We were huge fans of Love and Farkles before they joined Made Urban and their Instagram feed always caught our eye. With a beautiful variety of colors and filigree styles, their earrings are the perfect way to add a pop of color to a simple outfit. Out of Kari’s desire to be creative and a need for statement earrings that didn’t weigh your ears down, Love and Farkles was born! We’ve watched her store grow to include some adorable pillow case dresses and a variety of accessories too. Check out our interview with the lovely Kari and learn about how she got her earrings into the hands of a few celebrities:
Tell us about your company:
Love and Farkles is located in the Southern Gulf Islands on beautiful Pender Island, BC. I create handmade jewelry and accessories after my own style. Simple, dainty and elegant are words to describe my jewelry line.
Why did you start your business?
I started my first business, Little Sweetie Clips in 2009. I was making hair accessories for little girls as I had just given birth to my first daughter and loved creating things for her to wear (as she didn’t have any hair until after her first birthday) After I had my second daughter I decided to take a break. But it wasn’t long and I was missing creating and the business side of things. So I decided to start a new business called Love and Farkles (love – for my love of crafting and creating, ‘farkles’ came from my daughter as she couldn’t pronounce sparkle for the longest time!) Since I was beginning a new venture, I wanted to create products that I would wear myself. Having 2 small children, I hadn’t worn jewelry for quite some time (little hands love to pull on earrings and necklaces!) I stared out making earrings and branched off into necklaces, bracelets as well as maternity/bridal sashes.
A coffee shop that supplies your caffeine fix or a local designer that wowed you…tell us about a local company that has been a lifesaver to your business:
Hornby Island Coffee Roasting Company! Coffee is something I can’t live without (and I’ve seriously tried to quit, it’s not happening!) I love my morning coffee and one of my favourite brands is Hornby Island Coffee. The company is run by a husband/wife team roasting fair trade coffee and selling it in liquid form at their coffee shop on Hornby and by beans in a few different stores. Love my Hornby coffee!
What was the first product you offered and how did you begin selling it?
The first product I started to sell was earrings. I watched many youtube videos and researched tutorials on jewelry making as I was starting from scratch with my knowledge. Trial and error, I eventually made a product I was happy with. I like to sell items that I would wear myself.
What’s your favorite product out of all that you make and why is it your favorite?
I love my handpainted filigree earrings. I had always loved the look of larger earrings but didn’t like they way they pulled on my ears. These ones are lightweight so I can wear them all day. I love wearing them out and always have at least a few people comment on them. Wearing your product is a great way to make connections and even some sales!
Tell us about a unique or interesting business experience:
I’ve always thought it could be exciting to see a celebrity wearing my products. I was fortunate enough to get in touch with Tera from Smart-Mom-mies who reviewed some jewelry I sent her. She has made some great contacts and has set up many celebrity giftings. I joined in on a few and now Jillian Harris, Mary Zilba (Real Housewives of Vancouver) and Erin Ireland have my earrings! It was pretty awesome to have them ‘tweet’ about my products! I look forward to getting my product out there more!
Tell us about a business disaster you learned a valuable lesson from and can (hopefully) laugh about now:
I once left some earrings outside to dry after spraying them with a clear coat. It happened to rain that night and even though they were covered, they still rusted and were ruined. I decided to keep them anyways and ended up painting over them and kept them for myself. They aren’t perfect, but I couldn’t sell them. At least now I have lots of earrings so I can wear a different colour each day of the week! (I won’t make that mistake again!)
What has been the biggest challenge of running your business and how have you overcome it?
I think the biggest challenge is time management. I’m a stay-at-home mom first, so my business comes second. Finding a balance between working on the computer, completing orders and creating new products has always been a struggle. But I don’t stress out about it. I know that if I’m not on social media every day, it’s not the end of the world. My family always comes first!
What’s been the most important aspect to growing your business?
Social media is important. Getting your name out there and making connections with other businesses and customers. People are always on the go, so posting on all forums (FB, Twitter, IG, etc) is a great way to find new potential sales. Plus you end up meeting some great people which in part can connect you with others, sales come from all different places.
We like to help hold people accountable so tell us one of your goals!
I’d love to sell at some markets/shows this summer! We have an amazing handmade/home grown market every Saturday on Pender Island and I’m hoping to have a booth there a few times this summer.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions Kari and for being a part of Made Urban!
Check out her Made Urban Storefront for more styles: www.loveandfarkles.madeurban.com