Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamey Medlock.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jamey. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been creating as long as I can remember, you name the creative hobby or art I have probably dabbled in it! I have an old painting from early elementary school; the assignment was to paint what you want to be when you grow up and I knew at that young age that I wanted to be an artist.
While I was working a successful day job and being able to use my creativity in a different way, sitting in an office became slow torture for me. There is an Etsy blog that I would read religiously (typically on my lunch breaks, lol) called “Quit Your Day Job.” They would choose a different seller to feature every week and talk about running a shop full time. While quitting my day job wasn’t an option at the time, I decided to give Etsy a go and opened a shop in 2008. Midnight Jo became the outlet I needed for my creative energy. At the time, I was making hand-sewn and silk screened items. Sometime in 2011 my friend was in town visiting and wanted to make her boyfriend a silver coin ring. Both being creatives, we were sure that we could accomplish this while she was here. Well… we failed, miserably. She went back home and I couldn’t get the idea of a coin ring out of my head. I was obsessed with making one of these rings and once I figured it out the current Midnight Jo brand was born.
It wasn’t until about 2015 that I got really serious about Midnight Jo. Call it luck or fate, I had a company reach out to me about selling my rings wholesale. While this was terrifying and completely foreign to me, I took the order. I used ALL of the money from that wholesale order and rolled it into buying tools that have allowed me to run much more efficiently. That was really the push and capital that I needed to take my business to the next level. Over the next couple of years, I rolled the majority of my profits into inventory and tools. I am happy to say that this year I took the leap into running Midnight Jo full time!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely not, but does anyone have a smooth road? I struggled for years creating a successful handmade business and to be perfectly honest, I still do. It has been a very long road with a lot of lessons learned the hard way. Which is typically how I learn and I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion experience is the best teacher. Running a small business takes a lot of trial and error and what works for one company won’t necessarily work for another. There are A TON of little things that go into a running a successful handmade business. Producing orders, customer service/emails, accounting, taking & editing photos, creating & editing product listings, keeping your website fresh and up to date, being an SEO expert, social media and marketing, ordering supplies, shipping and so much more.
Running Midnight Jo full time has been its own journey with another set of challenges, personal and business. Besides working on mastering my jewelry techniques and keeping the day to day running, there has to be a continuous effort to stay on top of the ever-evolving e-commerce world. I regularly listen to small business podcasts, follow Etsy gurus on YouTube and take business e-courses. I realize that I still have so much to learn about business, but I am driven to keep moving forward and see where I can take Midnight Jo. While I have created a smoothly running business, I still know that there will be many more challenges ahead. I believe that rolling with the punches and continuously learning is essential to maintaining growth.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Midnight Jo story. Tell us more about the business.
Midnight Jo is all about turning everyday items into jewelry. My main mediums are coins and vintage flatware that I turn into rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I challenge myself to use every scrap to create something unique. A lot of the “scrap” items can really push my creativity and help me keep a fresh perspective. Every item is handmade and my jewelry appeals to those who like to have a story or quirk behind their jewelry. This isn’t your ordinary jewelry, each piece can start a conversation!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t know how I feel about luck. Like everyone, I have had some good and bad luck in my life. While I believe that luck can give you the push you need, I don’t think luck alone is enough. You have to REALLY want something and have the persistence as well as the work ethic to see it through. I spoke about my first wholesale order being luck or fate. I could have just filled the order, spent the money and moved on with my life. Instead, I saw it as an opportunity to grow Midnight Jo into what I had envisioned years before. And while it may have been “luck” I had taken the time to list the products in my Etsy shop which is where I was discovered.
I am a strong believer in mindset and positive thinking. I truly believe (and this is because of experience) that you make your life what you want it to be. You have to keep your eye on the big picture and push through challenges as they arise. If you ever feel overwhelmed or defeated that “big picture” is what will keep you moving forward. And with that determination I can almost guarantee that you find more “good luck”!
Who else deserves credit – have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so – who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help.
Soooo many people have helped me along the way! I have had the most help from my husband, Eric. He has helped me create many of my processes, built me tools & displays from scratch and will always help me when I need a different perspective. I also have a great friend Caitlyn (from Hazel Ray), who is also in the handmade industry. She held my hand when it came to doing in-person craft/art shows and has also helped with other aspects of my business. All of the small shops and boutiques that took a chance on me, they are: Ashley’s Hallmark (Rochester, MN), Period Six Studio (Golden), XO Gift Co (Denver), Intrigue Boutique (Denver), Revampt (Denver), Seagreen Gallery (Nags Head, NC) and Oliver’s Mercantile (Wallace, ID) – sorry if I missed anyone! On top of all of this I have a very supportive group of family and friends who help model my products, share my posts and spread the word about my brand. Last but definitely not least a HUGE shout out to all of my customers who decided to shop small and support my dream, without customers, there is no business.
- Prices range from $18-$250
- Average purchase is around $50
- Silver pieces starting at $20
- Website: https://midnightjo.com/
- Phone: 720-261-8073
- Email: contact@MidnightJo.com
Personal photo – Caitlyn Ray Cummings, Photo of me in my booth – Ashley Kim.