Meet Teresa ~ John and Luna
Tell us about your business and how it started?
John and Luna is named after my dad Giovanni Bisazza. He was a farmer and my biggest inspiration when I started my business.
I started John and Luna as a form of therapy to keep my dad's memory alive. Making jewellery really helped me through one of the darkest times of my life.
I started John and Luna to be reminded of the strength that my father encompassed in his life through beautiful pieces of jewellery that I can wear everyday. I wanted to create little pieces of light that will brighten up the darkest of rooms just like he did.
What is your biggest achievement in business?
My biggest achievement is when people have told me they recognise my business because of the branding. Branding takes years, it's hard work, so having people recognise John and Luna from a single photo without 'John and Luna' in plain sight means so much to me and will forever be my biggest achievement.
Another is when my hero Samantha Wills followed John and Luna on Instagram and bought earrings from me (I fangirled like crazy!).
At first I was in shock, then I jumped up and down and called my mum straight away saying, "Mum, Samantha Wills bought earrings that I made!". I don't think mum's recovered from my high pitched screaming. That was super exciting and something I will never forget.
What challenges or hurdles have your faced in business?
I have faced so many challenges since starting my business but the worst was when 40 packages were stolen from a post box in my local area. I was devastated. All that hard work just to be stolen broke my heart. I didn't let that get me down for too long. I switched into work mode and was determined to replace all the packages, making sure my customers received their jewellery one way or another.
What do you wish you knew before you started your business?
I wish I knew that it was more than just making jewellery and selling it. There. is. so. much. MORE! There's a website, marketing, packaging and lots of other things that I didn't think of at all when I started.
I remember the day we launched, it was three hours before we went live and I realised I didn't have packaging for the jewellery I was selling. I quickly made a really simple earring tag on Microsoft Word and raced off to Office Works and had it all printed in time for the launch. It was crazy. I was very impulsive.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business?
The most rewarding aspect is my customers reaching out to tell me how much they relate to my story. Jewellery means so much to me and I love hearing their stories when they wear John and Luna; stories of when they wore a pair of my earrings on their wedding day, or stories of them wearing their pearls to remind them of their grandma. Their stories are definitely the most rewarding part.
What is your next big challenge for John and Luna?
My biggest challenge is switching John and Luna from a side hustle to my full time gig. John and Luna has grown from me making jewellery on my bedroom floor. I would love to make John and Luna my full time job but there is just so much risk when you give up the stability of a 9am to 5pm job. It's been on my mind for the past year now and I can't shake it. I think it's time... no wait... I know it's time to take the leap. When I do, you will be the first to know.
What impact has COVID had on your business and how have your changed your direction?
When COVID-19 first started impacting Australia, it was just another thing until it became 'the' thing. It was like a dark cloud set around my business and I lost touch with my brand for a little bit. It was one of those things you didn't expect to happen but it did and it really got me down.
For something I wanted to make my full time job, not making sales was so hard for me. I felt guilty for trying to sell jewellery because at that point everyone was spending money on essentials.
I became anxious. I wasn't making jewellery as much and I ended up having a really big creativity block and, to be honest, a mini breakdown. I took a break from creating and surround myself with family and loved ones and that really grounded me. Taking time off made me realise why I started John and Luna in the first place and it was to share my story. I was determined to make it work through the pandemic and I became stronger.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is amazing women choosing to wear John and Luna. It's been four years since launching my business and, to this day, I do a happy dance when I see someone wear John and Luna. It's so special to me!
What keeps you up at night?
Imposter syndrome. I have so many ideas but sometimes I overthink and it creates this fear of, "What if people don't like it?". Yet when it comes down to it, it's the best decision I have made.
In moments of self doubt, how do you build yourself back up?
I always turn to my mum. She is an amazing woman who owns her own small business. She always knows what to say and gives me the best advise in both my personal and business life and I can't thank her enough for her wisdom.
What do you love most about where you live?
Growing up on a farm I have always loved being outside. I love the peace and quiet and lots of room to walk around and time to think. I also love being a part of a small community that I have grown up with since I was little. It's such a comforting and welcoming energy; it feels like home.
How can women support other women?
By cheering each other on, celebrating our wins together and going through the worst together. Like Taylor Swift says, 'We've all got crowns'.
John and Luna jewellery is handmade in Teresa Bisazza's home studio located in Arcadia, NSW.
Each piece of jewellery is made from high quality materials sourced from fellow small businesses in Australia.
John and Luna believe that finding the perfect piece of jewellery should never be confusing - the perfect piece should just simply, speak to you.
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