How to Thrive by Design

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Did you know that creativity comes in many forms? Do you think of yourself as a creative person? If you answered “no” or “I'm not sure”, you may surprise yourself! Today I am chatting with Award-Winning Jewelry Designer, Mentor, and Protector of Creativity, Tracy Matthews, all about how to protect your creativity.


  • Why all people are creative (even if they don’t think they are)
  • How to protect your creativity 
  • The Power of Creative Days 


Everyone is creative even if they don’t think they are

Your creativity is important and you must protect it

Creative days (or time) are a game changer


Jewelry Industry and Online Sales Strategist: I help independent jewelry brands, retailers and suppliers to maximize their sales and impact online. Shoot me a message if you have a 6 or 7 figure business and you’d like to sell more via email and your website.

Thrive by Designs Podcast Host: I host a weekly podcast for independent jewelry, fashion and product brands to help them launch, grow and scale profitable passion businesses. Champion for Visionaries at Creatives Rule the World: I help highly creative visionary types scale their businesses with the right support to making money from their creative genius.

Fine Jewelry Designer: I'm a private fine jeweler based in NYC working with clients around the world. My pieces have been featured in countless magazines and media outlets including the the Today Show, InStyle, Matha Steward Weddings, Lucky, Real Simple, Us Weekly, amongst others.

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Today we are going to be talking with Tracy Matthews. She is the chief visionary officer which I absolutely love, love, love this. And her company is flourish and thrive Academy. And creatives rule the world. And like I just think of that Beyonce song like you using like, you know how he runs the world girls creatives from the world. Like I can just like imagine this fun music video with like lots of powerful women. But we're gonna be talking about thriving by design today. And so I think right now is probably the most appropriate time all year just because let's take a step back and take a pulse check on like how we're all thriving. Because some people I've talked to, they're like, I'm doing great, I've pivoted, we have found a new way to connect with people. And then other people, they have been really depressed. Like, let's just be honest people. And so we're going to talk about thriving. So welcome to the show. Tracy, thank you for being here. Continue Reading

Well, it's so great to be here, Angela. And I love talking about thrive by design as well, on top of creatives rolling the world, and I have a podcast called thrive by design to you for that specific reason. Because, you know, with yours like this, I mean, I feel like everyone just feels like they've been hit with like a ton of bricks. And it is a requirement that we've all had to be resourceful. And yeah, you know, pick ourselves up. But yes.
did you start? Did you name your podcast thrive by design? Because of a certain situation? Or was that just something that you've always had? Like since you've been since you started your company? Well, the
podcast has been around for four years, I think, okay, I kind of forgot we're at about 265 episodes. That's amazing. Yeah, 200 and 65th episode. And I don't know how we came up with the name, you know, my company flourish and thrive Academy. It would have maybe made sense to call it the flourish and thrive Academy podcast, but I wanted to be able to reach a bigger audience because at that time, we were only working with jewelry designers. And I was working with our copywriter at the time and we were brainstorming names and I came up with something and then she's she like retweeted her and she's like thrive by design. And like, that's pretty good. And the funny part is that about a year ago, my cousin emailed me because he's he is a life coach now and sort of like a family therapist, but he's moving more into life coaching to help people live authentic lives. And he was searching researching names for podcasts because he wanted to call his podcast thrive by design. Isn't that funny? Oh, no way. Yeah. I could not believe it. I show up and we have a lot of cousins. So it's not like it's a close cousin. Or he's a close cousin. I'm close with their family. That's the wrong
It's not like my cousin. I like 55 cousins, first cousins. Oh my god, some really big family and so for him to like Actually just like Google that and then to see that it's his cousins podcast was kind of weird.
Oh my gosh. But like, kind of like gives me chills like not in a creepy way like,
Oh my God, that's
kind of cool. Um,
and then how did you Nate like, I always like to ask people like, how did you come up with the names for your business and your programs and all that. So like how, which to me, it's like creatives rule the world, like that's like the best phrase ever. So how did you arrive at that one?
That one? Well, that one is awesome. I was at a Brendon Burchard event, I guess it was a year and a half to two years ago. I can't exactly remember it was in February, though, so it must have been a year and a half or two and half years ago. And he was asking us like to write down some big goal, big hairy goal that we had. That seemed like preposterous. And I said that I wanted to have a TED talk with 20 million views. And then later, I want to look to find out that Simon synnex TED Talk has 20 million views. I'm like, reach for the stars girl.
Yes. So I'm in that conversation, that people that we were like workshopping within the group. They're like, also, why do you want to do this? I'm like, I believe that creativity is like your biggest asset in business. And creatives are often taught to think that they're bad at business. And I don't believe it. I think that creatives rule the world it just like came out of my mouth. And someone stopped me they're like, that's the name. That's it. And I was like, I was playing with it. And I was like, I played around with creatives run the world creatives rule, the world creatives rule. But I kind of like creatives rule the world the best. So I love it.
Yeah. Because you're not like, completely shoving yourself, like into a box where it's like, you're only talking about jewelry designers, or you're only talking about interior designers or wedding designers. Like there's all types of creatives, and so like piques the interest of people,
sure so it's like, ooh, tell me more. And then tell us more about this academy, like what drove you and gave you the inspiration to call the academy flourish and thrive? Which I know every woman wants to do? But like, how do you come up with a name like that?
