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Conversations with the Inspiring Sara Bradstreet

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sara Bradstreet.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I established Broad Street in 2007 as a jewelry design company. My inspiration came from salvaging old jewelry, capturing its vintage essence in a new light. I did a lot of rehab work for clients that had inherited jewelry from past relatives and wanted it to fit into their life in the current day and age. I was able to create one of a kind pieces of art that were unique and captured the hearts of those who fell in love with their eclectic, vintage charm. Moving forward, in 2012, I met my future husband and finally had the support to do art fairs and really start the hustle of being a self-employed, selling artist. He did all the heavy lifting for me and I was able to reach broader audiences, which pushed me forward into selling more than just jewelry. I shifted my vision from vintage rehab to incorporate gemstones and other earthy treasures. The more shows I did, the more I had to streamline my production and work flow into small batch jewelry production, where I was able to make multiples of the same design. This was a total game changer. It simplified my creative path and allowed me to focus on a handful of designs that I could replicate. My collections started to become cohesive and I was able to stream my consignment business into a wholesale business model. I also grew tired and uninspired with just creating jewelry and expanded my product line into ritual tools or smudge supply as I call it. My company and products were evolving with me as a human and a need to expand and share my knowledge on all levels! Now, in 2018 – I have since gotten married, had a child and am only selling my jewelry wholesale and online via Etsy. It took about 11 years for this to happen- but believe me, I truly enjoyed pitching my tent in the middle of the street in Chicago and meeting new people in each unique neighborhood! But with a young child, selling online and wholesaling to rad independent boutiques across the US is ideal for me at this time in my life. I do plan on opening a boutique at some point in this lifetime, just not entirely sure when and where.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road is never smooth, and if it is, what is the fun in that?! There were and still are many ups and downs of being a self-employed artist, basing life and budget on the next sale. I have become incredibly frugal and enjoy crunching numbers on my spreadsheets and try to be realistic about my goals these days. When my business was fresh and young, I took more risks, but now that I am an established brand and have a young child, my goals have simplified.

My advice to young women starting their journey with their brand would be to try new events, stand behind your brand and don’t be afraid to fail. I am a firm believer in that we learn our hardest lessons in times of failure and with failure comes success.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Broad Street story. Tell us more about the business.
Broad Street is a collective of small-batch jewelry and smudge supplies. My jewelry collection is curated around different gemstones and the energy that each represents. I believe that our jewelry should empower and enhance our selves and choose to create necklaces that will supply the wearer with a sense of beauty and feed their spirit. I also create smudge sticks and sell ritual supplies that can be used to help one clear energy, ground their energy in their home and in their spirit. All of the components of my brand help one to feel more human, connect to the earth and enhance life. I am most proud of the diversity of my brand and the many audiences that I can reach by selling to boutiques across the United States. Expanding my brand to sell more than jewelry has allowed me to reach people of all genders and demographics. I also feel humbled knowing that I am sharing my knowledge and integrity of products to people who need it in their life. I feel as though I am providing a service to those looking for more.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
My advice to a young woman starting her career would be to stay true to your vision and listen to your intuition.

I suggest creating a journal where you dream, create and envision your brand and products before they physically take shape. Write down every idea, every concept, and goal in the present tense and future. Use this journal as a way to keep track of your success, and use it as a tool for inspiration. It is so important for independent artists to see their success in everyday moments that seem monotonous but mean so much to a small business – like tracking sales across the United States or across the country. Or highlighting compliments. Or simply using as a way to express yourself.

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Sara Bradstreet

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