In the next couple of years, my handmade jewelry was featured in Bust Magazine, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Bustle, Cosmo UK and more. I created my own website. I expanded the business into wholesale, and now stores across the United States carry Bang-Up Betty jewelry, enamel pins, koozies, shirts and more. Oh yeah, I expanded the products as well. There are now about 100 designs in my repertoire, where I started with about four designs. I did all this while maintaining a thriving career as a nonprofit marketing director.
And when I say "all this," I mean all this. I do 98% of this business by myself. Designing and making the jewelry, marketing retail and wholesale jewelry, maintaining the website, fulfilling orders, photographing products, attending markets and craft shows, planning events, professional development, bookkeeping... that's all me. Shout out to Collin Buchanan and Katie Childs Photo for photography help and Lee Lee Arts + Design for graphic design help.
Anyway, I've derailed from thanking you for voting Bang-Up Betty jewelry best artisan (for the fourth time!!). I guess I just wanted to share a little bit behind why this makes me feel so special. It's a lot of work (see above paragraph) to start, manage and expand your own business, especially if you yourself MAKE nearly every single thing that you sell. And it can be really scary to put your art out there, especially if it tends to lean one way politically and you live in a state that trends the opposite way. Sometimes my hands hurt, but my heart is always full. Thank you.