Today we’d like to introduce you to Maya Williams.
Maya, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In the summer of 2016, my youngest son, Xavier, (8 years old at the time) wanted to do something together to make a little money. He was interested in making bracelets, so my creative juices started going. Little did he know, I used to make bracelets as a kid, so I was ready to take over. I mean help him build a small business. Arm Candy was born. We started designing pieces for kids- boys and girls, and also for women. We marketed it to family and friends and then we decided to take the show on the road. We set up at several farmers markets in the area and had a great time showing our work and meeting new people.
We spent a lot of time together, shared ideas, and even made a few dollars in the process. Just as the summer was winding down, so was Xavier’s excitement for the business. He wanted to spend more time playing Minecraft and hanging out with friends. So instead of closing up shop. I was laid off. (Plot twist) Just as school was about to start and Arm Candy was about to close, a little bad news turned into good news. With a background in marketing, communications, and event planning, I was able to utilize my professional skills and experience and really take Arm Candy to another level.
I changed the market base for children to women, the designs from adolescent to mature, and moved from farmers markets to expos and conferences. Arm Candy is now in five stores in Texas and has been shipped as far away as Canada. Arm Candy has become my full-time job, which has allowed me to spend more time at home with my kids and husband. I have an oldest who is graduating high school this year, so having the opportunity to spend the last couple of years with him has been great.
While I do miss the consistency of corporate life, I am thoroughly enjoying the flexibility of running my own business.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Entrepreneurship is never smooth. The road is bumpy with twists, turns, detours, roadblocks, and more! A couple of my main struggles were finding my target market and figuring out how to reach them. It took a lot of trial and error to create the designs, identify events and retailers, and speak the language of the Arm Candy buyer.
As a creative, it is sometimes hard to stay focused. You just want to create, create, create. I have found that there has to be a balance. In the beginning, I created designs as they came to me, but more recently, I have taken a more controlled approach.
Each season I create three to four collections. This helps my consumers have a comfort in knowing what to expect. But then I have a custom side to my business, which fulfills my creative needs. I receive more custom orders than regular orders. Even my retailers have custom wholesale lines exclusive to their store and customer base. I know I still have a few more bumps in the road to smooth out, but for now, things are going great.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Arm Candy – what should we know?
Arm Candy is a business that specializes in handmade jewelry. The bracelets are created with beautiful, natural and dyed gemstones that each have a spiritual meaning. The meditation/prayer malas are also handmade and hand-knotted with natural and dyed gemstones and created with specific intentions. My handmade tassel earrings are made with colorful silk or nylon tassels to complement the Arm Candy bracelets and necklaces.
My most popular items right now are the lava stone essential oil diffuser bracelets. These bracelets are made with porous lava stones, on which a few drops of essential oil can be placed, and accented gemstones. The meaning of the stones, along with the healing powers of the oils makes this bracelet doubly beneficial.
From what I’ve experienced, what sets me apart is that my jewelry is not only beautiful but also functional. I have many customers who tell me what they’re going through and want to have a bracelet created with certain gemstones to help them with that part of their life. I have several clients with autistic children who, for example, request jade to be part of their bracelet design as it is known to be a calming stone. I like knowing that my Arm Candy really helps people, whether as a functional piece of jewelry or as a statement piece.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Of course, Xavier, my son for coming up with the idea. My husband has been my greatest supporter. He has helped invest in supplies, be my security guard, my mover at vendor events, my cheerleader, and my foundation. My husband could have made me feel like this was just a little hobby until I found another job, but he really understands that this is a full-time business. I also credit my close friends for believing in my business and helping me to continue to push forward, especially on days where I wanted to give up.
- Website: www.ArmCandyTexas.com
- Phone: 2143027712
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/armcandytx
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/armcandytexas1