Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Vania Morris. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Hi Vania, thanks for joining us today. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
My small business ShopMOSS began in 2018. Prior to that, I had been going through the darkest period of my life, so through part of the healing process, I decided to get back to the raw love I had always had for art and creating. I began painting again and just making art for the love of it, with no pressure. This is when I also envisioned a collection of 4 earrings that I just felt compelled to bring to life. After posting my new creations on my personal social media, It all catapulted into this beautiful 4 year journey.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I have a Bachelors in graphic design and was a professional wedding photographer for 10 years before starting my jewelry business, ShopMOSS.
So truly, my entire adult life I have solely been self employed.
MOSS stands for Mother Of SonS, because my 2 sons are my greatest creation ;)
When I was a child in Italy , my aunt would sculpt little blooms from the soft insides of bread. This is a skill that was locked into my subconscious until 2018 when I picked up polymer clay for the first time.
As a jewelry designer, I hand sculpt blooms and transform them into one of a kind pieces for the gal who seeks the unique.
I believe there are several aspects which set me apart from others in my industry. For one, a handmade product is, in and of itself ONE OF A KIND. My aesthetic is highly influenced by my Italian nationality. Every jewelry piece I create is an original design inspired by something in my childhood in Italy.
What I am the most proud of is how my customer return rate is sky high. This means that my beautiful customer recognizes and appreciates MY work. Also, to have adorned so many brides with my bridal jewelry through the years, is an honor I’ll never take for granted.
Can you talk to us about how your side-hustle turned into something more.
Initially I posted my prototypes on my personal social media. From there, people asked me to purchase the pieces and so i created a separate IG account. I sent influencer mom friends my handmade jewelry and that really helped to get the word out there in the beginnings. One of my business mottos is to never pass up any opportunity big or small. I believe that’s carried me really far. Nothing is too small to give your time to when it comes to growing your business. ANYone talking about your product is more than NOone talking about your product.
Early on in the conception of the business, I went to a very popular local boutique in my city with my prototypes and they chose to carry my brand in their store. 4 years later, they are still ordering my jewelry and I am so grateful for the faith and vision they had in me.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
I think creating jewelry that I myself would wear has been a “strategy” that people understand is authentic and therefore something they feel is worth investing in.
Never being afraid to ask or knock on doors or put myself in uncomfortable, new situations, such as doing pop up shops and markets, emailing really famous people or brands asking to collaborate, sending out genuine hand written newsletters….And just having the PASSION behind what I do.
Instagram and keeping up with learning the algorithm at every twist and turn, has been the greatest challenge but also a huge way for my business to be where it’s at today