It Girl | MEGAN HAMMOND
By: Danae Edmonds
I stumbled upon elizabeth.lyn Jewelry on Instagram and instantly loved Megan's pieces. All of them have a certain allure that I can't help but be drawn to. Her pieces are super modern and on trend with what I like to look for in jewelry. Megan shares with us how her business came to be, her goals for the future and how important it is to know your own voice.
Name: Megan Hammond
Job Title/Company: Owner/ Designer elizabeth.lyn Jewelry
Education Background: I am a self-taught jewelry designer, former brick and mortar retail business owner with many years in different aspects of the retail industry. I have some formal university education- but quickly found heavy class loads and structured studies were not for me haha!
1. Tell us a little about who you are.
I am a prairie girl, born and raised. I live in Saskatoon Sk, and grew up in Moose Jaw, Sk where my family still lives. I am a bit of a gypsy – free spirited and have never really lived life “by the book”. I love creating, and finding inspiration in unexpected places. I need coffee in the morning to function, and I often work best late in the night. Give me a glass of wine, good music and great conversation and I am a happy girl. I love books, especially vintage books…quotes… words in general. I love to laugh and be around people, people are fascinating to me. I make decisions based on gut instinct and am open to trying new things – which is a fairly recent development, but it turns out a really fun one!
2. How did you find your passion for jewelry making?
I’ve always been creative, but could never really find that one thing that consistently inspired me to create. I owned a retail business at the time, and carried several jewelry lines in the shop. I literally just had the thought “I bet I could do this” – the next day I went out and bought a few basic supplies, started playing around and fell in love with designing jewelry! Shortly after, I found myself going through a very significant break up, and I found the need to keep busy fell into the need to create, in which I found inspiration and love for creating this little jewelry line.
3. Who are you most influenced by?
I am so fortunate to be surrounded by many amazingly talented and creative people. I’m lucky to count many strong, inventive and hard-working female business owners as friends -Inspiration and drive for myself comes out in droves from a simple get together for coffee with any of them. People who are out there doing what they love, and doing it whole heartedly are my kind of people. I have also worked in the retail fashion industry for a while, and I get so much inspiration from people with really great style- thank you Instagram! I’ve also “met” amazing people through Instagram and am continually inspired by them and what they are doing – so much hustle and creativity!
4. What was your first job and how long did you hold that position?
Ohhh, my first job…hmmm. I think it was at a coffee shop in my hometown (Moose Jaw, SK). I have worked at a few different coffee shops – there is something about that laid back coffee shop vibe, you always meet cool, interesting people there. It was during high school, I think I worked there about a year.
5. What inspired you to create your first pieces?
I work a little differently than some designers in the sense that I don’t sketch out my designs before I make pieces. I literally just see it in my head and let my hands figure it out. Inspiration comes in the form of a gut feeling and need to create something, and that’s how the first few pieces came to be. Curiosity, determination and the ability to let go of control and let it come naturally – I think that’s where the inspiration came from at first. 6. What were your initial goals with your work? How have they evolved?
At first, I just wanted to be happy and feel proud of what I created. It was fun for me (it still is of course!), and a hobby that turned into a way to earn some extra money. I remember the feeling of awe I got – people actually wanted to pay me money for the pieces I made, and they wanted more?! I did a few Pop Up Shops, that branched into getting the line into retail shops in my city, and then into cities in other provinces, which led to my website launch last April. I would love to broaden my reach in the retail market, and increase the traffic and sales on my website.
7. What do you think is the most important life skill you learned from being an entrepreneur?
The ability to shake it off when things don’t work out, step back and look at the situation from another angle and give it another try. I have learned many, many problem solving skills from being an entrepreneur. Sometimes you don’t have the option to go to another person to help you figure it out, and you really learn what you are capable of in those moments. Determination and being open to learning are so important to being in business for your self.
8. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I love this question, because it forces me to focus a bit. I am a very “day to day”, “let things happen as they happen type” of person, and I have been known to change my mind frequently (the creative in me perhaps?!). I do know this- I want to grow this little business of mine, slowly but surely. I want elizabeth.lyn to be a recognized name across the country, and to continue to find inspiration in travels and everyday life by connecting and building lasting relationships with interesting, creative and genuine people.
9. What is a typical day like for you?
Coffee. Times two. That’s the first thing! I generally start by checking and responding to emails, then print out any new online orders and add then to my order queue. Depending on the items ordered, and how much back stock I have (pieces I have already made) I can process up to 15 online orders in a day including packing and shipping. Retail orders can take up to 3 days each, so I try to plan accordingly. I am always, always either listening to music or watching (listening really) Netflix while I work – I need background noise. I run and errand or two, and sometimes meet a friend for lunch (this happens more often in summer- patio season!), and stop by one or two of my local retailers to drop off/ pick up/ re merchandise etc. More coffee, a little social media browsing and supply orders sprinkled in during the day- and that takes me to the evening!
10. What was the biggest obstacle you faced so far in the process of pursuing your dreams?
Time management. It is not my strong suit…though I am working on it. I have had a few missed opportunities, some events I could have been better prepared for, and steps I could have taken had I had a better handle on managing my time.
11. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
If it doesn’t feel right, don’t force it. I believe in working from an authentic place, and working with people I have authentic relationships with. If something doesn’t feel right to me, I can’t put my best self into it, resulting in work I am not proud of or doesn’t fit to me.
12. When you get your best ideas?
Always at the strangest moments. I’m constantly making notes in my phone, screen capping inspo shots I find online and snapping pics when I see things that draw me in. Oh, and always right before I fall asleep- never fails!
13. Can you share with us one time that you failed and what you learned from that failure?
I’m not sure if I would call this a failure, but it was definitely the most pivotal turning point in my life so far… I owned a business for three years, something that I always wanted to do. In the third year my marriage fell apart. I felt like my whole world was crashing down and I had no control over it. It took me a little while to realize that actually, I did. I took the time to do the work on myself that I hadn’t been doing. I took the time to get to know me, and I realized I had lost a lot of myself. I learned a lot from that time in my life. I learned about control, and the beauty in letting go of it. I opened up my mind and let in the possibilities, the lessons, and the inspiration, and I grew – tenfold. I learned how to trust myself, how to go with my gut, and how to appreciate the way other people do things.
14. How do you unwind?
If you follow my Instagram, you know I like a glass of red wine now and then haha! Great conversations with my friends ( sometimes with red wine), hot baths, and good books are my go to’s to decompress and recharge.
15. What would you tell someone else who wants to start their own business?
Go for it!!! It is the hardest, most rewarding thing I have done, and the lessons I’ve learned and people I have connected with as a result are amazing. Some days are not going to be easy, and you will shed a few tears- but the payoff is worth every one of those tears. I continue to grow, be inspired and take so much pride in how I’ve gotten where I am. Be open, genuine and willing to put in time, and all you need is a little bit of courage.
16. What do you hope people take away from your story?
Do your thing, whatever that is for you. Do it with a full heart and an open mind. Be willing to learn and grow and the possibilities are seriously endless. It took me a few different careers, a broken heart and a lot of soul searching to realize what my thing was – and that I loved it. Sometimes the best things in life come out of the unexpected. Isn’t that kind of exciting?! 17. Anything we missed that you would like to share?
The “About me” page from my website – a little more on the story behind eL !