So we, you know, we were thinking about it, I co founded my company with my friend Robin Kramer. And, gosh, it's been eight years, I can't believe how long like where does the crazy. So I've been in the jewelry industry forever. And I started my first company back in the 90s. And built it to a very successful business, you know, we were doing is a bridge bit bridge demo fine price point. So we're in we're selling like thousands of units a month. So we were doing really well. But it got to a certain point that like what I did to get to a certain point wasn't what I needed to do to get to the next point, and so on and so forth. So I kept like reinventing the wheel, and doing all these things. And as my business was growing, you know, I was like patching up some holes, which I'm sure you talk to your audience about this, too. And 2008 happened. And basically, my business kind of was taken out in the Great Recession. And I had to make a choice, whether or not to like, restructure and put all this work in and fight for something that I wasn't super passionate about anymore, or start over. So he launched a new jewelry company, right after I closed my first company in 2009. And it was a different business model. But the way that I built that company was really, I started backwards, I started thinking about like, what do I want my life to look like? What I want my day to look like? How do I want my freedom to look like what kind of money do I want to be making. And so I started with that, which most people don't, and built a business model around it. And so I switched, I pivoted because I was selling to stores all around the world. And I had to hustle at these trade shows all the time. And like, you know, basically keep up with the Joneses in a way, and it was exhausting. And I kind of lost my passion for that. And I still loved making jewelry, I just wanted to do it in a different way. So I started designing fine jewelry, and working with private clients. And I was able to completely reduce my overhead I could work from anywhere and my siblings were having children at the time. So I wanted to be able to be in California or New York or New Jersey or wherever One of them was to be able to stay for a week and visit and I was able to like really grow this very successful, but small and mighty, my do business with this backward kind of business model. framing I guess is the best way to put it. And people started reaching out, you know, been really well known in the industry for a while. Yeah, and people were had been following me and they're like, you know, what did you do? How do you change like, can you mentor me like all these things were starting to come like just emails nonstop into my inbox. Wow. I started doing Some consulting with a few companies. And I realized, you know, a lot of times startup designers, they ask exactly the same questions over and over again. And I'm creative, and I get very bored. And I'm like, I don't want to keep answering the same questions over and over again. Why don't you just create a course or a program that could teach them everything that they needed to do to get to hit the first milestone in business, and then everything that they need to do to hit that second milestone in business. So that's how flourish and thrive Academy was started. It was really to fill a need in the jewelry industry to answer all the questions that I had when I was starting out, but also help people set a strong foundation that can scale over time. So that's how the company was founded. And originally, we were playing around with names to get back to your original question. Like diamond in the rough Academy, and my co founder, Robin was like, What if we want to work with like handbag people later? What if you want to work with clothing designers or other kinds of products? And I was like, Well, yeah, maybe, but probably not. But sure, we don't have to do something. So jewelry specific. And then we just started working with other brands, maybe two years ago, so it didn't really matter. But at the end of the day, it was an evolution. So we we thought of words that like outcome words that we wanted people to feel, I guess that's how we figured it out. Let's do something so sighs
Yeah. How did you? Um, because I know that you was your first business in the jewelry space? And like, did you grow up around that? Or how, like, take us back to even before the jewelry designing phase? Like, what did you like? Did
your mom do that? Did
your family do that? Like, how did you get there to know that, like, I want to work in and be a jewelry designer? Like how does one do that?
I think it's so cool.
Well, well, as a kid, I was creative. And like many little girls, like I loved jewelry and looking at my mom's jewelry box. I feel like like a lot of the designers I mentor that's like in their bio, like, I love playing in my mom's jewelry box. So I do love that. Um, and, you know, I remember more specifically actually, like drawing wedding dresses for my Barbies, or for dolls. I was like five and six. I don't know why that memory. So vivid. And as I kept, you know, growing up. And when I was in high school I went to I was dating this guy, and he's walking me We were just like newly dating is my boyfriend in high school. He was walking me to my art class. He dropped me off at the door. And he's like, our classes are for stupid people and hit like basically build. I looked at him as like, you realize you're dropping me off at a painting class right now. Oh, and so. I mean, I don't think he meant any harm by it. But he was kind of like, playing around with like the art, the art geeks or whatever. And like saying like, he was a science and math nerd and super smart. And I was like, Well, I don't want to be stupid. I want to be smart. So I started to ditch art for a minute. I took a biology class. got an A plus, like I remember at the end of the semester, my my biology teacher calling me His name's Mr. gear, I happen to answer the phone. I'm like, hello. He's like, Can I talk to your parents to Tracy's parents? And I was like, Who the heck is this? Right? And he's like, Mr. gear. And I was like, No, they're not home. They're not home. Did I failed? And it turns out, he's like, why was calling because she got an A plus. And I was like, Oh, well, definitely let them know that you called Thank you. And I was wearing out. So I honestly think that the reason I got a class in that class is because I had artistic talent. And I was good at drawing. Because in biology, a lot of the work that you do beyond learning the science behind how things work together, is actually drawing specimens. So I had this natural creative talent for drawing and stuff like that. So when I went to college, I didn't have a stupid person in my background, like, barking in my ear telling me that art classes are for stupid people. I took a major where I could take our classes as an elective. And that's how I got into jewelry design because my mom had passed away. And I was restructuring my major. And I couldn't be a full time Fine Arts major because I had to work full time and I needed to graduate in two years. That was the only way that I could complete school. Like after the time that she she passed away. And so I found this major It was a random major called European studies and I got to take art classes and spend time and I found this jewelry making class and my teacher was like you have natural talent for this. You should consider this as a career. So I was like, Okay,
and then like and then so how did you find your business partner like okay, like I'm gonna do the story business like you all friends but you said you were friends before and then you're like, Okay,
let's do a jewelry business together.
