Highlighting Hound – Cole Wagner

This week on Highlighting Hounds we are spotlighting Cole Wagner, a senior Marketing major, who started his own small business. His business is selling handmade boutique crystal and jewelry and is called Nurtured Quartz. Read his interview below to learn more about how he started his business and how his marketing skills have helped him in his business.

What is your business? Who is your market?

I started my business Nurtured Quartz in July 2021. I sell handmade boutique crystal jewelry including bracelets and mala necklaces on my website https://nurturedquartzjewelry.com/ and at occasional vendor shows in Central Massachusetts. My jewelry is primarily marketed to females between the ages of 25 and 44, who are driven by their careers and social media. This market segment is interested in a luxury packaging experience and favors brands that use recycled materials.

What inspired you to start your business? Describe the process of starting your business.

Since childhood, I’ve always had a creative and entrepreneurial mindset. It was a major goal of mine to start a business and be my own boss. I was inspired by other small businesses on TikTok who posted packaging videos and other content on how to run a business. It all begins with a brand name, which then has to be documented at a city, state, or federal level depending on how you plan to run your business and protect it from liabilities. For my business, I operate using a DBA (“doing business as”) in the City of Worcester.

Thus far, what is a major accomplishment you have completed within your small business?

A major accomplishment I have completed within my small business is creating my website through Shopify. I started my business on the Etsy marketplace, but although it was easy to operate, it restricted me from running sales and differentiating myself from other sellers. Having a website allows me to add effective marketing copy to webpages and I can customize almost any digital aspect to reflect my brand’s goals.

What skills have you gained or strengthened as a small business owner?

As a small business owner, I have gained skills such as time management, accounting, analytics, and search engine optimization. A major aspect of operating a business is allocating time to activities that will generate the most returns as well as keeping track of vital analytics that can influence future business decisions.

How has your Assumption education (courses, campus involvement, etc.) prepared you for running a small business?

At Assumption, my marketing courses have prepared me for running a business by showing me how to integrate tactics such as search engine optimization, Google Ads, and analytics into my website. Most importantly, each marketing class also encouraged me to have the “big picture” mentality that has helped me build the Nurtured Quartz brand and understand what customers want in a boutique jewelry product.

What advice would you give to a student who would like to start their own business?

For any student who wants to start a business – go for it. I didn’t have a lot of starting capital, so I only purchased the necessary equipment and services I needed at the time. It’s okay to start small. Social media makes it seem like business owners immediately increase their wealth when they start a business. It takes time to build a brand and it should be more about owning and nurturing an entity than making returns. For every million-dollar business, there are hundreds of small businesses that are still meeting the needs of consumers. Always remember to shop small. If you have any questions about starting a business, please feel free to contact me – I’d love to help!

By Caitlin Sze
Caitlin Sze Graduate Assistant for Marketing, Communications & Event Management