Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

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Summer with Franky’s Week 8

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 11:40 pm

Shop Franky’s officially launched last week! Moria and I spent hours working on our new website, trying to make it look as professional as possible, and I believe it has paid off. We have received so many compliments. The website was also such a great benefit to our sales. We made over $800 on the day of the launch!

Since then, things have been winding down a little because Moria is in the process of moving to Austin. We have been coordinating how I will continue to work for her with 1,250 between us! I am excited to continue my work with Franky’s and the WS branch.

Summer with Franky’s Week 6 & 7

Saturday, July 25, 2015 4:46 pm

Business with Franky’s has been booming! I have been dedicating the majority of my time these past two weeks to creating our new website which will launch shortly and managing our social media. We have also had a few photo shoots that have produced amazing pictures!!

Moria, the founder of Franky’s, recently decided to move to Austin, TX, so we have also been doing a lot of strategic planning– How will we work between NC and TX? How will Moria manage Franky’s with a full time job? What are our next steps before Moria’s move?–This has been complicated, but it will also be great for Franky’s to spread its roots!

Another big step Franky’s is taking is selling at wholesale to retailers! I have been designing the line sheets to give to the retailers. This has been an interesting process because I have been learning so much about business and sales.

Summer with Franky’s Week 5

Saturday, July 11, 2015 4:08 am

Franky’s has come a long way in these past 5 weeks! Both Moria and I have put in a tremendous amount on helping Franky’s grow–and it has worked! A lot of exciting things have popped up allowing for our expansion.

1. The new Franky’s Jewelry website will be launched shortly!

2. Multiple boutiques from across the US have contacted us about selling ours products and hosting Franky’s trunk shows!

3. Several “Insta-famous” girls who are pros at promoting have reached out to brand, asking to represent us!

4. A very talented, local W-S photographer contacted Moria and me about doing a free photoshoot to help us create a professional look book!

I could not have asked for anything more at this stage in the game! It is all so excited. It is also challenging because Moria nor myself have a strong business background. Luckily I have been able to reach out to my boss of my part-time job at a local florist/boutique/wedding boutique for retail advice. She has been great in helping with line sheets and retail pricing. I have learned so much about business and PR in these past 5 weeks.

I have also learned a lot about photography. I already had a nice, professional-grade camera, but never understood how to really use it. Recently, I have been reading a lot of articles on how to photograph jewelry and also how to get the best photographs when we do photo shoots. This has been one of my favorite things I’ve been learning about.

Along side the photography, I used some of my grant funds to purchase the Adobe Creative package. The Adobe programs like Illustrator, Photoshop, and Lightroom have allowed me to create a new and different quality of graphics and editing for Franky’s. I’ve also have had so much fun researching how to use these programs!

Before my internship is over, I would love to see Franky’s be sold in a local Winston boutique (like Rebecca’s, Monkee’s, or Bevello). I’d also like to increase our Instagram following to 1000 followers. I believe these goals are all in our reach. I can’t wait to see what the rest of summer has in store for Franky’s!

Summer with Franky’s Week 3 & 4

Monday, June 29, 2015 5:24 pm

Sorry for missing last week post!

About five years ago, Moria Lawlor’s father, a former Economics professor at Wake Forest, was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease, Atypical Cerebellar Ataxia. The disease has since affected his motor skills, and over the past five years, he has slowly lost control of both his speech and limbs. Despite the many ups and downs of her father’s courageous battle, Moria has discovered a way to harness her passion in a way that makes a difference in her father’s life and the lives of those who have also been affected by this terrible disease.

The name of her company, Franky’s, also comes from the heart, and is one of many things that make her brand unique. “Franky is a nickname I called my Dad when I was little, when I came to his office, in the Wake Economics Department, after school to do my homework. My dad would sometimes come in pretending to be my student, ‘Franky,’ and I would teach him what I was learning in school.”

For every necklace that Moria sells, 20% of the proceeds are donated to The National Ataxia Foundation. The beauty behind Moria’s line lies in its mission and purpose. Cerebellar Ataxia has greatly affected her father’s mobility, but because of the impact and reach of Franky’s Jewelry, his traveling options have become limitless.

“I like to think that everywhere a Franky’s necklace goes, my Franky is there in spirit, even in spite of his mobility restrictions. So far, he’s “visited” Mexico, NYC, Prague, California, The DR, Switzerland, Portugal, Mardi Gras, the Alamo, and London. I love the idea that even though his mobility has been unfairly taken away, he can now “travel” to more places than he ever thought possible through all of the people who support Franky’s and the cause behind it.”

