Getting 100+ Clients Thanks To A T-shirt

Updated: July 10th, 2021

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This Korean-American made her dream come true and built a multimillion-dollar jewelry company

Jina initially launched Girls Crew while she was still an undergraduate college student. During this time, she sold both jewelry and clothing at a variety of flea markets around Los Angeles and even the Bay Area, multiple times each month. Showcasing at these flea markets really allowed her to not only build a strong customer base and gain brand recognition but to also learn what it’s like to run a business.

This experience helped her recognize how much the customers were responding more to my jewelry over the clothing she was also selling.

After 3 years and a half running the business, her business has achieved some pretty impressive numbers:

  • 275K email subscribers
  • 526K followers on Instagram
  • 104K followers on TikTok
  • 310K visitors average monthly website visitors
  • 85% eCommerce vs 15% wholesale
  • Distribution in Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, and Local Eclectic

But before Jina, there have been other hugely successful starters that have shared their stories with us:

  • You think jewelry always means using gold, silver or other precious metals? That’s because you haven’t met KC, the co-founder of QALO. They’re known for creating the functional wedding ring and since 2013 they have generated over $100M in sales. He gave us a great interview, not just interesting for people in the jewelry business but for anyone that wants to learn about ecommerce, creating a community and much more.

  • Lindsay and Courtney are two sisters from Miami who started making handmade real flower and resin jewelry. Within their first 3 months, they sold over 100 orders, resulting in more than $3,000 in revenue. By the end of the first year, they had sold over 2,300 orders, resulting in more than $65,000. And all that just through Etsy, they don’t even have a website.

  • Alex is a teacher who followed his passion and started making rustic-styled, outdoor and nature-themed handcrafted jewelry. Between sales at the markets and online, he makes $3K per month.

Starting a jewelry-making business requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and most importantly passion.

If you're interested in how to sell handmade jewelry, or selling handmade jewelry online, you should definitely check out our guide with all the info.

Running a $1M/year wedding photography studio like a startup

Pranesh is a first-generation entrepreneur and the Founder of Studio 31, a company that has worked with over 4500 clients in 12 years. These are some pretty big numbers for a photography studio, and pretty hard to achieve, to be honest. And that’s why I wanted to talk to you about it, because instead of running the business in a traditional way, Pranesh treats it like a startup.

In the early days, he shamelessly marketed himself and created attention wherever he went. This t-shirt that he designed and printed, generated at least 100 bookings, for free. Yes. Free.

Getting 100+ clients thanks to a T-shirt

He also shares some pretty interesting strategies on how he created and grew a team of “full-time contractors” and other clever marketing tactics. A lot of great learnings from a 12 years journey, highly recommended read.

Even though the wedding photography business is huge, there are many spaces where you can put to work your skills:

Bonus: I know the photographer’s job is hard and I also know that email is key to deal with prospects and customers, that’s why I created these 40 essential email templates for photographers (You can probably use them for other businesses too).

Quote of the week

"Taming your fears is also essential as it hinders you a lot and invites its buddy procrastination. Honestly, the best thing you can do is to work on your mindset and decouple your self-esteem and confidence from the things you publish.”

Jens Boje - Founder, FeedLetter

Running a $3.5K/mo WordPress maintenance service

Gavin used to build sites for my own little projects or friends and family. He also created and ran 2 forums, one of which has 480K posts. This turned to be an advantage for him, it was a market to approach directly. He started marketing to those business owners with website design services that also came with ongoing maintenance.

What started with Gavin and his 5-years-old laptop on a dining table, has expanded into over fifteen years of experience in the WordPress industry – both in WordPress maintenance and hosting.

Starting a business by yourself might seem scary, I did it myself and it was, but there are many solo founders that have started successful businesses. Read the below interviews to get inspired and learn from their journeys:

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Thanks for reading!


meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.