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Conversations with Susan Mayer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Mayer.

Hi Susan, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
It all began when a friend came over for a play date with our young kids. She brought some jewelry-making tools and as soon as I picked them up I felt like I had something to say. I started with about $300 and bought a few tools and some vintage pieces because that’s what I loved about the creative process. I started to wear the pieces, my mom started where the pieces, and people started to ask about them.

I had a trunk show in my home a few months later and it was a huge success. The next big step was to try and sell it into a boutique. And from there it started to get photographed. It grew very organically because I was a mom first and the beauty of this business was that I was able to make time for it when I wasn’t busy with the kids

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Entrepreneurship is tricky. The road is never terribly smooth at all times. We start a business because we love to do one particular thing. In this case, I love designing jewelry. But that’s not the only thing that makes a business successful.

There’s marketing, admin, inventory, sourcing, designing, etc. I feel like a champion when I can get two of these things done in a day. It rarely happens.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
74 HARLEY STREET specializes in using fun and interesting vintage pieces. I work with a wide variety of components from brooches and dress clips to pocket watches, pocket knives, pocket watch fobs, coins, and gaming tokens. I love to create beautiful things with my hands.

And it’s very satisfying to be able to wear them immediately. I don’t have a background in the arts so my education has really been in the marketplace and on the ground.

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk-taking?
Risk is a tricky thing. It’s all about the decisions you make and the consequences of those decisions. I feel like I’m a mom first so when I work, the opportunity cost is low because I’ve done my main job first.

Also, I have tried to not put my business in a situation that jeopardizes a whole lot. In return, I may have missed some great opportunities.

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