Flourish and Thrive Academy is the “brain child” of Tracy Matthews, Robins business partner. In 2012, after Robin started her own consulting business and Tracy closed her jewelry business of 10 years; Tracy approached Robin to start a business in which no jewelry designer would have to go through what she had to. Tracy coming from a background of owning a business and being the creative while Robin had a background in sales, marketing and branding, the two started their business. Many designers do not know how to get their business started or take it to the next level and Flourish and Thrive Academy is there to help guide them in these processes and to provide a community.
What was the first step taken to make this into a full fledge business? Robin and Tracy had an extensive amount of information and the first step was getting it out there to the public with a four week course and organizing the extensive amount of information the two of them had.
Did you work on building a community first or was the course the original launch? Robin and Tracy’s website launched July 5th and the course did not launch until October, so the first few months they were focused on building community.
How have you overcome obstacles in your business? Robin looks at obstacles at opportunities. They look at what they can do better and how they can revamp their business.
Have you had to make any major changes from your original business? At first, they did not realize how exhausting a “hands on” approach would be so they have had to change things continually to help themselves but also please their clients.
What has been a huge success, marketing wise? Partnering with other people, in which Flourish and Thrive Academy can benefit their community somehow and they can benefit Flourish and Thrive Academy. Finding other businesses that they can work well with has been essential.
What has been your approach to build your affiliates? They reach out to those in the community of creatives, not just jewelry makers. They also look at who speaks to them and who is getting their attention.
How do you and Tracy make your partnership work? They hired an online business manager to keep everything in line, with both of them having other businesses and living on opposite coasts, it helped to keep everything running smoothly. When they do see each other, about 4 times a year, they make it a point to have fun and not just make it about business.
What is a moment that made you feel that this is exactly where you need to be? With an ill father, Robin really needed flexibility in her schedule. After leaving her job, she went to Dallas to visit family and found out her father had to have unexpected surgery. She decided to stay to be there for her family and really realized that this was a huge leap of faith but that she could do this, she had her computer and she could stay and do everything she needed to do. She realized that this was exactly why she wanted to go out on her own.
What is a piece of advice you would give to someone who is considering going out on their own but not too sure? Just before going out on her own, Robin's mentor asked her “What’s the worst that can happen?” It was this question that was instrumental in Robin taking her leap. She says to not let the worse that can happen hold you back from the possibility of something really fantastic.
What is a tool or an app that is crucial to your business? Google Docs, Dropbox, and Skype are essential. Google Docs allows two people to be editing a document at once, which is great when Robin and Tracy live on opposite sides of the country.
As always, thank YOU for listening! I can't share enough of my appreciation for the growth of this podcast. You can always leave me reviews and ratings on iTunes and Stitcher! Or subscribe to either or both to make me look really relevant!
More About Robin:
Robin Kramer, a rock star independent sales and marketing consultant and along with her business partner Tracy Matthews, a successful bespoke jewelry designer, co-founded Flourish & Thrive Academy, an active community of jewelry designers who are changing the face of the jewelry industry.
F&TA began as a solution to a problem many new jewelry designers face: how to get their jewelry worn by more of their DREAM clients and raving fans. It has evolved into an online community where they teach designers everything they need to know about running a successful jewelry business.
In addition to the vivacious community, F&TA offers incredible designer support services such as a complete jewelry business program and an ever-growing library of free sales, marketing, and business resources.
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