My name is Mattie Sloan and I am the owner of “A Fly for Every Occasion,” a jewelry store that focuses on classy fishing style earrings and other rustic natural jewelry In Tulsa, Oklahoma. My husband and I are both chefs and on our time off love to fish.
Tell us about the inspiration behind A Fly for Every Occasion.
My Husband and I tie our own flys for fly fishing. As I was sitting at the table one day I just thought, this would make a great earring. My shop was born! I wore the first pair to work the next day, I know jewelry makers can attest to this, everyone was asking me where I bought my earrings. I started making them for friends and family at first and then decided what the heck, let’s make money at this!
Could you walk us through your creative process?
When planning a piece I try to think of what I would want to wear for what occasion, be it outdoor activities or a night out with the hubs. A big part of my creative process is also custom orders. I love hearing directly from customers what they like and a lot of times I will use that idea to create a new item for the shop. I use fly fishing quality feathers and other fishing supplies such a spoon blanks for spin baits. I have branched out over time to include natural stone bracelets and rustic jewelry. I am a chef at a cancer hospital so cancer support and faith are a big part of my life. I try to incorporate this into some of the items I create to make them more meaningful.
What is a challenge you have faced while designing jewelry or running your own store, and how did you overcome it?
I didn’t have anyone to show me the ropes, at all. This was a completely new venture for me so navigating how to get the shop started, setting up an LLC and learning how to best list my items on Etsy were all on me. It was a long frustrating path in the beginning but I have had friends ask me how I did it and how they can get started. It’s nice to be that go to person to help them so it’s a little easier for them to get started. I have also learned that buying is bulk is the only way to go, its more up front but ultimately it brings your bottom line down.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created?
The natural rooster feather and Jungle fowl feather combo are by far my favorite; it’s also by far my biggest seller. I love the more natural looking pieces myself. My friends however like the more colorful ones so I like to have good mix of both styles in the shop.
What lessons have you learned from your day job that have helped you run your own business?
I am a chef at my day job so I know what it’s like to layer colors to make your product more eye-appealing! It’s all about that that first impression. Overcoming the photography bit was a challenge too. You really do have to have the right light. I have a certain corner in my house that I take all of my pictures of my items, mid-day is the best time.
Where do you sell your products?
I sell my product on Etsy and occasionally at local craft shows in the Tulsa area. You can view the shop at: etsy.com/shop/aflyforeveryoccasion