We had the good fortune of connecting with Beatriz Duron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Beatriz, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind the success of The Artisan Passage, which is our brand, is creating a memorable shopping experience for our customers. We do this by providing excellent customer service, but also generating a synergy between cute handmade/curated items and displaying them in a way that connects emotionally with our customers. As customers visit our retail spaces or our pop up craft shows, they step into a wonderland of handmade items, vintage home decor, paper crafts, that transport them to their childhood, or just a lovely memory.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I started selling my crafts, it was on small community craft shows. I remember I would not sell enough to even cover my $20 dollar space fee, that was about 7 years ago. I felt like my items were not good enough. It took me three years, to find the right formula that actually brought people into my booth, engage and eventually purchase. I didn’t do it alone, I would take my items to small retail shops and ask them if they would be interested in purchasing my items wholesale. Most shop owners would take the time to say no, and tell me why. They would recommend I package my item, that even though it was a pretty piece of handmade jewelry, in order to sell, I needed to brand the item. and let people know where its coming from, who made it. I took all that advice and applied it to my business. I would also go into my favorite gift shops and take note of how they would merchandise the items, and their range of prices. After adjusting prices and re-branding my business, I was actually making a profit. It took a hot minute, but with positive thinking, perseverance, and believing that I had a good product, we now have three retail spaces in three different collective Artisan boutiques. One of the several things that sets us apart from other talented Artisans, and that has been vital to our business is that we elevate our already beautiful product, by packaging the item in a unique, cute but practical way, this is the way we connect with our clients. Most of our products are gift ready, so if people are in a hurry and want to gift something unique, they come in, pick the item, and voila, all set.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a country girl at heart. I would take my BFF to Julien. The drive alone is beautiful, especially when it gets cold and sometimes it snows. Its like your not in SoCal anymore. The perfect mountain getaway, we would get some delicious apple berry crumb pie with some apple cider or hot coco. We would just walk around visiting all the little gift shops and wonder into the antique shops looking for treasures.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Artisan Passage wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for my amazing husband Gustavo Piedra, Goldsmith & Master Engraver. My husband was the person that encouraged me to re-brand the business. We wanted to bring both of our businesses together, but at the same time keep the identity of each individual brand intact. He is all about making fine sterling silver jewelry and I am more about rustic jewelry, paper crafts, etc. He also makes most of the displays that we use in our retail spaces and makes my design vision come to life. I am so grateful for him allowing me to run wild with all my creative and sometimes crazy ideas.