So that was different because my jewelry company was My own, but I did meet Rob at industry. So I started in 98. And I think I met Robin in 2000, maybe 2006 or 2007, we were in opposite booths at a trade show. And she had just started working for a company called dogeared, jewels and gifts. And she came on as the director of sales. I knew Merlin that one of the owners for many, many years because we had a booth across from each other. And he's like, you got to meet Robin blah, blah, blah, she came over to my booth and gave me like all these merchandising tips on like, ways that I could display the product better so that the people walking by would see it better in the booth house, we became fast friends. And so we just stayed in touch over the years, you know, from doing markets and everything together and trade shows. And when I had the idea to launch flourish and thrive Academy, she had been consulting, she left dogeared because her dad was really sick. And she needed more flexibility in a schedule so that she could be around them and spend time with her family. And so I we were sitting in a jazz club, I was doing a lot, we're doing a glass of wine and watch love, it doesn't play jazz. And I was like Rogoff this idea. Let me run it by you. And she's like, I totally want to be involved. And so she came on as a co founder. And she's still involved with flourish and thrive Academy today. But she we actually parted ways a few years ago, in a full time relationship, because she really wanted to move into mentoring people with wholesale opportunities. And I really wanted to move into a direction and mentoring people really more with digital marketing and online sales and e commerce. So we made a like, basically a conscious uncoupling as you will. And we so yeah, she's still mentors, our community. And you know, I'm super excited when people go to work with her because she's actually a really amazing coach. So if anyone wants to sell products wholesale, and you're wondering how to do it like Robin's the best, you should go find her. Her company's red boot consulting. Yeah, she's got it. Yeah. So it was just to answer your question in a short way, it was just like this random, like conversation we had at a jazz club that turn into a business,
that, but usually that's how most of these things happen.
I mean, it's so funny. So I
love part of your title is like protector of creativity. So like, what does that mean to you?
Well, you know, after being an entrepreneur for so long, I realized and you know, you teach people how to be productive, which is very similar to protecting your creativity, different but similar, okay, I realized that as a CEO of a company, or the chief visionary officer, whatever you want to call yourself, you're required to shift gears, especially when you have a small company, you don't have a shield around you like to protect you. This all this concept was really developed back in when I was in San Francisco sell before I'd moved to New York, probably in 2005, or 2006, I had this epic office space. And I was so excited to move from our 200 square foot office to 1500 square foot office. And we had an open floor plan. It was like the, during the tech boom, and all this stuff. And we're in like a cool hit place in San Francisco. And I loved it because we had this really great culture at the company. But I developed this culture where anyone can interrupt me at any given time of the day, and I felt like the only time I could get work done was if I stayed after everyone left, or if I came in early. And I'm like, That's no way to like really have a life or to grow business. And so I had to start figuring out ways that I could like protect my time, and protect my energy and shield myself from like, all these people asking me questions all the time. And so I started, like, unbeknownst to me, like really putting some semblance of structure in my week in my days and boundaries around my team and my time so that I could spend like my most productive time doing the most, the best work that I could with the things that mattered the most. So, you know, for instance, being a visionary requires you to spend, and being the CEO of a company requires you to spend a lot of time working on strategy. And sometimes it's really hard to fit in strategy in a one hour window between meetings, right? And so thinking, right,
no way,
no way.
Yeah, like, I need a whole day or a week.
Exactly. So this brings me to my next point. So I started doing these things like where I pick one day a week, and it's Wednesdays for me now, where I would, definitely would be on my day. My team knows no interruptions. They're not allowed to ask me questions. I mean, sometimes they do and I'll answer them. But like, I'm really like, trying to be off slack off messaging. And this is my time to be strategic, or work on bigger projects or be creative because sometimes that thinking time I think that anyone who's listening, who's ever been sat down, and started working on something and they're like trying to squeeze something in between like meetings or, or agendas or appointments or making dinner or picking your kids up from school, whatever it might be, like, the best idea comes like two minutes before you have to shift gears. And you don't really have time to let that idea flourish, or really think it out. And so then you stop. And then oftentimes you lose it. If it wasn't well documented. And or when you come back to it, you're kind of like, what was this again, like I forgot. And it's not that all the ideas you come up with are going to be like, the most game changing, but the ideas that you foster during that time, are things that can be built on or collaborated on, or turned into something that actually could change everything. And I can, if I, I can really pinpoint like some of the best ideas or the best models that I've ever created for any of my businesses, because I'm a business for now. That would, that has all come from this creative time and being this protector of my creativity and energy. And it's, it's not easy to do, because it's easy, especially if you're a people pleaser. And I'm a people pleaser, especially if you're a people pleaser, because you want to make everyone happy, and you want to be able to be responsive. And also, if you have a more anxious type of personality, where you're on top of things all the time and like need answers right away, like you can sometimes self talk sabotage yourself by not taking a moment to chill, you know what I mean? So, yep, it's important. And I think that the more people learn how to protect their creativity, the more successful they're going to be, whether they're entrepreneurs, whether they're working for other people, etc. And so, I don't only do this for myself, but I actually teach my team how to do this. And I also teach our students how to do this, because I think it's really important. And there's a lot of ways that you can protect your creativity. One of the ways is creative days. And I like talking about that, because it's something that most people can be baffled by, because they're just like, well, you take a whole day of the week to do. Accepting. Yep.
Well, and it's like, like, we we call them GSD days, like, get shit done. Yeah, but it's like you have to, and but I love that like to protect that time. Like, I just call it straight out time blocking, you know, like, block your time. And which helps like create, you know, the boundaries and all that and it's much harder to do it, then actually do it and then live by it. But also, what I have found, too, is like, we'll block some days. And it's like, Okay, it's time to create content and copy. And I'm like, I'm just not in the mood today.
Exactly. Right. You know, it's
I mean, even recently, I'm like, Well, I'm really tired. I was up all night dealing with my niece, who her boyfriend was like, trying to sneak into my mother's home and like Brooker screen, and like, the alarms went off. And, you know, my mom is too old to be dealing with that kind of bullshit. And so I'm like, I kind of want to strangle my little niece. And I'm like, creativity can like your mood can shift. It's not like, you can just jump into it, like, come up with all this stuff, like you can. But I have found that sometimes when it's, I'm in the shower, I'm like driving down the road, or, you know, it's like, oh, okay, it's not something that like, you can just turn on and turn off. But I love like, time blocking time to actually think and like, be creative. And usually, this would be my favorite days, but when I get eight hours of sleep the night before? Yeah, it's like I want you like need to be what you wouldn't like stand up a client, and you'd like you would get a good night's sleep before the client. So like, why would you do it to yourself and like, do it to your own business. And so I love that, and then it starts from the top down. So if you do it, then your team will be conditioned to do it as well. So did they all do you all do it together? Each of the days? Or do you like divide and conquer?
