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Tracy Matthews is an award winning fine jewelry designer and mentor. As an emerging designer she was the recipient of the JCK rising star award and was recognized as one of Gen Art’s Fresh Faces in Fashion. Her work has been featured in just about every fashion magazine out there. She is also the founder and CEO of Flourish & Thrive Academy and the “Thrive by Design” Podcast” where she teaches jewelry designers and makers how to create desire for their brands through business, marketing and sales skills. Her motto is “community and collaboration over competition.”
After building a successful business over the course of eleven years, selling her jewelry to over 350 stores, she decided to close her business and took some time off. While she tried to get away from jewelry design she realized it is truly her passion and since she learned a great deal about how to truly run a business became more successful than ever.
As an offshoot of this she decided to start her business teaching jewelry designers how to run their businesses. Tracy almost accidentally discovered her gift for teaching through yoga and was shocked by her ability to show someone their ability to go beyond what they think they are capable of. For many creatives in their own business, the actual business skills needed can be intimidating and get neglected. Tracy talked about the importance of testing new ways of doing business and being nimble in the ever changing marketplace. You will learn by trying different things you will learn what works for you and your business.
Tracy made a great point about pitching. It’s not just for the media. In any type of business endeavor you need to be able to pitch your ideas in many ways to lots of different people. If you have a good idea, think of a context that you can put it into and get to pitching. You will be amazed at what can happen. Tracy thinks that she can likely attribute her ability to pitch anything to anyone to the fact that she is the second oldest of eight children and grew up in an environment where everyone was constantly selling, pitching and “making deals.”
A great tip that we discussed was taking cues from sources that you admire. Not to be confused with copying but rather observing what works with other people, brands or businesses and thinking how that approach can work for you.
Of course we got around to chatting about how she has been able to secure so much publicity for herself and she shared that it did occur by proactively reaching out and building relationships with editors and that with consistency and repetition she was able to consistently secure placements.
My conversation with Tracy was so much fun, possibly because I count her among my friends, but more likely because she is truly an inspiring, uplifting and wholly entertaining individual.
For more information about Tracy, please visit www.flourishthriveacademy.com.
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