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Friday, October 25, 2013

As I mentioned earlier this week, I have hired my very first full-time employee after eight years in business. Meet Eryn Patton!



Eryn says her hobbies are “Netflix-ing, yoga on Saturdays, obsessing over miniature dachshunds, reading, constantly seeking the perfect cup of coffee, sketching, and hunting for treasures in thrift stores.”
Eryn recently graduated from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., with a degree in apparel merchandising.  This summer, she had internships with New York-based designers Isaac Mizrahi and Gabriela Moya. “I love New York because I’ve had a longstanding affair with international food and I can have it delivered literally any time of the day or night,” she tells me.

I met Eryn when she was referred to my designing friend Stacy Lomman to assist at the photo shoot for Stacy’s Fall 2013 collection. I was impressed by Eryn’s energy, so I kept in touch with her. When her internships ended, I was there, lying in wait. Eryn started with me in September and she’s been working on a wide range of projects. She’s researched fancy envelopes for a big mailing to stores and media; assembled the mailing packages; tracked down new retail and press contacts; measured new designs for their website descriptions; talked to the trademark office … the list goes on and on.

What will be most obvious to y’all is that today I will be turning over my new business-focused Instagram account — @WendyBrandesJewelry — to Eryn. The account will focus on jewelry designs, customers and press and any other jewelry news,  as well as what Eryn’s doing behind the scenes on a day to day basis. Basically, she’s going to be my Instagram version of OscarPRGirl. If I post to the account myself, I will sign or initial it, so you know that it’s me. (My other Instagram accounts will remain the same: @WendyBrandes for my personal account and @fitzroy_the_cat  for cat and dog photos. And I think we all know which is the most popular one. Cats rule teh Interwebs!)

Eryn has also given me good material for my very neglected and still only half-done Bitchtastic Guide to Small Business™ book. When you’ve got a small business and mention the challenge of finding the right help at the right price — whether photographer, graphic designer, website developer, you name it — people who have never had a small business say, “Why don’t you just do it yourself?” as if you weren’t already doing nearly everything because you don’t have any money to spare. (I always ask them what company has ever grown — really grown — with only one person doing everything for it, forever. Growth means adding on, not staying static.) While I’ve never been foolish enough to think I can do my own photography or graphic design or web development or goldsmithing without looking like a complete amateur, over the years, at different times, I’ve been my own bookkeeper, publicist, sales director, errand runner … the list goes on and on. That’s necessary for any start-up for a long time because, again, money is an issue. But I find that I am constantly encountering situations in which I think, “I can’t afford to do this, but I can’t afford not to do it.” Eventually, the “I can’t afford not to” wins out and I cut back in one area in order to invest elsewhere. I’m very glad I invested in Eryn. Since she’s been working for me I’ve been shocked to realize the amount of time I’ve spent on basics when I should have been thinking much bigger. The other shock is how many important projects I gave up on entirely, resigned to the fact that I was never going to have the time to do them.  Now those are getting done AND I have the time to think strategically about my new designs and the business in general instead of, say, going to four different stores to research fancy envelopes. I’m also going to have time to finish that book, so that you can all learn from my experiences. I’m giving myself a January deadline!

Click here to read Eryn’s take on her new job. She seems to like her boss, which is a good thing. She also has excellent advice on working from home. And don’t forget to follow WendyBrandesJewelry on Instagram.

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21 Responses to “Introducing Eryn and the New Instagram Account”

  1. Brie says:

    Congrats Eryn and cool Wendy that you have a full-time employee! Your business is growing!

  2. Eryn sounds like a great girl to work with and I realised Im following your cat but not you in Insta lol! x

  3. Poochie says:

    A pleasure to meet you, Eryn!

  4. Hilde says:

    Congratulations! Big step, but a very wise one.

  5. K-Line says:

    Oh, she’s adorable – and very sassy-seeming indeed. Hello Eryn!

  6. Beth says:

    Congrats to both of you guys =)

    I was glad to read that Eryn is going to be doing more on Pinterest! I am addicted to Pinterest & I need more things of your to pin =)

    I work for a very small company doing almost exactly what Eryn is doing for you. So, I will definitely be glad to read her blog & hear more about it.

    Yippee for growth – we like that! I especially like when women entrepreneurs grow


  7. stacy says:

    Yay! I’m so happy for both of you. Seems like a match made in heaven. Eryn… I’m not sure I knew that we shared an obsession for miniature dachshunds. I knew you were brilliant and super cool, but I didn’t realize you had exquisite taste in doggies as well. Lol. Congrats and good luck. xo

  8. Tina says:


  9. Alma Reed says:

    I’m finally able to say, “I KNEW HER WHEN! Congratulations!
    Mama Bear

  10. Eryn sounds great. I’m so happy for you both!

  11. Congrats Wendy on finding the fabulous Eryn! Looking forward to your book, one always needs all the advise one can get when running a small business. My photographer is closing his business and I am looking for someone else if you can recommend anyone..

    Love love love your blog! Hope to meet you in person someday soon. Dale