Now I let them set their own schedule because I can't I don't know when they're going to be most productive. And then also some of them that you know, they work at odd hours because they're, they have kids or you know, like our customer service manager way. She also is a jewelry company. She actually is she was one of our scholarship winners. I love it. Her business is like killing it right now. Yeah, she she's been with us for years. But she she won the scholarship then applied for a position with us grew her business at the same time and wasn't even telling us we were just like, Oh, it's quite nice display software business. And one year we were just talking to her like, yeah, my business is up like 50% or 100%. This year. I was like, What and we even like interview For a testimonial girl, but she like she has odd hours because she has a, like kids and families and school schedule. So she works at odd times, so I can't get there, everyone's kind of got their own schedule. And we're working on different time zones. So I don't require them to like set the days the same as mine. But I do encourage them to have the space in their, their calendar and to also same thing, time block most productive hours for the most productive work kind of stuff. So that they were getting the right things done. Like nothing drives me bonkers then like having meetings, like in the morning for me, I'm like, I can't do it. No, can't do. And since COVID, is out banned. I've been I usually live in New York City, but I moved to Arizona for five months, because my boyfriend lives there. And we're, I thought I was going to be there for six weeks and ended up being five months. And I happen to be back in New York City right now. But it was it threw everything off. Because now my East Coast time schedule, turned into a West Coast time schedule, and everything's happening earlier in the day. And I'm like, I don't like these meetings in the morning. Like, what am I gonna do so interesting, you know, really to adjust based on when you're most productive. Because if you're a night person or a morning person, you want to protect that time for you to get the best stuff done. Yeah, totally. Like,
I'm not a super early morning morning person either. Like, I I feel like I get started when
we are going to bed.
But it's like I've been adjusting to try to get on more of like a schedule. But then it's like,
oh, everything's good for two months. Yeah. And then like something like COVID happens. It's like, well, screw that. That's all out the window.
I just laugh, I just completely laugh. So I totally know what you mean. So you say that all people are creative, even if they don't think they are. And I have some team members that. And we're very different. And we all do like a psychology methodology to understand like, how our brains are wired, and what do we like best doing. And I like to put people in those positions based on that. I mean, we all do show we don't want to do sometimes. But generally people are most happy when they're in the space that makes them happiest. And so like a couple of my like data driven, analytical operational people. They're like, we aren't creative. We don't do design. We don't we they don't do anything creative. So if they listen to this, they're gonna be like, well, how am I creative? So I know that those people like they don't think they are. But what is an example or a story about that?
That is a great, that's a perfect example, actually. So this, this idea of that everyone's creative. I mean, it's, it's the truth. So it's not a an idea, actually, it's the truth. But I was sitting in New York City, I just moved here. My friends were dating this guy, his name's art. And he is in finance. So he's like, Tracy, I'd be happy to kind of look over your numbers and help you with some business modeling and budgeting and projections if you'd like. And I was like, awesome. Let's do it. He's like, Well, let me come down to your office, because he's an analyst. So he does this all day, all day, every day for what he does in finance. So he comes in, he like, asked me a few questions. I give him some of my like, financial reports. He's like, All right, I'll let me check out your office. So he's walking around, and he said something to me, he's like, Oh, my gosh, this is so cool. I'm not creative at all. I don't understand how you can even like, put something together. And I was like, Okay, you know what, I didn't even think twice about it. But a couple days later, he emailed me this like crazy business modeling spreadsheet. And I was just like, what the heck, like you punch it in number one place spits out something else where, like, I'm like, this is so creative, like, I would never have been able to think about how to do this. And I think there's a distinction between artistic ability and creativity. They're different. creative people are can be artists. But just because you're not an artist doesn't mean that you're not creative. Because doing something like that takes, like, uses the right side of your brain to figure out how all the things are hooked up. I mean, there's a lot of right brain activity that's considered more creative, that analytical people use. And so I would call that this type of person, the architect because those analytical people that you're talking about with your team, they're really good at building systems, spreadsheets, like the things that keep a business like structured like my boyfriend, Jason Ayres, is like incredible at this, like he's, he's also visionary too, but he's kind of like this weird hybrid of visionary integrator, like he can see big picture but also understand how all the pieces of the puzzle put together. Like most people's brains don't work like that. They either are like a big picture person or they they're the granular people. It's not both and so on. That's really fascinating. And that's when you start to realize like, Okay, well, many of us have more than one creative type. We might have like, two creative types, like, like, I'm a visionary, an artist. So those are kind of like, the creative types that I plan because I do, like, have a strength for design and all those things. But also, like, I really have a gift for big picture vision and like seeing the future. And it's amazing to me that not all creative people, especially artists don't have that, like, so when you think about it, like everyone expresses their creativity in a different way. And then everyone has like a creative zone of genius. It's just different for everyone.
It that's so true, though.
But like, I feel like we're raised, like in school or something where people like, type us, you know, and it's like, oh, you are this way, and you're this way, or this way. And then you go through life thinking these things. So it's fun to like, backtrack out of it and say, No,
this is very creative. It's just in your own way. But like, as a designer, until I understood the power of numbers and data, and like, why I needed that.
