Ruth Nore got into the business when she was 12.
As a child, she started making jewelry, and before she knew it, her older brothers’ friends were asking where she got her bracelets and necklaces.
“So, I started selling what I was making,” she said.
And she’s been doing so ever since.
The Gainesville resident has since abandoned the beaded creations of her childhood and graduated to making high-end accessories. They include anything from specialty jewelry to bridal headpieces to costume pieces, such as devil’s horns, cat ears and elfin headdresses.
“I love creating things,” Nore said.
According to her sales record, her customers love her creations. Nore sells her items on the online shopping site, Etsy.com, and owns an online store, called RuthNoreDesigns. Thus far, Nore has sold more than 1,000 items and has more than 3,000 online followers who have favorited her shop.
“It’s amazing what (Etsy) has allowed me to do,” she said.
Since starting her online selling, Nore has quit her day job — working as a baker and cake decorator at Publix — and become her own boss. Her costume pieces sell well in Asia, her decorative fascinators go like crazy in England, her bridal wreaths are big in Mexico, her elfinlike headdresses were incredibly popular at Atlanta’s famous DragonCon festival, and her jewelry — including pendants, necklaces and earrings — sell to just about everywhere. Her most popular item — the Forest Elf Branch and Fern Silver Circlet — has nearly 19,000 online admirers.
“I still just think it’s so cool that people want to buy my stuff,” she said.
While she initially got her start selling to other children, she decided to expand her empire when she became pregnant with now 5-year-old Bella.
“I’ve always liked making stuff, but when I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I couldn’t help myself,” Nore said. “I had to make hair bands and bows and all that sort of stuff.”
Again, her client base came to her, rather than her seeking out buyers.
“People kept asking where I had bought (my daughter’s accessories), and I would tell them that I made them, and then they’d want to know if they could buy one,” she said.
When Etsy’s creators opened the online store, Nore knew she had found a home for her designs. Now, she dedicates hours daily to responding to customers, completing orders, packaging products and more.
“This is a full-time job for me,” she said. “I love the fact that I can create things and bring in an income doing it.”
Plus, the extra time allows her to homeschool Bella.
“It’s just a great arrangement all around,” Nore said.
Her favorite aspect — besides being able to do what she loves for a living — is designing one-of-a-kind creations for her customers.
“I love it when they contact me and say, ‘I’d really like this or that and can you make it look like this,’ and I’m able to do just that,” she said. “I was never one to like the generic stuff. I was the girl who did the Renaissance Fair and made my own prom dress and made my own wedding dress, so I thought it would be fun to make other people unique things that they can’t find anywhere else and where nobody else is going to have one just like it.”
Her customers love her approach.
“(My headpiece was) beautiful, unique and eye-catching,” customer Priscilla Garcia said. “I absolutely love the design and how it makes me feel when I wear it. I will be sure to treasure it forever.”
Customer Ashley Bono loves her headband, describing it as beautiful and made well.
“I’ve worn it a few times now, and I’ve received compliments on it every time I’ve worn it,” she said.
Comments like these keep Nore motivated.
“I love making my customers happy,” she said.