We recently connected with Taylor Custer Crosby and have shared our conversation below.
Taylor, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. The first dollar you earn is always exciting – it’s like the start of a new chapter and so we’d love to hear about the first time you sold or generated revenue from your creative work?
When I first started making jewelry and decided to sell it, my friends and family were my first customers. Of course they supported what I was doing so in some ways it seemed like their purchases didn’t really “count”, although I was incredibly grateful and felt very supported by them. It wasn’t until I had a complete stranger purchase a pair of my earrings from my Etsy Store that I really felt like I could be successful in this. I still remember how that first sale felt. The fact that a complete stranger from New York bought a pair of my gold leaf earrings with a black Swarovski crystal and wanted to wear them was the validation that I needed to continue.
Taylor, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
In 2009, about 4 years into my working career after college, I really felt the need to be doing something creative. I loved the company I worked for but wanted to do more. So I took an earring making class at a local bead store with my sister. I started making earrings and had so many that I started selling to family and friends. Soon after, I decided to open an Etsy store and in April 2010, I had my first sale from a stranger in New York. It was then that I felt more confident in my small hobby to turn it into a side business.
I sold at local markets around town as well as to boutiques in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma until 2017 when my daughter was born and I felt the need to step back and spend time with her. However, in early 2020 during the pandemic, I was drawn back into making jewelry, needing that creative outlet during a very stressful time. The need to be creative is at the core of my business and what keeps me going are the people from all over the country who support me and allow me to keep creating.
I currently find time in the evenings and on weekends to make jewelry. In addition to my full-time job and being a parent, I sell primarily on Instagram and through two stores in the Dallas area – Mosaic Makers Collective in Bishop Arts and Marie Gregory in McKinney.
I love finding natural stones and turning them into wearable art. I hand select the gemstones and pearls that I use and I absolutely love hunting for the best stones. I also try to create affordable pieces that you can wear everyday. I describe my style as classic, delicate, and feminine. I also expanded last year to create some children’s bracelets and bead kits.
How did you build your audience on social media?
Building my audience on social media is a never ending project. I think you can’t get too caught up on how many followers you have because what matters more is how engaged they are and if they are your target market. I am so lucky to have followers who are genuinely interested in what I make and are my core customers. I also try to show a lot of behind the scenes of myself making jewelry. I think that’s interesting and also shows that I am really the one here making items for the people who don’t know me.
One of the biggest keys to building an audience is posting consistently. This is something that I struggle with because I don’t always have the time in my schedule. But when I am consistent, I can definitely see a difference in my numbers.
What do you find most rewarding about being creative?
The most rewarding part of being creative for me is bringing joy to others through jewelry. My jewelry is given as gifts and I am always honored to be a part of that. I also love working with people on custom orders, helping their vision come to life.
There is a need in me to continually be creative and I’m so thankful to have customers with me since the beginning who support me.
- Website: https://www.taylorcuster.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taylorcusterjewelry/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taylorcusterjewelry
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/taylorcuster/?etsrc=sdt
Photo credit is Tanner Garza on the first 7 photos and the main photo. Other photos taken by me.