You know,
I would have been like, Oh my gosh, that job is so boring. And now I'm like, Oh, my God, that's the most important thing ever. Because without that, like, we wouldn't know where the hell we're going. Yeah, and it's just it gives you such clarity. When when you know, what is important. So you said that some some of the best things like came out of those creative days, and you said they were game changers, like, Can you share with us like some of the things that came out of those days where you're like, Oh, my God, I started another company and like, built a whole company around that one day.
Well, creators around the world came out of a day like that, because I started sitting away idea, you know, that I figured out in this Brendon Burchard work workshop. And then there it is, you know, here we are, you know, started developing a signature talk and developing a book, I would say the most like tangible thing that I can like, that's most the most recent, is really the methodology in which we teach everything through at flourish and thrive Academy. And I'm writing a book, I actually started writing the book last year, we put it on pause, which I'm so glad we did, because it's evolved so much since then. And it's called the desire brand effect. And the desire brand effect is really like our methodology, or the methodology that I created that I've used. I, gosh, for like 25 years to build successful businesses. It's catered primarily to product based businesses, but it really works for anyone because everyone's got like the same functions in their business. It's just a frame to really think about. Okay, so now I've gotten here. And I've gotten this baseline of, you know, creating desire for my brand are getting like the traffic and eyeballs on my work, sharing desire for my business, which is really getting the sales and conversions and getting people to buy from you again. And that scaling desire piece where you're getting people to, or you're developing the systems and automation in the backend to support everything that you've done. So it can scale without, you actually have to having to physically do extra work. And then all that stuff, it just like continues to layer and layer and layer on top of each other. And so the reason why it's really powerful is because even though I was doing this for so long, I didn't have like a really solid way to communicate it. And so I think when you can really sit down and think about what you do and what you offer as a business, if you're a business owner, or what you are. And you can sit down and think about that anyone can create sort of like their method or their way of doing things, which I think is really powerful. And I'm sure you have something along these lines, too. So that's been really fun. And then also, another thing that came out of creative days was the idea of the creativity types, like I was sitting there, probably prematurely working on my creative world, the world book, and I'm sitting down trying to write it and I realized I was in a little bit of a premature phase for doing this. However, it moved me in a totally different direction, because originally I was going to be writing this book about how to protect your creative energy, which the book is about. But when I really started diving deeper and uncovering the layers, I realized that there's all these different ways to be creative or ways to think about yourself in the terms of being a creative thinker, because everyone is creative, like I said earlier. And so I developed all these creative archetypes and so that came out of a creative day as well which is really powerful. I'm super excited about this.
When do you think it'll come out? You put it on hold? Yeah,
well, I'm trying to get my I want to get a quiz up in By the fall, I don't know for sure if it's going to happen. So we have some more important priorities as a business right now. However, yeah, if I can swing it as a little side project, I will, the book, um, I think, you know, honestly, I plan to have it, like, worked out and pitched it this year to publishers. But COVID happened. And I just realized, you know, this is not the time like it didn't feel right. So I just put it on hold. And like, I'm not much of a procrastinator, or someone who likes to put things off, I'm more of the person who pushes too many things through and then they only get halfway done. So it's really probably, because I do think that this is, it's like an important body of work for me. So I'm excited about it. So my hope is that we complete the desire brand effective book, we're on track to have it done by the fall or early winter. Once that's done once that's to market, we market that and then I work on my book proposal in the spring for this and get it out, hopefully next year.
That is awesome tea. Are
you going to go and do well, depending on COVID? Do you see yourself doing a book tour?
I would love to you know, I'm an extrovert, like an extreme extrovert. And I love being around people. I think the hardest thing for me about COVID is not going to conferences to book openings and stuff like that. So I'd really like to. Because to me, that's like, it's so fun to celebrate with your friends like, yeah, the work that you've created or the work that they've created. So I hope to do that. I don't know for sure, though, because I guess it would depend on like, restrictions, etc,
I'm assuming, though, that if my book does get picked up by a publisher, if it doesn't, I'll just self publish it. I don't care. I'm not super attached to that. But it does get picked, yeah, picked up by a publisher, you know, there'll be a specific timeframe. And I'll also have to market it. So that will require probably events. And by that time, because their timelines are pushed out further, hopefully people will be able to get together again. Gosh, I
hope so. Right, where you will live? Are people starting to get together and do like small things again?
Well, I've been in Arizona for five months, and I'm in New York City right now. But I've only been here for two weeks. And I'm here for one more week. And I'm heading back. So I would say that here two people act different,
like from in Eric, because I know New York I heard was like really bad. Because the cases were so high. But then do they act less panicky, like in Arizona
100%. So your thing, I kept telling my friends because like when I told them I was like, I'm coming to town. They're like, Oh, I don't know if I want to see you like one friend was like, I think like I'm worried about dying. So I'm not going to see like maybe we could just do a phone call. And I was like, perfect. That's fine. Wow, whatever someone's comfortable comfort level is. Then people started realizing like, Oh, she's only here for two weeks or three weeks. Right. And I didn't want to like impose on anyone's I got tested and everything. And I don't want to impose on anyone's like comfort level because obviously that's important. However, like there's so many things that you can do outside here in New York, because it's the summertime that it wasn't really a big deal. Like they have socially distance outdoor dining. And you know, people are wearing masks at the tables and stuff like that. So it's not so freaked out, we did a comedy show in the park and everyone was socially distant. So I definitely feel like in New York, people are way more panicked and worried. And I noticed a marked difference in me being in Arizona, during this whole time and my anxiety level about it. Because I'm certain that if I had been in New York, like I would think I was gonna die too, because like that's the messaging that they're getting here. But in Arizona it it was like much more chill because there's more space. My boyfriend has a bigger house, so it's not super cramped. It's not on top of someone else. There's like open space without houses on top of each other. You can go outside and take a walk. And things opened up more quickly there, including restaurants and stuff. And so it just didn't feel the same. I mean, it definitely felt like we were in lockdown, but once things Yeah, but didn't feel the same. It was definitely different.
