With a tagline of “Happy jewelry for happy people!,” who couldn’t fall in love with the Kluster Shop brand? Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur (and total sweetheart) Laura Holmes, Kluster was “inspired by the everyday, on-the-go woman, with a passion for fashion.” Laura designs all of the pieces herself in her Louisville, Kentucky home with real semiprecious gemstones that are sourced from naturally occurring mineral deposits and recycled sterling silver. Pretty awesome right?
Keep reading to learn more about Laura, her tips for any entrepreneur, and a chance to win a beautiful “Femme & Fortune”-themed jewelry set from Kluster!
Femme & Fortune: Hi Laura! Tell us a little bit about yourself and why/how you started Kluster.
Laura Holmes: Well, talking about myself always feels a tiny bit awkward, but I’ll do my best! Kluster only really started about 2 years ago, but I’ve been making jewelry since my teenage years. (We won’t talk about how long ago that was!) I have always had a love for bright colors and luxurious products. I know, dangerous, right? However, when it came to jewelry, it seemed like my options were limited to either bright colors in plastic beads and base metals, or fine jewelry in true gold and silver, but with very little color. So, I started making the jewelry I wanted, and ended up filling a void in the market. Every piece in the Kluster collection is made with a real stone (never plastic!) and 100% sterling silver. It’s a bright, happy, high-end product that you can still wear everyday, and that’s what makes me really proud of the line.
Femme & Fortune: Do you have a favorite piece or collection you’ve ever made?
Laura Holmes: I have a new favorite design practically once a week. They’re like your children, how do you pick a favorite one? That being said, I have been quite smitten by this pink + red gemstone Strawberry Two-Tone Necklace lately. I’m a sucker for that color combination. I know it’s a bit Valentine’s, but I love it anyway.
Femme & Fortune: You also own P is for Possible. Can you tell us about that business and how it began?
Laura Holmes: P is for Possible is a small business consulting company that I started in 2010. I grew up in and around all sorts of small businesses – my Dad is a small business owner, as are several of my family members and family friends. As I got older, I started to notice that, in one way or another, most of them struggled with the accounting side of the business. These business owners were all exceptional at what they did (ie. the service they provided, the products they sold), but their skills weren’t as developed in the areas of accounting and business organization. So after college, and after a couple of great work experiences, I started P is for Possible with the goal to help these small business owners and people just like them. It’s been a wonderful ride since the very beginning. I get to meet so many local business owners and talk to them about their passions, their hopes and dreams. And then, I get to help them. It really is a win-win.
Femme & Fortune: What do you think are three traits or characteristics needed in a woman for running a successful business?
Laura Holmes: I believe that every business owner, man or woman, would do well to have confidence, patience, and optimism on their side.
Femme & Fortune: What were some good and bad lessons you learned on the way to becoming an entrepreneur?
Laura Holmes: I have learned to be more patient – not everything happens on your timeline, and there are only so many hours in the day! My communications skills have vastly improved over the years. One of my most important lessons has been learning to say “No.” When you run a small business, a lot of times it feels like you need to say “Yes!” to every opportunity, especially in the beginning. Giving yourself permission to say “no” lets you focus on staying true to yourself and what you are trying to create. And above all, be kind – what goes around comes around, and even in big cities, word gets around.
Femme & Fortune: What’s next for Kluster? Are you thinking about opening a local store or maybe branching out with your design?
Laura Holmes: The online concept works really well for Kluster, so there won’t be a brick and mortar shop anytime soon. Right now, I am focusing on growing our website and our Etsy shop. And I am also focused on building partnerships with larger online retailers, such as BRIKA, who focus on quality, handmade products.
Thank you to Laura Holmes and her team over at Kluster, and please enter our kickass giveaway below!
Images via Kluster Shop