Hattie Dunstan is an independent jewellery designer from Toronto, Canada. She’s been handcrafting her designs for the past 15 years, and began a bridal collection three years ago. At the young age of 28 years old she has already made quite a name for herself, landing product features in many popular magazines and blogs. As soon as I was introduced to Hattie and learned more about her story, I was incredibly inspired.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
When I'm not on my computer dreaming up new graphics or uploading new pieces to my website, you can usually find me with my nose in a good historical romance novel, digging through the vintage store clothing racks or researching my next adventure across the globe. I'm off to Scotland this fall for my honeymoon!
What inspired you to make jewellery?
I've always made jewellery ever since I was a little girl, from fishing line and seed beads to string friendship bracelets. I think it started at the cottage when I was a tiny child trying to find things to do on rainy days up north since we had no TV.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
My biggest accomplishment in my business so far has probably been seeing my jewellery in print and published on blogs like Green Wedding Shoes. I can't even describe how rewarding, gratifying, humbling and amazing it is when you see your work in print.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Never giving up. There are some tough and dark days, but there are also such highs and beautiful days. The extremes are crazy, so I think most entrepreneurs probably have pretty crazy personalities to go with their crazy days!
How did you know this is what you wanted to do?
When I was 15 I was in the Summer Company mentorship program through the government. I loved the jewellery business I had that summer and the experience of being mentored. The thing I loved most about the business was the marketing aspect, so I went to university for marketing management. Afterwards, I tried to figure out how I could continue my passion for marketing and work for myself. Hattitude Jewels has grown from then and is now full time with a wedding collection and an everyday collection of jewels.
Do you recommend mentorship?
Yes. I've had so many mentors throughout my life; I'm always trying to give back. I'm the co-leader for the Rising Tide Society, a movement of creative entrepreneurs who believe in community over competition, sharing ideas, education, and building people up instead of tearing them down.
Where do you see yourself or your business in the next five to ten years?
I would love to own another business as a content marketer and social strategist for other small business owners and creativepreneurs. My true passion is helping others and figuring out new and innovative marketing techniques.
What advice would you give someone who is trying to pursue their dreams?
Grab a mentor and network like crazy! It's so important to have others in your back pocket to cheer you on, bounce ideas off of and stay positive with. It's amazing what a tribe can do for your personal health, your self-esteem and your business! I don't know what I would do without my industry best friends. They pick me up all the time and vice versa.
Where do you feel most creative?
Great question. Sometimes it will be totally random and I'll have to stop and write a note in my phone or in a note pad, but a lot of the time I’m creative in the evenings, which can drive my fiancé a little batty. He says, “Can you please work while I'm at work so we can hang out together in the evenings?” It's hard when your creative juices take a few hours to wake up and get going.
Why do you love what you do?
I love being creative and having an outlet for it. I love making my own hours. I also love other people who are self-employed. I get a really big high from chatting with other entrepreneurs and networking and “vibing” off of their energy.
Who (or what) is your motivation to keep going?
Myself. I wouldn't have it any other way!
What is the one thing you can't leave the house without? (Other than your cell phone!)
I usually can't leave the house without my dog, Melvin. He's a beagle mix and one of the great loves of my life. Those sad puppy eyes every time I do leave without him break my heart!