Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cindy Battisti, owner of Opera Bracelets, located in Rochester, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Hi, I’m Cindy from Opera Bracelets (Launched 2010). I help passionate fun-loving opera lovers stay connected with their favorite works through meaningful handmade jewelry. My bracelets actually tell an opera’s story through the use of symbolic beads and charms that represent characters and events of the narrative in chronological order. My handmade wearable works of art allow the wearer to “Remember the Moment” of their special opera experiences.

Tell us about yourself

I began solopreneurship to make the most out of life. I wearied of looking out the office window on sunny days only for it to rain all weekend when I was off. I lost both my Mom and a close friend when they were young. This showed me that you have to make the most of life, not just stare out the window on sunny days. I wanted to control my days so I could spend time with family and friends, not just squeeze them into the hours of a traditional workweek.

Opera Bracelets is very rewarding because customers tell me straight out how much their jewelry means to them. Opera lovers form a deep relationship with my work. My jewelry gives them a tangible connection to performances they have experienced or shared with loved ones and memories that touch them deeply.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is having my work carried out at The Met Opera Shop. They are the premier opera store on the planet! I first got the idea to make my bracelets while standing in the shop, so it means so much to have a continuing connection there.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

It is hard to know when to stop and give yourself the freedom that having your own business provides. It is easy to always have your brain in “work mode.” No one is going to tell you to take a sick day, vacation, PTO, mental health day. I have to make myself do those things consciously. It’s an ongoing struggle because my business is something I truly enjoy working on and in.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do not wait. Do it right now. My original business was mural painting. I wish I had done that in my 20's as my 40-year-old (at the time) ankles, knees and wrists could not handle the ladder climbing and physicality of painting. You will never regret starting today; you will only regret not starting.
  2. Be ready to be successful. Think through your entire process especially shipping. When that first order comes, you want to know exactly how to pack and ship it. It's not something you want to scramble around with.
  3. Have your ducks in a row. I just launched a new product line (Posh Paws Jewelry). So launching is fresh in my mind. Before you begin talking about your business on social media or in person, have your website (even if it's just your "coming soon" page with a little info), Professional email address (at your domain- not a Gmail) Email list they can sign up for socials. You are spinning your wheels if you can't make the most of each new connection you get at every stage of business.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

You’ve heard it before – your email list is your number one asset. Do not wait on that! I had a hard time accepting both social media and email marketing (it was 2010). Facebook ads changed our trajectory, and there is no question that emails are the number one driver of sales, even with a small list.

Numbers are not always of prime importance. Once engaged, a passionate follower who returns to purchase again and again is 100 times more important than 1000 new followers, subscribers, or likes that will never buy.

Get help. The assistance of a couple of contractors allowed me to have the headspace for new products and better marketing. I was very resistant, it is difficult to accept help, but it makes a huge difference to you, your quality of life, and your business. That person who will work just a few hours a week is out there: just start asking around.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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