It's Yeah, it's so crazy. It's like I'm in Nashville and they'll open things up, and then they'll close them back down. I mean, literally three times. I mean, for six weeks we've gone in. I don't know if New Yorkers Did y'all do phases
yorkist in a lot of phases, like not everything's opened up here yet. Like you can get facials yet or salon treatments like that kind of stuff. You can get your hair done, but like not ran it like certain things. It's weird. It's like it seems a little bit arbitrary. But yeah. Arizona opened up in phases, but they were much quicker. You know, the numbers of the cases were rising a lot in Arizona. So I think people were really worried like I was getting messages from my friend like, are you Worried and I was like, I sit inside a house with like two other people all day, we don't do any work. Right? Like we work loves at the store and we put masks on and then we're back at home like we don't go out. So it's, I wasn't that worried, but I can understand why people would be. It's I mean scary times like I know personally people in my network who passed away and gotten very sick and it's sad. Yeah, the weirdest of time. It's like,
it's a real thing.
It's a real thing. So do you still actually design jewelry? Or do you focus more on just mentoring other creatives?
I definitely still design jewelry. Okay, it's taken a little bit more of a backseat, especially this year, because that I mean, production was closed down. And since I designed one of a kind work, I don't keep inventory. And so it's hard to make jewelry if your jewelry is not working, and you can't get stone. Ah, I do have a couple of projects that I'm working on right now, though. So the answer is yes. I don't do it at the same capacity as I did before. Because as a creative being, like, what I'm inspired by has shifted a little bit. And so while I still love designing jewelry, it's not like the thing that I'm most the most excited about, like what I'm the most excited about is writing these two books. I'd rather focus on that, then. That's awesome. Yeah.
So when you do though, like do you go? Do you normally pre COVID you travel to like all these countries to like, collect like different stones and beads? And like, do you love to do that? Or would you rather like sit down and shop online? Or do you like to touch it and feel it and see it?
Um, it depends on what I'm sourcing. These days. A lot is accessible online. In the early days, I definitely did travel. I mean, even went to India one time to do sourcing and stuff like that. And that's amazing. It's super fun with indie like,
oh my gosh, I highly recommend. It's not for the faint of heart. But I highly recommend that every human who's adventurous go there at least once. Probably not. People who like don't like to travel, because it's hard. It's not an easy place to go. At least when I went I went in 2004. So it's quite a while ago, but okay, it you know, and I'm sure so much is it that's 16 years ago, so I'm sure so much has evolved since then. And far like as far as infrastructure goes, and stuff like that. But the the thing that I remember most about that time was like the people, they're like the most amazing, friendly people. But also, it's disheartening, because there's like a lot of books that document this, but there's a huge like poverty trade that's almost like prostitution, like a poverty, basically like the poverty version of a prostitution ring. Or they forced people into, like poverty for their life. And hopefully, there's been a lot of reform and stuff like that since I've been there. But I definitely did see that, like people who were, you could tell were intentionally dismembered, so that they can roll around on a skateboard without arms and legs. I mean, it was terrible to see with their eyes poked out that were just begging on the street, like weird stuff like that. And so that's terrible to see. But it's also some perspective about the world, like, the United States is relatively safe compared to places like that. And like, we have a lot of opportunity here. And so, yeah, but also, like, it's such a random place to be because there's so so much polarization there. And what I mean by that is like, you could be one place and you're like, feeling so peaceful and like, in the yoga vibe, and then you're in another place and it's like hard city and like you're in another place and it's like very commercial and stuff like that. So there's like so many you go like, different places in Indiana. It's like a totally different vibe. It's a really rich, like and when I say rich, not not necessarily wealthy, rich, but like, just rich. Yeah, culture and country. So it's, it's very interesting. And I love Indian culture. I think it's like the coolest thing ever. So for me, I loved it. I don't know if everyone like if you're not adventurous. It might be hard for you. I think it's a cool place. Yeah.
Yeah, yeah, definitely.
So when you were when you went more into like, the jewelry designing more working with like, private clients, were they asking you to do like very specific things like do you have like a favorite piece to make or like, are you if someone came to you and I don't know if this is like a dream client or nightmare client, or they're like, Oh, you just choose I need to get some gifts. Like do you have people to do that to you? Like, here's some money like just do whatever you think kind of thing or do they give you an idea and You like or they just want you to do it.
So yes and no. I design, my main offering is engagement rings and wedding bands. And then I
guess they're beautiful.
Thank you. I this other article that that is heirloom redesign. So those are like the two main offerings, but I do have people come to me at this one client, who is a friend of my friends, I met him at a wedding. And I met him and his wife at the wedding. And his wife's like, honey, you need to get to know her because she's gonna be designing all my guests. And he's very successful. And I love working with him, because he would just be like, I need to get my wife something for Christmas or anniversary, or whatever. He's like, he was the easiest person, I would draw like five things and source like a couple things. He's like that or that. I don't really care. I'm like, do you have a budget? Nope. Whatever you want.
That, right, sometimes
if you like, so you know, just for gifts, you know? Yeah, you're more you know, it's like he working with someone like that is really fun. Yeah, the best case scenario is someone with like, a nice budget like he had, who gives him just a tiny bit more direction, not design direction, but just like, kin focus it like, hey, I want to get my wife a pair of, you know, an earring and a necklace set or something like that. And then gives me like a cup, like a slight direction. And then I can run with it. It's sometimes harder to design things just like out of nowhere. You weren't really sure, like what to do, but I got to know them well enough that it wasn't a big deal. My favorite thing to really design though, are the engagement rings and wedding bands. Because I love being like, story, you know?
