conversation came this next Girl Boss feature as well as a beautiful set of jewelry she handmade special for me! So, let’s learn more about Sandy and her jewelry company, Elements of Beauty Jewelry Studio.
My family owned Brosens Garden Market on Rt 9 Kinderhook, now Samscotts. I started helping my mom there early on. I would get off the bus there most days. I would help in the farm stand or fields. So, I started from about 6 years old till 20, then I left for a few years working in Albany. Then I got married to the love of my life that I actually met on the farm, my husband Joe Adee. He was painting for us and it was love at first sight. We had 2 children Autum Adee (23) and Jessica Adee (22). Once they came along I became a stay at home mom, which I loved! When the girls were about 2 and 3 I started to bake pies for the farm. Between 90 and 100 pies I would bake out of my tiny house in Schodack each week. The whole neighborhood would smell like pies. It was crazy! My father was retired so he would come and make all the crusts for me. It truly was so much fun. My daughter Autum would sneak down stairs in the morning and grab her tiny rolling pin and start to make her own pie. It was so cute! If I wasn’t doing that I landscaped for some of my Husband’s customers. Did some wall murals for some of them and refinished furniture too. Basically, if it was something creative then I wanted to do it!
When the girls started school I volunteered as many days as I could. When we moved to Ghent I got a substitution job at the Chatham school for a year or so. I also started a Jewelry business “Studio 81 Originals”. After a few years I decided to put that on the shelf. The girls were still too young and I just didn’t have enough time. Every chance I had I would help my husband with his painting business and his band.
I didn’t have many hobbies, so I guess running was my hobby up to 2015. That’s when I injured my leg and at the time didn’t realize that both of my hips needed replacement. In October 2017 I started to Work at Bartlett House in Ghent. Oh what fun I had. My co-works were the best and I absolutely loved my Job! It was so similar to what I was used to at the family farm. The fast pace, the regulars that come in. Then in March 2020 when COVID hit I left, thinking I definitely would go back in a few months no worries. Well in that time I realized that I needed shoulder surgery and probably should find something that was a little less physical since I already had both hips replaced in 2018.
So, being home and a bit bored I thought, “hey why not fire up the Jewelry Business again?”. This time I took some online courses on Jewelry making and marketing. Also this time around I wanted to make more rustic wire products that were a bit more complicated than what I created in the past. So I guess my passion is my family for sure, husband and Daughters. Hobbies now would be the Jewelry, because I love to create. I get such a high off of being in my studio.
Tell us more about your business and how you became a Girl Boss.
I think above probably sums up the history part and how I got to where I am now with the business. My drive this time around is more about creativity and exploring new designs. I love to create and do the photography, even though it’s so time consuming, but I love to see the photos in the end. I think my least favorite part of my business is marketing. Honestly I hate that part. I want to be in the studio creating all day. I hate sitting behind the computer all day, either uploading new products to the web site or doing social media posts, emails etc. I would rather promote other businesses vs my own. I get more satisfaction out of that. I’m not one to be ” hey look at me”! I’m not shy but I don’t like to toot my own horn. It makes me so happy when another business get excited over my Wednesday shout outs for small business Wednesdays. Occasionally someone will shout out my business and it’s awesome too!! I have my studio in our Barn, so it’s nothing fancy but it’s quite and peaceful. I have a giant window that looks out at the yard and I have a moma Woodchuck and her babies, it’s so cute to watch when I take a break. I create all my jewelry myself, no employees yet!
What does it mean to you to be a #GIRLBOSS?
Well I feel not having a boss is a major plus! I’m able to work in the studio and still take care of my husband and house, being available when my girls need me is super important to me. I love that flexibility. I love the ability to do what I can in a day and not be killing my body any more.
What do you love most about running your own business and being a Girl Boss?
I do Jewelry because I love Bling! I have all I can do not to keep everything I’m supposed to sell!! I love sparkling metals and stones. I love seeing people’s reactions when they see that one set of earrings or a necklace. That’s why I love selling at the open markets to see people and converse with customers. I love that. I think growing up on the farm and being around the energy of the public is so deep in my personality that I truly need to be around people.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in being a business owner?
I sell online too and I’m definitely grateful for that but it is so hard to sell to customers you can’t see them, or hear them or talk to them. It’s super hard, for me anyway. Since I grew up with the public and selling in person, that’s what I know through and through. Online is sooooo hard!!! It’s like you’re standing on a mountain top yelling “Hey I have Earrings for sale”, like seriously how many people truly will hear you. So, when I started this journey in July of 2020 I thought, ” okay, I will make all this stuff get a website and launch right before Thanksgiving so I’d get Christmas sales and bamm! I’d sell out”! Ahhh yeah no! That’s not how it works. That’s when all the social media stuff comes into play and I had no clue what the hell I was doing! Not a clue.
The handful of sales I made were a blessing definitely to keep my morale up. So, since Christmas I have been doing marketing courses just to understand the way all this works. That is definitely a huge challenge for me. Also how the times have changed since 10 years ago when I had the other Jewelry business. Back then I did a bunch of craft fairs. Things were easy. You signed up and paid for your table. If you had a Sales tax certificate great but it wasn’t required. Now it’s a totally different ballgame. You need DBA, sales tax and liability insurance if you want to do shows. I get it totally but it was a shock at first how things changed over the years.
Is there a moment during your career that stands out to you and validates your decision to become a Girl Boss?
Yes, definitely cleaning out my Barn last June was my “ah ha” moment. I had been home since mid March and I was cleaning out everything. I came across all my jewelry making stuff. That’s when the light bulb went off! Hey, I could do this again. Obviously COVID was keeping the craft fairs and Markets closed. So, I got a website and the craziness began!!
What advice would you give to aspiring Girl Bosses?
Wow, the first thing would be to have patience!! Do not think you will be an overnight success. Take time and pride in what you create, don’t rush. “Haste makes waste”, and that money spent is not made. So if you look at something and say “yeah that will do”, look at it again because that’s your name on the piece. You want it to be your best. Hey I know this because I have done this and looking back going “what was I thinking?” putting that out there!
Second thing I would do is take some classes in jewelry making even if you think you couldn’t learn anything else, there is always someone else that did it better or more efficiently. Also take some marketing courses. There are so many online now, especially from some internet guru’s. They know how to take the pictures, how to tag it, how to post and when. There is a ton of information out there for free or just a few bucks. Definitely take a few, it will be money well spent. It’s going to take 2 years, probably maybe less for some but with consistency it will happen. Hey I’m still in the early stages. It will be a year in July since I started and it will be my 1 year with my website in November. Yes I had this business years ago but it’s so different now. I have learned so much since then. Lastly, don’t give up when there are no sales, they will just keep plugging at it.