A unique situation led Sutton Lasater to find her passion and eye for design. A girl who’s not a “girly girl” found herself rearranging costume jewelry into gorgeous pieces her friends and family were clamoring for. A fun hobby has turned into a thriving small business that’s been adding a bit of sparkle to the necks, arms, fingers and décolleté of women in the St. Louis region for nearly a decade.
What made you decide to start your business and when did you open?
I started making jewelry when I was a senior in high school. My family became caretakers for an elderly family in our neighborhood and we helped them as they progressively needed more care. Eventually, as they grew to need more care and moved into a nursing home they asked us to take some of their belongings as a thank you for our longterm care. They’d “rather us have it than someone else.” She had collected costume jewelry her entire life and she had a dresser full of costume jewelry. I wish I had taken all of it! Originally I started off making all my jewelry with old vintage pieces. I discovered there were bead shops in town and places I could buy jewelry making supplies, so in high school, I started spending all of my money on beads and I was buying wholesale. When you buy wholesale I ended up with a lot of beads that I didn’t need – so I ended up making extra things and selling them to family and friends. I didn’t actually make it an official business until after I graduated from Grad School. So in 2010, I opened.
What is your favorite thing about your business?
There are two things I really like. First, it’s my creative outlet. I love shopping for supplies and trying to figure out how I’m going to put things together. The second,is when someone buys something that they really love and then they wear it and I’ll randomly see that person and ask, “where did you get that?” And then they tell me and I’m so proud to say, “I made that!.”And it’s so exciting because they really like it and wear it and it makes them happy which makes me happy.
How many people work for your company?
It’s just me. I’m the only one.
What are your bestsellers?
The earrings for sure. But that’s probably because I make more earrings than anything because I like to wear earrings the most. I think earrings are the easiest type of jewelry to wear and they frame your face well.
What makes you passionate about your business?
It feels really good knowing I made something that someone wears and feels good about themselves when they put it on. It’s also really rewarding to make something with my own hands.
Have there been any challenges you’ve overcome with like starting your business?
This is not my full-time job. Becasue this is my little side project, I have not had the challenge of trying to scale. So it’s kind of just like this weird balance of trying to figure out how to operate on a small level but still operate efficiently and with the right process.
So, why is St. Louis a good spot for your business?
I love St. Louis so much. I think people here are more and more interested in what’s happening locally. There’s a couple boutiques that sell my jewelry and they love focusing on local vendors and I think that’s really cool. I like being here because the people here are very supportive and they’re interested in local makers.
If you could describe your business in one word, what would it be?
I think I would say happy. It makes me happy and I think when someone finds something that they like to wear, it makes them happy too!
What do you see moving forward with the future of your business?
I will probably keep it as a side business for the time being and just continue to sell at different vendor events and work on growing my website and social media presence.
Sutton’s love for the creative process has fueled her hobby and created a successful side business offering a variety of timeless pieces you’ll love.
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