Today we’d like to introduce you to Jocelyne Chavarin.
Hi Jocelyne, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My small business began like many others in the middle of the pandemic. I was laid off from my teaching job and found myself suck at home just like everybody else, needing a creative outlet. I remember seeing a video about working with polymer clay, and I turned to my husband and told him, “I’m going to start a business, and I’m going to start selling handmade earrings. I don’t know how to make them yet, but I will.” The next morning I went online, ordered what I thought were the basics, and I started practicing. I also sat down and jotted what seemed like 100 possible names for my small business. I decided on “Chava Chic.” I chose this because “Chava” in Spanish is slang for girls, and it is also part of my last name, Chavarin. Together, Chava Chic means “chic girl,” and that really embodies what I want my earrings to represent.
The first couple batches of earrings were far from perfect, but even at the very beginning, I received a lot of positive feedback. I had about 20 pairs of earrings ready to sell and an Instagram page set up, but I couldn’t find the courage to post my earrings and sell them. After a lot of overthinking and a little motivational speech from my husband, I went ahead and posted my first earrings. After a couple of months of selling exclusively through Instagram, I started doing events and started a website. At the beginning of this year, I heard that there would be available spaces at the Art Hub in Barrio Logan. I was so excited about this possible opportunity since I spent a large part of my childhood in Barrio Logan, and “Walk the Block” was also the first event I ever attended. I am very grateful that everything worked out, and I am now part of the Art Hub family and a small shop owner.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Although I have had an amazing small business journey, it hasn’t always been a smooth road. At the beginning, I was so excited about learning to work with clay and was so focused on creating that I didn’t really pay attention to how much money I was spending and generating. Once I began investing in business cards, earring cards, advertisements, events, and different materials in order to expand my business, I realized just how much money goes into owning and running a small business.
After a lot of research, and unfortunately, a lot of months of not earning a profit, I was able to organize myself and budget, so I could actually receive earnings from my labor. Time management is also a big part in running a business. I have always considered myself a very organized person who loves structure and routines. At one point, however, creating earrings definitely began to take more and more of my time until I was finding that I didn’t have time for anything else. Once I opened up my shop, I made the decision to assign myself some “days off.” Although it’s almost impossible not to do anything related to my business on those days, I really take two days out of the week to focus on other aspects of my life. This has not only been great for lowering my stress levels, but it also reenergizes me, which makes me feel motivated to create, and run my business.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Chava Chic?
I specialize in creating handmade earrings. I began using polymer clay exclusively, but over time I have incorporated different materials and styles in order to cater to everybody. I like to mix polymer clay with brass accents, wicker/rattan with acrylic accents, and I make sure to create neutral tones for everyday wear, but I also have fun colors and different designs. I always try to create earrings based on the seasons.
For summertime, I have a lot of nature-inspired earrings, as well as bright colors. I have made earrings for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and even for Breast Cancer Awareness. I believe that what sets me apart from different businesses is the price point of my items. It has always been my goal to keep my items affordable, so I put myself in the shoes of a consumer and make sure not to overprice my items. I put so much good energy and thought into my pieces and sincerely love what I do. Every time I see somebody wearing my pieces, it makes my day. The fact that my customers spend their hard-earned money on my pieces is incredible. It makes me so grateful to be in this position.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
I have been really blessed to have many supporters and cheerleaders along the way. I don’t think that I would have found the courage to start my small business without the support of my husband. Although he looked at me a little shocked when I said I was going to start a business, he has always encouraged me to continue. He always drove me to events, helped me set up, and even helped me knead some clay when I needed help.
My brother has also been very encouraging. He was quarantined with us during the start of the pandemic, and he and my husband always joked about wanting to have some “stock” in my business since they knew it would grow and do well. I really appreciate all the motivation my family has offered because starting a business and putting yourself out there is very intimidating and at times, scary. I have been blessed to have amazing clients who are always kind and very motivating. I have also made many new friends along the way. It is great to have people that know exactly what you’re going through because they are going through it as well. Being around like-minded, positive, and encouraging people has really been a blessing to my life.
- Most of my earrings range from $6-$16
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: chavachic.com
- Instagram: @chava.chic