Name: April Hall
Business: April May Jewelry
Founded: September 2015
April Hall had been a hairstylist for years before she unexpectedly discovered her talent for jewelry-making. Determined to pursue her dream of turning her new-found passion into a solvent business, April put in her time at a metal shop near her home in Oakland, CA. Her dedication paid off, and for the past two years, April has supported herself by designing gorgeous, hand-crafted jewelry for her business, April May Jewelry. Even more inspiring? April has built a “purpose-based” brand and happily donates 5% of her profits to organizations supporting survivors of domestic abuse.
April will be selling her beautiful April May Jewelry at the Bazaar at this year's SOLD OUT QB Connect 2017 in San Jose.
April, tell us how you went from hairstylist to jewelry designer?
When I moved to the Bay Area six years ago, I didn’t have a full roster of salon clients, and I needed a hobby. One day, I visited a friend at her metal-working studio and was completely blown away. I couldn’t believe metalwork was a “thing.” I knew I wanted it to be a part of my life. I became obsessed! I watched videos, practiced my skills constantly and eventually got the hang of making jewelry.
My designs for April May Jewelry are based on classic metalworking techniques, and I work primarily in brass and silver. I’m inspired by architecture, textiles, clean lines and things I see and interact with in my daily life. My goal is creating jewelry that I love and want to wear myself. Whenever I try to mimic what’s trendy, I wind up with pieces that aren’t as as popular with my customers. I’ve learned that sticking to what I think looks best is the right way for me to design.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’d love to be in the workshop all day designing jewelry, but as a one-woman business owner, there are always other things to do, too. In the morning, I finish up orders, go to the post office, order supplies and get my calendar straight. I attend a lot of vendor events as well. Through the holiday season, I’ll be at three or four craft fairs and similar events each week.
Tell us more about your decision to run a “purpose-based” brand.
On my blog last year, I shared my own experience dealing with domestic abuse. I announced I was going to be donating part of my profits to W.O.M.A.N. Inc. (Women Organized to Make Abuse Nonexistent, Inc.) and the One Love Foundation, both organizations that support survivors of domestic abuse.
Since I told my story, many women have approached me and told me that they’d been through something similar. Domestic abuse isn’t talked about enough, and it’s essential to me to shine the light on what survivors really look like. They’re not weak or frail. They’re powerful. I’ve dedicated myself to this cause over the past year, and donating 5% of my profits is a way I can give back. I’m also working on a new project where I’m going to feature survivors telling their stories.
What’s it like for you to work for yourself?
Supporting myself by doing what I love is gratifying and amazing. I’m so proud of where I am now with my business. It’s scary being your own boss, but building something on your own gives you a whole new level of confidence. You realize you have the skills to take care of yourself no matter what.
What do you hope to gain from attending QB Connect?
I’m not an expert in business at all! I’m a total sponge at this point, so I can’t wait to get information and helpful tips from the speakers and the other attendees about the best way to run April May Jewelry.
Wondering more about what it's like to run a purpose-based business? Visit with April at QuickBooks Connect this November. Or get the conversation started right here in the reply section below!
"I'm a total sponge" - I love that! April says she's no expert in business, but her willingness to push forward and learn along the way bodes well for her continued success. It's ok not to know everything all at once. I'm sorry I missed her at QB Connect last November!