Kara Clarke launched her jewelry brand Tumbled Earth in 2013 to create modern, earthy jewelry that feels good to wear while also being versatile and easy. She was inspired by her surroundings— the forest, mountains, and lakes around the Kootenay River—and sought to harness the energy that comes from the land into her pieces.

Kara’s brick-and-mortar store in Kimberley B.C.’s historic pedestrian mall, or Platzl, reflects her larger vision of connecting all women to the magic of the natural world. Beyond the store, however, Kara was searching for ways to connect with new markets.

 

The digital world

With her heart in the natural world, Kara was overwhelmed by the vastness of knowledge needed for online marketing. “I was looking for knowledge of how to do social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram, and how to grow my sales across Canada, but I’d never paid to advertise prior,” says Kara. “I struggled with where to put my marketing dollars.” Through the Kootenay Association of Science and Technology (KAST), Kara was connected to Export Navigator where she met her advisor, Oriana.

With Oriana’s expert guidance, Kara was ready to build Tumbled Earth’s digital presence. “Oriana helped me to understand that I need to have a monthly marketing budget and to spend it to generate sales,” explained Kara.

Oriana also supported Kara with general business development and accessing resources for entrepreneurs. “We talked about how I need to incorporate, and the benefits of doing so,” notes Kara. “Oriana also recommended such valuable resources, training courses, and business funding that I otherwise would not have known about.”

Hard work pays off

Tumbled Earth has a successful online store with over 250 jewelry pieces available, as well as a small bath and body product line. And although social media ads are challenging, they are paying off. “We are on par if not above the industry standards for return on ad spend,” remarks Kara. “And there is still so much room to grow the online business.”

After seeing such positive results through Export Navigator in a short time, Kara foresees the need to expand her team in the near future. “One of my business goals is to grow Tumbled Earth’s team.  We are expanding our brick-and-mortar store in September to five times the size with a larger production area, so we’ll definitely need more staff then.” says Kara.

For now, she’s grateful to Oriana for telling her about the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant. “If it weren’t for Oriana, I would never have known about it or applied,” acknowledges Kara. “That’s huge.”

You get out what you put in

Oriana and Export Navigator helped instill foundational business skills that will serve Tumbled Earth as it grows. “I would highly recommend Export Navigator to any business that has the energy and drive to do the work,” notes Kara. “They keep you on track and give great advice!”

Learn more about Tumbled Earth by visiting tumbledearth.com.

Oriana Brueggemann