“You should totally go into business! Everyone loves your stuff, you can make a fortune!”

Yeah, it was probably some variation of that got you into this mess in the first place, right?

So now you’re surrounded by thousands of dollars of wire, metal, stones and god-knows-what, you can’t find the show application that was due last Tuesday and you haven’t seen the cat since Friday. It’s been at least 36 hours since you slept, you have a festival tomorrow that you’re still making inventory for, and an order that needs to go our before you leave, and you’re sure there’s no clean underwear left. Your husband has taken to avoiding you and your best friend stopped asking if she can help over three months ago.

Fortune? You’re overdrawn by $5.00, you have three consignment accounts that haven’t paid you in four months and you’re down to your last inch of solder.

Welcome to the joys of working for yourself.

Let’s get you straightened out girlfriend. Because here’s the thing: Everyone may love your stuff, but there’s a lot more to making a fortune than making pretty stuff – but you’ve probably figured that much out by now, right?

Luckily, you’re not the first person to ride this particular bull. You see, us gullible creatives have been trying this dance for a long time – and a lot of cats have gone missing in the process. Some of us, however, have come out the other end and lived to tell about it.

Hi, my name is Stefanie, and i’m that rare bird: A Successful, Self-Supporting Independent Jewelry Designer.

Yes. You read that sentence correctly. I am not only a jewelry designer, but I have grown my company to the point where it supports me, my family, AND my employees.

Pretty cool, huh?

So yes, it can be done.

It was not easy, and it was not always fun. There was a whole lot of pain along the way. More bad advice than I want to remember. More failure than anyone should go through.

Yet here I am. Still working, still creating. Still alive.

Now let’s talk about you.

You have an awesome opportunity. You have the insane blessing of access to the internet. I didn’t. It didn’t exist when I started. (Yes. I am That.Old.) That means things both good and bad. It means you can find enough information to literally fry your creative brain – and some of that information isn’t worth the brain cells it will consume.

That old saw, “Those who can’t, Teach” is unfortunately sung loud on the internet. Sometimes a failing at something is all you need to become the Next Big Thing in coaching what-have-you. So there’s a lot of bad advice out there. I don’t want that for you, because hey, your cat.

No. You need someone who succeeded. Failure is great (necessary even) but it better be followed by success before it’s followed by shingle-hanging. Don’t show me your bankruptcy paperwork and then proceed to tell me what to do. I don’t think so. Like Tom said, show me the money!!!!

So here’s the deal. I’ve done this a long time. And I hated that when I started there was no one to show me the ropes. I hated even more that as the interwebz matured, not-so-awesome people showed up pretending to show you the ropes but instead fed you expensive bullshit course after expensive bullshit course that didn’t do anything other than keep you stupid. I know it’s probably “not cool” to say that but too bad. If that turns you off, you can go now. Because with me you get honesty. I’m for real. Check me out here.

Still out there?

Good. You may be my people. Keep reading.

So I started a very low-key thing called F3. It’s for the inquisitive and self-sufficient, not the spoon-fed and dopey. If you have the snap to ask the questions, I have the answers. We have lots of great people in the group from around the world with snap too. Did I mention it’s free? Free is always good when you’re overdrawn by $5.

But wait. There’s more.

I always wanted to say that.

Then I started this other thing. F3/Intensive. It’s for the yet-more-inquisitive who would like to become even more self-sufficient. F3/Intensive though, isn’t free, because it’s pretty… well, time-intensive on my part. And I really love my cat.

Intensive is advice-based group coaching for jewelry makers. It’s not a course. You have a business, and you have questions about it. I have (and have had) a business for over 40 years. Trust me, I will have an answer to your question. Most likely a long winded one that will give you more information than you had any idea was there.

The other folks in Intensive also have opinions (oh brother…) most of them pretty damn good ones. Each one worth listening to.

You have confusion (or just plain angst) around your pricing.

You don’t know who your client is.

You want to wholesale, but it’s… daunting.

You don’t know where to source <whatever> at real (or better) wholesale prices.

Your branding is off. Or nonexistent. Where to start?

Packaging? What packaging?

How do I get into trade shows?

What’s a sales rep?

My sales rep is driving me crazy!

My website isn’t working!

Why doesn’t my social media get any action?

How do I track inventory?

How detailed do I need to be for my accountant?

I need help but I’m scared to hire someone. How do I know if I can afford it?

I hired someone. Now what?

How do I outsource?

How do I find a caster?

Do I need an accountant?

…and anything else you can possibly think of and tons more you probably can’t

In a world of “Alexa, what’s the temperature in Abu Dhabi?” we’re totally spoiled by being able to Google EVERYTHING.

You can’t Google experience. With Intensive you can borrow mine.

At the risk of repeating myself, but wait! There’s more!

(drops voice and assumes conspiratorial whisper…)

F3/Intensive has an actual showroom in an actual wholesale trademart.

Yes. Really.

(and it’s really seriously gorgeous too. we’re not talking some schlocky thing, this is high-end glossy wow)

It’s not required, (and it’s by application only), but if that sounds intriguing, this may be a path for you to have show space at a very economical (i.e.cheap) cost. With handholding all the way.

If you’re still reading this small novel, first of all congratulations. Your 8th grade English teacher would be very proud. If F3/Intensive sounds like something you want to be a part of, apply below. I’d like to meet you. We don’t take everyone, so comb your hair and stand up straight. Just like your mom said.

It’s been said that,

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Raise your average.

Challenge your comfort zone.


You don’t have to do this alone.

You CAN get the support – the intimate, hands-on support – that you and your business need to grow strong.

Join us. Seating is limited.

<<< new cohort forming now>>>


Raise your average.


right here

I’ve learned more from you in the past several months than I think I have the past 5 years.

Sarah Markusich


Grab our FREE Resource List
All rights reserved © EmpowerDesign 2016
Ever wonder how a creative business turns its wheels? What we use, what's on our desk tops? Grab our free list of invaluable go-to software, hardware, apps and more. Web, Accounting, Graphics, Social Media... It's all here. No more guesswork.
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Graphics
  • Accounting & Billing
  • Design & Inspiration
  • Information Management
  • Branding & Packaging
Watch your inbox!
Thank you for requesting our Empower Resource Guide!
On its way to you soon!
We hope you'll join us .
Remember - You don't have to do this alone