Date: March 10, 2022
- What do you want people to know about you? Describe yourself in 6 words.
Carrie: In six words I am resilient, fun loving, inspiring, a leader, joyful and irreverent.
Tell us your name, your business name or industry, location and description. Why are you in this field? How did you get here?
Carrie: So I was originally in corporate fashion for a bunch of years and I really didn’t find any personal satisfaction from it. I was really quite miserable. I was part of a massive lay off in 2010 and over the next several years was trying out ways to make my own path and so by 2013 I had figured out ISLYNYC. I started doing laser cut jewelry and found a niche in a market that was pretty saturated with brass jewelry , gold jewelry, fine jewelry and I found that there was not a lot of expression happening with costume jewelry, that had any real point of view and nothing in laser cutting . I was able to create my own oath and I think that’s what brings me personal satisfaction… So a quest for my own fulfillment has brought me here.
- What was your single biggest challenge in running your business or working in your industry throughout the pandemic?
Carrie: It’s been a wild ride . On march 13, 2020 our store was closed at 5pm. We had to make a lot of bug moves that were scary, I had to lay off half of my team immediately. I never had to do that before, everyone was so nice about it…From there I had to figure out how to create income and revenue because we have an online store but at the time of the shutdown our Chelsea store was making 95% of our revenue… I got COVID at the time and had to figure out my family situation. I started digging deeply into e-commerce and how do I get people to buy us online and get traffic in. One of the difficulties with my brand is that we make a lot for festivals, for going out, for performing drag or going to see drag, nightlife and all these things completely shut down. So I had to create a whole new way of creating content… I had to get really good at taking photographs, I had no budget for a photographer… I had to create a new strategy to move the product.
- Like the Elton John song, you are still standing. Where does your resilience come from and how do you tap into it?
Carrie: I really credit my resilience and my ability to pivot as the main part of my success as a business owner. I have a very high tolerance for taking risks, I’m willing to take risks and dive into something new. As a water sign, I use water as an analogy a lot. I feel like my life is surfing and basically you’re just trying to ride the wave and the ocean is such a powerful beast. We have the ability to stand on top of it and become one with it and I feel like business ownership in general throws a lot of things at you that you can’t necessarily expect.
- Any mistake you made that you want to prevent others from making?
Carrie: I’ve made a lot of mistakes as we all do, some of them we can learn from each other but some of them we have to make ourselves. But I think the most important thing is that it’s so annoying , no one wants to hear it. Do not make any financial decisions without having a plan and a full spreadsheet of budgets and coming up with projections. You got to go deep into that stuff… This is an investment . I think the most important thing is to have a plan.
- Each one. Teach one. Suggest a book, song, course, program for our listeners.
Carrie: I have actually been listening to a friend and colleague, Jade Catta Pretta, she’s a Brazilian comedian and she has a podcast that she gets really impersonal and insightful in her journey as a female comedian in the industry. She makes me laugh, she makes me cry. She is super supportive of other females. The thing that is so inspiring about her and other female leaders that I talk to these days is that we are starting to understand that there is not just room for one, there’s room for many and the second that we open up the space and allow people to lift each other up. That we have a party and that is where our strength is.