Crafty Hobby-Turned-Side Hustle
Chatting with Taylor Denham of Taylor-Made Jewelry
By day, Taylor Denham works at a real estate office in Ukiah and by night, she's a self-proclaimed "amateur jewelry maker," churning out an impressive number of bracelets each week. What started out as a hobby has quickly become a small business that keeps Taylor on her toes!
"There are days I am so overwhelmed and filled with anxiety, but I LOVE everything I do," Taylor says. "I love my day job, I love being a mom, I love making jewelry. At first, it was tough to balance everything. I was working 8 hours, coming home making dinner, spending time with my daughter and boyfriend and then staying up most nights until 11 or 12 making bracelets. I was so excited to see my little business taking off and wanted to finish customer's orders ASAP, so I stretched myself pretty thin."
She's since figured out how to navigate this new business, only wishing she would have started making jewelry sooner! Taylor-Made Jewelry feels nostalgic, like an old-school friendship bracelet that remains timeless, but with a modern, elevated edge. Think beaded bracelets with letter beads that spell out "BFF," "I love you," or the initials of a mom's three kiddos in chic colors and adorned with sweet tassels. Her bracelets are made with intention and feel personal, but are also affordable and not so precious that a gal on-the-go feels like she can't wear them day-to-day. Her growing orders have even attracted interest from local businesses who are excited to soon offer Taylor's bracelets in their stores. Although Taylor's clientele ranges from brides to best friends, she's definitely tapped into the stylish mom crowd. In fact, a lot of busy moms can probably relate to her desire to start making jewelry, which came from a place of wanting to set some time aside for herself amidst a hectic schedule.
"I think it's important for moms to know you don't have to do everything," Taylor says. "I think we live in a world where we are always trying to live up to these unrealistic expectations and it's okay if you don't get to the dishes in the sink or your kid misses a bath. I am, also, a big cheerleader for mom's taking time to do something for themselves. I think it's so important. We do wear all the hats all the time, but being able to step away from the chaos of life and go get a massage or go get a pedicure is something that needs to be done so moms can keep their sanity."
Taylor's "me time" comes in the form of beads, a True Crime documentary, and a cool glass of rosé. While she hopes to eventually turn one of the rooms in her home into a jewelry work space, for now she cozies up to her family room coffee table and gets to work.
Because her business has historically operated entirely through Instagram, Taylor is able to really connect with her customers on a personal level as she crafts their custom bracelets. This is why you won't really find pre-made bracelets on her page! "People ask me all the time if I will get a website or Etsy," she says. "Right now the answer is no, but that could always change. I like connecting with my customers through Instagram and working with them to personalize their bracelet order. If I did a website or Etsy, I would make my ordering more streamlined and customers wouldn't be able to customize their orders as much."
It's obvious that much of Taylor's joy of creating comes from interacting with her customers, which many of us in business have especially missed in the past year. As a small business born during the pandemic, Taylor has managed to still find ways to connect with people and produce products that mean something more than your average store-bought bracelet.
What's in store for Taylor in the future? "I think it would be fun to do kid's birthday parties or even adult parties, " she says. "I could have a large assortment of beads available and people could make their own bracelets. Something like a Painted Cellars vibe, but making bracelets." With Taylor's impressive progression over the last few months, we can't wait to see what she does next!