We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Custer Crosby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In 2009, about 4 years into my working career after college, I really felt the need to be doing something creative. I loved the company I worked for but wanted to do more. So I took an earring making class at a local bead store with my sister. I started making earrings and had so many that I started selling to family and friends. Soon after, I decided to open an Etsy store and in April 2010, I had my first sale from a stranger in New York. It was then that I felt more confident in my small hobby to turn it into a side business.
I sold at local markets around town as well as to boutiques in Dallas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma until 2017 when my daughter was born and I felt the need to step back and spend time with her. However, during the pandemic, I was drawn back into making jewelry, needing that creative outlet during a very stressful time. The need to be creative is the impetus of my business and what keeps me going is that people from all over the country will buy my jewelry which allows me to continue making it.
I currently find time in the evenings and on weekends to make jewelry in addition to my full-time job and being a parent, I sell primarily on Instagram and through the two Mosaic Makers Collective locations in Bishop Arts and Galleria.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love finding natural stones and turning them into wearable art – necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. I hand select the gemstones and pearls that I use and I absolutely love hunting for the best stones. I want to create affordable pieces that you can wear everyday and describe my style as classic, delicate, and feminine. This year, I also expanded to create some children’s bracelets and bead kits.
I think the hardest part is just starting the business. It’s never going to be the perfect time and you will never know everything at the beginning. It’s all a learning process. When I started eleven years ago, I had no idea how to buy wholesale supplies or how to sell wholesale. I had to learn it as I went along. Google is definitely your friend!
I know a lot of makers also struggle with imposter syndrome, which I certainly have from time to time. It’s hard to be vulnerable to put something out there in the world that you have created and wait to see if someone likes it enough to buy it. If anyone out there is thinking about starting a creative business, I would say just do it. Take the risk. There will always be failures along the way, but you will never know unless you try. Every year there are always earrings that I create, that never end up selling and that is ok. You have to experiment and try new things, because you will regret it if you don’t.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve lived in Dallas since I was less than a year old and absolutely love this city. There are so many amazing areas of town to visit. I would take out of town friends to Klyde Warren Park, we could eat lunch at one of the food trucks or restaurants in that area and then go on tours of the Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center.
We could then go on a Trolley ride in Uptown. I lived in Uptown for several years after college and even took the Trolley to work some days. I love the walkability of that area. We could end the day with dinner at Namo in West Village, one of my favorite spots for sushi.
Some of my other favorite restaurants in the city are Monarch, Sachet, and Oishii.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am lucky to have several close friends who are also creative. They are a great support system and a place to bounce ideas off of. They will even text me from time to time with new ideas.
I am also very lucky to have found a community of makers in Mosaic Makers Collective. To be around other women who create both part-time and full-time, is really inspiring and makes me want to try new things. I met the founder, Katy Sensenig Schilthuis about 8 years ago when we were both selling our creations at local markets. She not only has built Mosaic and the community there, but also is a constant advocate for shopping local and women-owned businesses.
All photos taken by Tanner Garza.