Yeah. Well, and like I was looking at some of your work and like, some of your videos, and every single thing that I see is so custom and like, but it matches. And so like I see people getting kind of like obsessed with like what you do, because it's like, oh my god, they want to pass it down. You know, like to their kids and generations and like it's an heirloom and because everything is so unique. And like, I'm sure people get so many compliments, like, Oh my gosh, your ring is beautiful. Because they're so unique. It's just everything is, is gorgeous. And so like I was just wondering, do you do you do a lot of like, bridesmaids gifts,
if they if you end up doing the ring as well, or like earrings or necklaces or anything like that.
I that was my original business model back in the day really, really in the late 90s. I used to do a ton of bridesmaids jewelry. And I don't do much bridesmaids jewelry these days, primarily because of the price point. So back in the day in the 90s. That was my original business model. Like I was doing mostly bridal parties and designing jewelry for them. Nowadays, not as much because of the price point. Because most people aren't buying like thousands of dollars worth of jewelry for their bridesmaids. And so it can become a little cost prohibitive. If they have like one and they're getting a special piece then sometimes I have done it.
Yeah. The well that's what I was working with a tech company, but they wanted to it was actually like a very cute idea. They like wanted to do this giveaway. And they had this and I don't know if you would think like this is cooler like this is really bad to do. I don't know, I want to get your opinion. But like they had these big, beautiful, like rock gems. And basically you like shattered, you shattered them. And then like it would be like each you know if you had 10 bridesmaids, which in the south, my gosh, that's what people use. And like each of them would have a piece of that stone. And like the only way that you could ever fit that stone back together is if all 10 girls were together and like they put their necklace together. And so I'm like that's a really cute idea. But then from a designer perspective with different jewelers is some of the jewelry people that the the girl that had the idea talked to and they were like, Oh no, I would never do that. I would never like crush up a gym or a stone like that. And I'm like I clearly don't know this industry like at all. Sorry,
is that bad?
Is that bad to do?
I think the reason why they're probably saying that is because if you find a piece of rough, which is what they're doing is they're taking like a big piece of rough and smashing it like if there is like quality material on there. You wouldn't want to do not smash it up. You want to use the whole piece because if you're getting a piece of stone that's that big. Yeah, it would be. It was you wouldn't cut it up that way. So and also like, what like you to find a piece of rough that big for 10 bridesmaids? Like it's not Yeah, right, frankly, probably not that possible, right. And then you might shatter it. And then you might like, basically busted into smithereens. So that that could be one reason. The other thing is that literally, you're working on a custom project for every single piece, because the stepping stone setting can be standardized. And so it's a pain. So unless it was like a wire wrap necklace, or something with like, an open form prong setting, where it was just like, a bunch of like, you could open up like a star, and then you like, wrap the claws around the piece. It might be a little bit more, like difficult to make something like that. So it could be for any of those reasons.
I gotcha.
I just, I mean, I didn't ask a bunch of questions. It was just like, okay, we should we probably shouldn't do that they, you know, know what they're doing. So I have one last question for you from just a business perspective, how did you get into the e commerce space? Did you take? Did you learn it because you needed to with your business, or you wanted to teach other people how to do it? Or it's just like, you feel like as a business owner, you need to know about digital marketing? Because like, I keep getting these questions from people, like, how much do they really need to know about digital marketing and e commerce? And, you know, I mean, my, my views are kind of skewed. It's like, it depends on what you're doing. But how did you really become awesome at it.
So my company is built around a team, I'm not someone who knows everything about everything. So I'm just going to put that out there. So I started learning ecommerce, back in the, like 2000 678. And nine, like before, it was like really a big thing. And I can't tell you that my skills were super sharp back then, however, selling online is started becoming more and more important at that point in time. So it was always a viable business model. And when I started my new company, selling direct to consumer doing this custom work, well, it wasn't an e commerce brand, I met the majority of my clients on the internet. So I knew the power of using your website as a sales tool, and how important that is for exposure as a brand, especially when the markets evolving because in 2008, when everything crashed, like the wholesale market took a tank and what we're experiencing now with COVID and shut downs and the economy kind of like being the in the cyclical way like this, the markets are strong, however, commodities are up, which means that the dollar is weakening, and then people are out of work. So depending on who you talk to you, some people are fine, because they're still working their jobs, they're just working remote, other people are out of jobs. And when there's lack of confidence, like gold, like commodities, markets, like gold and stuff start to go up, because that's what it feels like a safer investment for people than actually investing in the dollar like having like a tangible resource. And so with that being said, during that time in 2008, like the way that the people that survived were the ones who weren't highly leveraged in wholesale, they had a more direct to consumer face. And so I realized that as I was moving forward as a business owner that the more you were able to reach your customers directly without having to meet them in person, or go to a trade show, or fight for the wholesales counterspace, or whatever it might be, the more like this more strength your business would have. Because in a time like this, like think about it, like all these stores were closed for weeks, and some of them are still like trying to recover, they lost all that revenue in New York City or walking down the street. And so many of the businesses are closed, like and they might never reopen, because being out of revenue for that long and having to still be committed to a lease and stuff like that can be devastating. And so that's like a long answer to kind of like how I got into it, but like, now more than ever, like anyone, especially in particular with a product based business, but any business in general, needs to have a strong website that is used as a sales tool for driving revenue in the company. And so
with that over the past two years, I'm like, are I basically just sort of thinking, Okay, so how long was the economy strong before 2008 happened before the previous recession or dip in our economy and it wasn't even that long. It was maybe like seven years, if you consider 911 and then other, you know, downturns that we had during that time, or the tech boom, or tech bomb, I should say. Yeah, so I could tell we were gonna experience some sort of correction because I can economies have cycles. They're not always in a boom They go up and down over time. And so the one thing I knew that people who were really diving, hardcore into wholesale and not diversifying their revenue streams, were going to get hit hard. Plus, people's buying habits have changed. And so about two years ago, I started talking about this, we started develop, we developed up, we developed a program around it at that point, it was called SLS, we just rebranded it's called momentum now to teach jewelry and creative brands how to leverage their the power of e commerce and selling online and using their website as a tool, regardless of their business model, if they're selling a product, there's many ways to use your website, to reach their customers directly. And also to leverage all your other sales channels to because your website is powerful. And so that's like, really how it started. And so I just, I personally started consuming everything I was mentoring people on how to do it. I love digital marketing, and I love strategy. And thinking about how you can use like all the different layers of things that you can do for digital marketing, and back that up with advertising and content, etc. And so while the methodology like evolves with the coming times, like one thing's for sure, like if you don't have a sales channel where you can meet your customers directly, and it's through the internet, like, I think now more than ever, is like the wake up call that people are having, like they have to have it. Because the company has listened like the companies in our community that listened to me and really started building this. They've been fine. Some of them have taken like a slight like, you know, step back in the revenue, because maybe they lost some of their shows. But the ones who kept pushing the wholesale and blowing off the online sales, because it seemed harder, are the ones that are really suffering. They're the ones you see online, like having a panic attack saying like, please buy my stuff, you know, because they're worried about keeping their doors open. And so my hope is that everyone who is listening to this podcast, feels comfortable just like putting themselves out there. And so no, you don't necessarily have to have e commerce or some digital marketing strategy. But I would tell you that your business is going to be much stronger, you figure out how to get it to work for you.
