Kathleen Gallagher had no idea that her 25 years as an accountant would parlay into running her own business. She simply enjoyed sourcing materials and making jewelry for family and friends.
“I was unable to work and took up several hobbies, but the jewelry making stuck and I was making more than I needed or could give away,” she explains. “My son and my friend said, Why don’t you start a business?”
The result was Celtic Mink Jewelry, founded 7 years ago and named for her Irish heritage and her pet minks, who she fondly remembers as mischievous and always stealing her trinkets to keep for themselves. What wasn’t being stolen was destroyed by her pet ferrets, which inspired her to create affordable but durable pieces that her customers wouldn’t have to stress about.
“I try to make jewelry that will be portable, pretty, [and] distinct so that it says something,” she says.
Gallagher first thought of selling at craft shows but was unable to go due to health issues, so she then concentrated on selling online. Her Facebook store opened six years ago, and she hasn’t looked back since.
“I sell on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Poshmark and Facebook,” she says. There was just one obstacle: “Keeping track of inventory on all those venues and keeping the inventory aligned is a nightmare. I found inventory control was my biggest challenge. Cross posting on so many venues, it’s easy to oversell. I did that last Christmas.”
Gallagher then searched for inventory management software but couldn’t find any solutions that worked as advertised. But as a former QuickBooks specialist during her accounting days, she was intrigued by Webgility’s capabilities and the team’s QuickBooks certifications.
“Webgility was easy to set up and was working within minutes of being downloaded. When I ran into problems, tech support solved it within 30 minutes.”
Soon, Celtic Mink Jewelry had three sales channels connected with Webgility and got the business organized in time for Black Friday. It’s one less hassle for Gallagher, who mostly runs the entire operation on her own.
“You have to do all the listings. …You have to edit the photography. You have to make the photography acceptable so that your stuff doesn’t look like crap. You have to do the social media. You have to do the advertising. You find out about search engine optimization and keywords. You find out the culture on Etsy is different than the culture on the venue of Amazon or eBay or Facebook or again, Poshmark—they’re all different,” she says.
Despite having more projects than hours in a day, Gallagher has taken the entrepreneurial lifestyle in stride and enjoys the control she has over her days, the ability to be creative, and her fellow crafters who provide support and advice when she needs it.
“When something is changing, I can change with it much quicker than if I worked in a bigger company. I work with other women that are crafters that when I get backed up or I need a play-date for running ideas past somebody, I’ve got places to go and people that are helpful.”
Now, with her biggest obstacle cleared, Gallagher can enjoy her pets, her jewelry making hobby, and—most importantly—running her own business even more than before.