Hey Yall, I have a talented young entrepreneur that I would love to introduce to you. I had the pleasure to interview her, so come along for an interesting journey.
TPS:So Catherine, what is the name of your company and how did you come up with it?
Catherine:My business is called Compass Rose Jewelry Designs by C.E.Rouchon. It is kind of a silly story. My family owned a country general store. I was home schooled and much of my schooling was spent in the office at the store. In one of my work books in the 4th grade they had a diagram showing how to draw a compass, that one would see in the corner of an old world map. The “rose” term arises from the fairly ornate figures used with early compasses. Needless to say I spent the rest of the day perfecting my drawing and design. Dad walked in and looked over my shoulder. He asked what I was drawing? Obviously it was not school work. He was about to head to the bank. I gave him a hug, a kiss and a “see you in a little while”. As he walked out I thought to myself if I ever have my own business I will call it Compass Rose.
TPS:Is this a family owned company? Mother/daughter?
Catherine: I own the business. But I could not have had come this far without the help of my family. My Mom, Dad and at times my Sister are the best volunteer employees one could ask for. Making the product, working with customers and the paperwork end of the business takes up all my time. Mom is my partner and does all most all of the research in looking up craft markets and shows to attend. She comes with me to nearly all the craft markets to help me set up and take down. She makes lunch and helps me work with customers at the shows. She also makes amazing wire wrap bracelets and stone pendants. Dad is my go to with business questions and guidance. He helps me design and has built my: silversmithing table, displays, and table lighting display just to name a few. He and my Sister have helped me work the craft shows as well. I have an awesome family!
TPS: How long have you been making jewelry, how long in business?
Catherine: I have been making jewelry from the time I was a little girl. Mom always encouraged my sister and I to make crafts. When I was sixteen my Sunday school teacher asked me to make some bracelets to give as gifts. I had all these leftover supplies and decided to make a few more items and sell them at the local community market on the first Saturday of every month. So, I guess you can say I was sixteen when I started my jewelry business and have been in business for ten years.
TPS: What attracted you to this field?
Catherine: It was fun and I have always enjoyed rock and minerals.
TPS: Do you have a favorite technique?
Catherine: I do not know that I have a favorite. I enjoy the art of silver piercing a lot. I am always willing to learn and try something new.
TPS: Do you have a favorite piece?
Catherine: I would say this is one of my favorites. I have started adding flower designs to my silver work.
TPS: Are there stones that you love to work with?
Catherine: Yes! All of them. Each kind has its unique challenge and inspires me. If I had to narrow it down it would be: kyanite, Louisiana opal, and amazonite.
TPS: Where do you find your stones, any local rivers? Is there a “sweet spot”? Or is it random?
Catherine: It’s random. Every time it rains the Amite River changes and brings out new gravel. We find carnelian, agates, fossilize coral and wood. Jaspers of every color. You never know what you will discover. It is an adventure every time.
TPS: Describe how you feel when working with a customer.
Catherine: I get so much enjoyment when I see a customer light up when they discover one my pieces and fall in love with it. Every now and then I run into one of my customers in day to day life and they are wearing the item they purchased. It’s really gratifying when a customer returns because they have enjoyed my work and wish to purchase again for themselves or for a special occasion.
TPS: Do you see yourself traveling to share/sale your jewelry?
Catherine: Yes. I travel around Louisiana now and hope to continue to grow and venture to larger shows outside of Louisiana.
TPS: If you have any advice to offer someone starting out…what would that be? Either dos or don’ts?
Catherine: Do not be afraid to ask for help. Some of the best advice will come from fellow craft vendors. Not every craft show will be a success. So think ahead and have a plan B, C and D. Know when to step back and look at your work objectively.
Having your own business can become overwhelming. It’s hard to walk away. You will have to make yourself take a break otherwise you will get burned out.
Custom projects are the hardest. They are necessary to business. They will take extra time in ordering the supplies and crafting the item. Try to stay organize and motivated with customs. Your best learning experiences will come from customs. If it is going to go wrong it will happen while you are doing a custom. Try not to feel the pressure. Rise to the challenge, after you finish hitting your head against the wall.
Believe in yourself.
TPS: What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
Catherine: I have a job I love. I get to do something I enjoy every day. As an entrepreneur you will find yourself tied to your job. There are times when you hold your breath and take gambles. The pressure of failure hangs over your head. Even with this I could not imagine doing something different. I have fulfillment in my life with my work.
TPS: And lastly how has Compass Rose taken you where you wanted to go as a career/job.
Catherine: I am independent. What was my hobby is now my career. I could not ask for more in a job.
TPS: Catherine how can people reach you?
Catherine: Cell 225-244-0391
Website: Compass Rose
Yall check out this lovely young entrepreneur! #IBN30
Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,