Laurel Ryan is the owner and creator of the Cape company Nautically Northern. A local and lovely jewelry brand right on Cape Cod. The beautiful crafted pieces are all designed to help you show off what means the most to you. Each item is hand stamped, which makes no two piece of jewelry alike. "In the past year and a half, we have been able to donate over $2000 to the Red Cross and expand distribution to over 20 stores in 5 states, with more being added all the time. We hope to keep growing and be able to partner with more charities in the future." It truly is such a beautiful and selfless thing when a passion can also turn into helping others. Laurel has invested so much time and care into her work, it's hard to believe that she is really a one-woman show.
You recently responded to our CC entrepreneur post, what is your big picture for yourself for your entrepreneurial endeavors?
"My big picture for my entrepreneurial endeavors is to grow Nautically Northern into a recognizable national brand!"
How did you originally get involved in this practice?
"I was interested in starting a business and after being inspired by some jewelry that I saw in shops on the Cape, I decided to start my own line. After a few trial and error runs, I got the hang of it and started making pieces for friends and family. The reaction that I received was so positive that I decided that I was going to turn the jewelry into a business."
Is there a story behind the name Nautically Northern?
"At first I wanted to start a business designing nautical themed T-shirts. It was hard finding someone to bring my sketches to life so then Nautically Northern turned into a hand stamped jewelry company."
What motivated you to want to become a business owner?
"I love being able to control my own success. I also love being able to empower whoever wears my jewelry. The business has allowed me to meet so many incredible people that I am always excited to work."
What do you see as your biggest challenge?
"My biggest challenge is being a one-person operation. Family and friends help out when I really need it, but the majority of the work is done by me. I also have a full-time job and teach Zumba two nights a week, so balancing everything I want to do with Nautically Northern has resulted in some sleepless nights."
What do you see as your biggest success?
"My biggest success actually just occurred a few days ago. I was accepted into the handmade collection at AmericasMart in Atlanta this July. Exhibiting at AmericasMart will hopefully help Nautically Northern get into some of our target market areas that we have not been able to reach yet."
What sets you apart from other homemade jewelry companies?
"The fact that all of our items can be customized and the fact that we donate money from all purchases back to the Red Cross is really what sets us apart."
I noticed that your company has a strong partnership with Red Cross, can you elaborate a little more on this? How did this come to be?
"When I was in college I served on the Red Cross Blood Services Board of Directors as the Student Representative. When I graduated I was asked to sit on the South Eastern Mass, Cape and Island Board of Directors. Since joining the board I have been able to work with the Service to Armed Forced, Disaster Relief, and the Blood Service divisions of the Red Cross. I am currently a Supervisor for the Barnstable, Plymouth, and Bristol County Disaster Action Teams. We provide emergency relief to individuals in need after a disaster. The American Red Cross does so much more than just blood donations which I think most people do not know about. So many people that I have met have their own stories about how the Red Cross has touched their lives; from a blood recipient to someone who has received disaster assistance, to a solider that has been able to come home from duty for an emergency at home. As a business owner, I wanted to be able to give back to a cause that touches so many peoples lives across the nation and the world including my own."
On the “Where to Buy” page, you’re in a variety of stores (love it), so does this mean any order that you need custom made is placed directly on the website? Do you pick it up in store or is it delivered?
"All of the stores listed on the "Where to Buy" page have all of their own lines. We work with shops to create custom collections tailored to their customers. Some may have items we offer on the website but many times they will have a custom saying that they have requested. We have taken custom orders from shops for customers as well. In that case, the shop will take the order, we will send it to the shop and the customer can come pick it up in store."
I also noticed you have upcoming events! Is there anything you can tell us that we’ll see? (Without giving anything away of course ;) )
"We will be at Provincetown Fashion Week as part of their Accessories Opening Party and all of the LoveLocal Fests this year. We have a few more events in the works that we will have on our site as soon as they are confirmed! Our brand new Home Collection will be available at all the events this summer."
What is one piece of advice that you would give individuals who want to get started as an entrepreneur in the future?
"Don't give up, success doesn't happen overnight. Just because it hasn't gone the way you wanted to, doesn't mean you should quit. Stick with it, stay positive, and keep working and it will happen."
This summer is going to be full of unforgettable memories, so you might as well look fabulous while creating them!
We cannot wait to see what she'll have in store for everyone in the next coming months.
See you next Wednesday when we issue our weekly post on Chikchat!
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