When Camille Ouellette was in high school, she took jewelry making classes and fell in love with the craft. Even though she pursued a corporate career in sustainability management, her love for making jewelry stayed constant. As a side hustle, Camille built her jewelry brand, Camillette, expanding her clientele before focusing on the business full time. 

Here, Camille shares how she was able to transform her hobby into a real jewelry business, with advice for other aspiring maker entrepreneurs.

Building a business with the security of a job 

“Having a part-time job allowed me to feel more safe to start my business on the side,” reflects Camille. With that safety, Camille began expanding her jewelry making and grew her clientele by attending craft fairs. 

Over time, it became clear to Camille that she could make a living through her jewelry business. “Gradually, I started to work less as a sustainability consultant and work more for the business,” she says. 

For Camille, it wasn’t about building a bigger business or growing as fast as possible. It was about starting a business that made sense for her. “I think it’s OK to also listen to your fears. If it’s too much for you just to jump, you can find an arrangement with part-time work,” she says. 

Woman in white shirt and jeans work in a studio making jewelry.
Camille Ouellette in her Montreal studio making jewelry. Camillette

Hiring talent to complement your skills 

One of the most important aspects of growing Camillette was opening an online store, and Camille placed a heavy emphasis on showcasing her products through photography. “I would say your website or social media is just like if you have a boutique, and it’s the window your clients are looking at,” Camille explains. “The key is to have the best pictures that you can get that will represent your brand.” 

Model showing half of her face and displaying Camillette’s Moon Earrings in silver.
For Camillette, investing in product photography was key to having a great online store. Camillette

To get the best photos possible, Camille leaned on external help. “I…

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