Yeah. And I think like in March, when I mean literally over and in two days, you know, it's like, okay, all this is gone. And then all of a sudden, it's like people are coming out of the Woodworks who own brick and mortars, and they have women's fashion jewelry, shoes, hats, and I mean, they relied on tourism 100%. And they are flipping out. And I'm just like, Gus, I I'm happy to help you. But like, get in line. I'm just saying. And like, this doesn't happen overnight. Like we need to sit down, we need to do a strategy. Like we, like literally whiteboard out the customer experience, which takes a week or so probably. Yeah. And they're like, No, no, we don't need to do all that. Like, we just just get that Shopify cart shopping cart up there. And I'm like, Oh, my God is not that easy. Like you don't understand. Oh, just like trying to get people to understand like, it's so much more than, like, first off, do you have any of your shit photographed? Yeah. Not on your cell phone. So let's just start there. You know, and so it's like, they don't even think about these things. They just think like, I want to put up a website on e commerce because I'm not making money. And I don't know when my store is gonna open back up. So like, my whole thing is like, don't wait until another recession or another tragedy. Because yet, like you said, a lot of these places will never recover. They'll never open back up. So and
I was gonna say there was a store that we were in. And when we were in Sun Valley, we went to go visit my family briefly. Social distance, all safe and everything. But yeah. And we were in the store. And it was like the best store and like it was owned by like an older couple. And the man was like, a little standoffish. When we first came in, he's like, like, I pulled my mask down. Like, it's my mouth or something. He's
like, that mask back on. I
was like, all right, buddy, like Joelle? You know, whatever. Great. And we bought a bunch of stuff. And we're like, you know, this stuff is so great. You have a website, they're like, No, you like, they honestly said, like, if we couldn't have opened up the store, if we weren't able to open up the store by this weekend, we didn't know if we were gonna reopen ever, because we just didn't know if we can make it and they're like, the learning curve for them because they're a little bit older to get the site up, feels really huge. And I'm like, do it you have like great product the store has to live on and that's like, the thing that people don't understand is you can use it as a multi revenue stream strategy if you're doing it right.
Mm hmm. Did you give them your card and say please contact me to help you like I can help you. I like Seriously, I mean, it's like when you're just out out, randomly shopping, you know, it's like, oh my gosh, if you'll just hang with me and learn a little bit like, you don't need to know everything, but you've got to follow a process. Like, that's the most important thing. There has to be a process and a strategy to all this. So I could like, talk to you forever about digital, like, Oh, my God. But I do want you to tell everybody, you have a free visionary, like protect your energy type of download. And so we'll put it in the show notes. But I want you to tell everybody what that is. Because I think it's awesome.
Awesome. It's called the visionary code. And you can grab it over at creatives world a, forward slash VC. And it's just an audio download. And it's basically five really constructive things that you can do to protect your creativity. And listen to it every day if you want to. And it's a way to create structure in your day, protect your energy, be more creative, and use that to make more money. Because at the end of the day, the reason why you're protecting your creativity is so that you're like in that zone of being able to like, be financially, like awesome.
Yeah. And stable. All of it. Like,
I know a lot of people right now they're like, stable. What's that? And I'm like, Well, if you have an online business, you know, like there is so stability, they're like, yeah, sales went down for one month, but like, then people realize, like, Oh, my God, I need help. So, this is awesome. Well, we will put everything in the show notes, because there's lots of great things, you guys there's flourish, thrive, there's creatives ruled the there's Tracy So there's lots of ways that people can go and connect and like see all the awesome stuff and then also know that they can sign up for the waitlist for the book, right? Yes. And I desire brand effect, calm. And then do you have like one favorite social platform that people can reach out on? I know you have all the all the handles, but usually I feel like people have like one favorite
Instagram, find me on Instagram at Tracy Matthews and why.
Gotcha. Awesome. Love it. Thank you so much for your time today. This is awesome, and super insightful. And everyone that's listening. Thank you so so much for your time. And I know you got lots of nuggets and lots of takeaways, you might want to go back and take some notes if you're driving because I know a lot of people listening are driving back and forth. Make sure that you take the time y'all to reflect and implement on some of this stuff. Because if you don't create time to be creative, and if you don't protect that time, you're never gonna thrive by design. So I hope everybody has a great day and I will talk to you next week. Be sure to tune in for another episode of business unveiled.
Have a great day. Bye.
That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show. And leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela slash podcast and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights. And I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember, the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business, help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD!


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