We were lucky to catch up with Sasha Flynn recently and have shared our conversation below.
Sasha, appreciate you joining us today. One of the most important things we can do as business owners is ensure that our customers feel appreciated. What’s something you’ve done or seen a business owner do to help a customer feel valued?
I have a customer that I will just call Mrs. James. She bought her first item during the pandemic in 2020. She started emailing me shortly after to show me photos of herself wearing her jewelry. I would always respond and compliment the way she styled her jewels. We began forming a relationship via email, as she expressed that most brand owners don’t typically respond to her emails, and she was excited that we could chat. Eventually, I began learning Mrs. James’s story about her children, husband, and granddaughter. This is the best part. She said she bought all of her jewelry from Adore Adorn to eventually gift to her 4-year old granddaughter. As a brand that focuses on legacy and memories from my mother and grandmother, this really struck a chord. Mrs. James continued to buy jewelry through the entire pandemic and quickly became one of our top customers. She made it known that she wanted me to keep going and stay diligent even when it became increasingly hard to do so during the 2020 riots and later the supply chain shortages. I always felt her encouragement and vision for what Adore Adorn was doing for her. She wore her jewelry during virtual church and around the house. She said to me once, that she was starting to finally feel like her jazzy self again. So, in 2021, I decided to put her gift box together of all of my favorite things from my hometown. I knew she enjoyed the family element of my brand and I wanted to show her more of who we are. My mom and I decided to shop for a gift. We put together a box of Kansas City’s best products and gifts and we wrote her a letter that gave the story behind each item. We were so excited to send that box and she was so excited to receive the items. Sending that box had nothing to do with the brand or sales. It was just connecting with a customer in a real way and showing her we appreciate her just as much as she does us. I loved that moment.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m a jewelry designer that creates mid-luxury jewelry that utilizes natural gemstones, precious metals, and a whole lot of love to deliver bespoke designs. My drive came from wanting to tell the story of my mom, aunts, and grandmother who passed down their jewelry to me and gave me something to hold on to and remember them by. My brand vision has expanded to so much more since the beginning. I recognize that we were also delivering empowerment and self-preservation for the women (and sometimes men) that shopped our jewelry. My designs create a bold statement that reminds the buyer that they don’t need to hide behind simplistic things. It’s more important to wear something that has meaning. I think that my ability to make wearable jewelry that is set in intention with each individual gemstone is what sets me apart. Every piece of jewelry begins with an extensive buying process with gemstone miners, lapidaries, and gemstone experts. We don’t always buy the most expensive stone, it’s more about the story we can tell with the final piece. How we can bridge a healing and restorative nature for our clients with the jewelry that they wear. I design it in that way because that’s what I realized I needed when I was getting dressed for the world. I needed pieces that sent a strong message but also meant something to me internally. Instead of carrying crystals in a pouch that carry certain meanings and align with my intentions, I decided to create jewelry from raw minerals, stones, and rocks and transform that into wearable pieces. I design jewelry for people that want to stand out in rooms, build confidence, and ignite a fire from within.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
As a brand founder and small business owner, I was wearing many hats for many years. I needed to do it all and carve out that space for my brand. I worked non-stop and traveled several times a month to procure vendors, meet with contacts, and get inspiration for new designs.
At the end of 2020, I recognized after having a panic attack after a panel discussion that I was on, that I needed to address my why and my how a little better. I hired a therapist and wellness consultant because I thought maybe I just needed to be getting better rest and sleep.
It turns out after many many breakthroughs, that my anxiety and control issues over my brand stemmed from me doing things because I felt like I HAD to. I began to unpack bad processes and failed systems and draw better lines in the sand as an individual and business owner. I set up boundaries and I began to focus on things that were truly what I wanted to do. This took lots of unlearning and self-exploration. I’ve finally been able to slow down and hyper-focus on what matters and leave behind that which doesn’t.
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
Building my social audience has been quite a challenge. I always struggled with my presence because I wanted to control every single thing that was put out on my pages. Like, most other things, I recognized through trial and error that showing up as my true and authentic self was the only thing that works. Yes, great photos sell products, but also an authentic leader builds a community.
On my email lists, I’ve learned to have an open and honest dialogue with my community so that they can expect to hear from me directly from time to time. My community responds to my emails directly and it bridges a gap I’ve often received responses like, “I don’t know any other brand owner that talks to us in this way.” Why should small businesses operate like corporations? I’m literally the backbone of the business and I think my customers should feel that.
On my Instagram and Facebook page, I’ve learned that engaging in a 2-way conversation beats pretty photos any day. You need OTHER people to be talking about your brand– not just you. Trust me, letting go and just being you goes a long way!
- Website: adoreadorn.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adore.adorn/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adore.adorn
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sashaflynn/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGJetcP6il2ToD3KHuAXZHA
- Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/adoreadorn/_shop/ Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@adoreadorn
Image Photographer: Tatiphon Khunon, NYC @tatiphon on IG