#SmallBizSpotlight: Peggy Li Talks About What's New in Her Biz Including Going Full Time


Small Biz Spotlight Peggy Li

San Francisco jewelry designer Peggy Li hails her professional journey as a chemical engineering major in college and has ended up as a highly sought after talent in the accessories world with her own design studio. Her minimalist, clean and delicate pieces have adorned women across the country, had can be seen in coveted, buzzworthy places like the pages of national magazines including Oprah Magazine, Lucky and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to the hands of stylists who put them on shows like The Bachelorette, Vampire Diaries, Elementary and Hart of Dixie.  She’s also a Tin Shingle member who is the brain and muscle behind her PR and buzz building campaign – and a regular viewer on our weekly #TuneUp webinars.  Shout out to you Peggy, you work hard and deserve great success!

We first interviewed Peggy a couple of years ago to hear her story just after she went full-time jewelry designer, and this week we check back in on the world of Peggy Li Creations. Peggy shares some of the exciting things that have happened to her business since then, and reveals how she is making her buzz building happen!

Get inspired by her interview below and then be sure you head on over to her website to see the jewelry that makes Hollywood and gals like us at Tin Shingle go crazy!

Twitter is a huge part of the TV watching experience - Peggy LiWith live tweeting growing so popular, has anything changed with getting your jewelry onto actresses  on TV shows? In terms of stylists and producers, to viewers watching the show and wanting the jewelry?
Twitter is a huge part of the TV watching experience and small business experience. By being present on Twitter while shows are on and being part of the conversation is important exposure, especially with my jewelry which is tied so closely to different shows. As Tin Shingle tuneups have covered, Twitter is also extremely useful for small business to get to know influencers in their industry – a lot of TV shows/studios are asking their talent to be on Twitter and it’s a fun, easy way to get to “know” them a little better.

You created a special “As Seen On” shopping section on your website. How has that gone for you? Are people shopping by show?
People definitely shop by show. They arrive on my website usually doing specific searches for a character they love.

Since you’ve gone full time designing, what has changed in your business? Have you added different types of products?
I’ve gotten to have more balance in my life since going full-time! I was burning the candle at both ends before so it’s been great to focus on just one thing. Instead of adding products, I’m working slowly but surely trying to tighten up my collections to be more strongly reflective of my style and brand. With the extra time comes the realization I need to have a little more discipline!

Since going full time, what new pressures have you faced?
Full time or not, there is always pressure on a small business owner to 1) stay educated 2) stay focused 3) stay motivated. I wanted to add 4) stay ahead of the competition, but that’s not the right attitude. By working on 1-3, I believe you’ll achieve #4. But it’s tough! You’re in charge of every detail and that can often be overwhelming. Having “extra” time is almost more difficult because I am more easily distracted.

Where is your studio?
In my apartment!

Are you employing any makers to help you hand craft the jewelry?
I have a few outside resources, but the majority of pieces are made by me in my studio.

You have a shop at Etsy, do you sell there?
I had my website before Etsy existed. I’ve created a page there just to hold that real estate, it has never been a primary selling platform for me.

Have you changed how you make your jewelry or the materials you use?
I’m always experimenting with new materials, products and skills.  It helps with the motivation to keep trying new things.

Years ago you toyed with the idea of having a chat box on your website for customers to chat directly with you. Are you liking the chat box option?
Yes, the chat box has been great! But it does require someone to monitor it to get the “live” feature benefits.

With Instagram, the first rule is to have great images - Peggy LiHas Instagram made an impact in your business? What are your favorite marketing methods you use on Instagram?
This year I’ve really been focusing on Instagram. I’ve discovered that it’s a wild and wooly world with a lot of its own rules, different than Facebook or Twitter. So far I’m not sure it’s had a huge impact on my business, but it’s been very successful for others so I’m putting the time in. With Instagram, the first rule is to have great images.

Has Pinterest made an impact in your business?
Initially Pinterest was great! I think as it has grown and changed how users interact with it, I’ve seen traffic drop. Like any social media, it also needs to be fed constantly and consistently and I don’t have the time to give it the love it needs.

How are you using Facebook to entice your customers?
Facebook also has changed in terms of how your fans can interact and discover you there. I’ve found it a useful platform to do specials for my fans and announcements as well as to try and get feedback from them.  Off the top of my head, here is how I see these top social platforms:

  • Twitter = instant gratification
  • Pinterest = projects
  • Facebook = deals and conversations
  • Instagram = create a mood

What is one of your big buzz building goals for the next year?
Instagram, definitely. As well as continuing to blog, send emails and hopefully get back to channels like Pinterest. I’m looking also to partner with the right influences on Instagram to see if that helps drive buzz – so far, it’s been hit or miss, but I think it’s revealing interesting things about my brand that I need and want to work on.  While so much about the Internet is constantly changing, I firmly believe one thing never does – great content is king. Always.

Connect with Peggy Li on social media by clicking on the links below!

Peggy Li on Facebook Peggy Li on Twitter Peggy Li on Instagram Peggy Li on Pinterest