Franky’s is still a small start-up that has been gaining traction over the summer. Recently, several “Instagram-famous” girls and two boutiques have reached out to us about representing and selling our products. Despite this progress, there is still a lot of base work to accomplish before moving forward like creating the new Franky’s Jewelry website and finding a retail price. These are all kinks Moria and I are solving currently.

Summer with Franky’s Week 2

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 4:21 am

I left off last week running off to Winston Salem to meet with Moria (Franky’s founder). I am living at home this summer in Durham, NC, which is exactly 90 minutes from Wake’s campus. Since my internship is not your typically “office-job,” living in Durham allows me the comfort of my own home and the ease to go down to Wake when needed.

Last Monday, Moria and I covered a lot a ground while having a lot of fun together! First we met up at the Old Shell station to start our second summer photo shoot. This time we recruited “real models” (aka some of our pretty and willing friends). We eventually relocated to the grounds of Graylyn for a change of scenery. The pictures turned out great and it was so much fun shooting!

Sorry this one is poor quality!!

 

 

Follow us on Instagram (@frankysjewelry) and like us on Facebook for more fun pics!!

 

After the shoot, Mo and I drove out on 52 to a family friend’s house for a jewelry class. Our teacher had learned different beading, knotting, etc. techniques while traveling the world as a secret agent. I learned so much in the class. I really enjoyed it because I believe these skills make our brand stick out from others that are making similar products. Moria puts in so much effort into each piece of jewelry to guarantee the best quality possible.

When I got home that evening, my mom told me that Franky’s was invited to participate in a trunk show at my country club on Friday night. Preparing for the show filled the rest of my week! I ran errands and crafted so we could have a cute decorations. On Friday, Moria was out of town, so I was in charge of running the show. The “Sip and Shop” event at my country club was fairly small and there were several other tables selling jewelry – however, Franky’s was the most unique and we sold three pieces! (I think maybe 10 – 15 people came to my table the entire night) This was great exposure, especially since most of our crowd is in Winston Salem.

The photo shoot and the trunk show were the two main events of my week with Franky’s! I spent hours and hours on my phone and computer on Instagram and Facebook trying to network and grow our follower base. This is a never ending task that I truly do not mind!!

This upcoming week will have more networking in store for me, but I am hoping to have more creative work also!

Till next Monday!

Summer with Franky’s Week 1

Monday, June 8, 2015 2:55 pm

June 1st marked the start of my internship with Franky’s Jewelry. Technically, I have been interning for Franky’s and owner Moria Lawlor for the past five months, but my responsibilities have been sporadic. However, the summer brought a new, exciting start.

Moria and I kicked off the summer with a meeting last Monday in Winston Salem. We talked about our goals and expectations for the summer. Our ultimate goal this summer is to grow Franky’s and the spread awareness of Cerebellar Ataxia. We brainstormed several ways to complete this. Both of us really want to reach out to “Insta-famous” people, like boho-chic bloggers, to see if they will wear one of our necklaces and post about Franky’s Jewelry. (Any interns think their bosses would want to collaborate??) Moria and I would also like to reach 1000 Instagram followers by the end of August. We already gained over 60 since Memorial Day!

Moria and I would also like to see Franky’s be sold in at least two retail locals by the end of the summer. We have the names of two stores in Winston that we are going to talk to, but we would also like to sell in stores outside of NC, too!

After our meeting, we went down to Old Salem to photograph the new jewelry. We have been posting these images online all week and have sold quite a few products! (First sale of the week was to my mom.)

This past week has been filled with photography, organization, and networking. I have been reaching out to people (mainly via Instagram) to get our name out there. I also have been creating several Google Docs for Moria and me to organize who we want to reach out to and what their response is. I also wrote the format of the email we should send to those we are reaching out to. I finally finished the new business cards that Moria wants to order. The design was a constant trial and error and really tested my Photoshop skills, but we love the results! I also spent a lot of time photographing products. I watched a lot of Youtube videos on how to get the best picture and how to use Photoshop–totally worth it (pictures below)!!

The most exciting part of the week was getting our first college rep!! Insta-famous, Ole Miss senior Darby Fallon contacted us about being a college rep! I have worked with her before as a college rep for Bumble and she is incredible at what she does! She shared her ideas with me about how she will help Franky’s grow and I could not be happier to have her on our team!

Well now its off to Winston for another photo shoot and my first jewelry class!!

-Gracie

 

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