Jeweller Markéta Havlíková: Find Time to Be Creative

June 8th, 2023
interview with jeweler Markéta Havlíková

The production of jewellery and home decorations is an expression of creativity, without which Markéta could not exist. What started as student income, Markéta Havlíková has in thirteen years built into a business under the brand maya-art that fills her soul and partially her wallet also. How do you handle creativity if you want to make a living from it and how to sell jewelry online successfully? Here are the answers.

What does jewellery mean to you?

Expressing yourself, your style, like clothes. It is an unnecessary thing but it is necessary for life. It makes the day nicer and makes you feel more confident. Going out without jewellery is like going out half-dressed. It gives me self-confidence and expresses my individuality – even more so when it is custom-made according to my ideas.

Where does costume jewellery end and jewellery begin?

The difference is in the material and in the personal concept. For jewellery with metals, a piece of jewellery for me is one that uses steel, gold, or silver. With other metal-free jewellery, it’s up to each person’s perception.

For me, even a minimalist scratched bracelet made of shiny cord decorated with small Japanese seed beads is a piece of jewellery. It creates a delicate mosaic around the hand with shiny edges. For someone else, it can be an ordinary bracelet bought anywhere in big chains, but it has some personal value for the person.

How did you come to create jewellery and home decorations?

I have been involved in all kinds of creations since I was a child. Thirteen years ago, I created a profile on the online marketplace to show them to the world and to earn some extra money while studying at university. But the fundamental decision to turn my enthusiasm into a regular business didn’t come until five years later when I set up my own website on Webnode. Since then, I have matured enough that today I would call my work jewellery.

Maya Art

According to Markéta Havlíková, jewellery differs from costume jewellery in terms of material and personal perception.

Do you make a living by creating jewellery?

Today, it makes up a significant part of my income, but it is not my main income. I also work as a marketing manager and divide both activities into working days as needed. I really enjoy working as a freelancer because of the time flexibility.

But you are originally a teacher, is that right?

Yes, but it was never my dream. The teaching profession opened up for me when, in the last year of my master’s studies at the Faculty of Science, I received an offer for a position at my alma mater – the Gymnázium Stavbařů in Ústí nad Labem. Until then, I could see myself somewhere in the laboratory, but the salaries there were not enough to live on. After all, it was a bit better in education, so I accepted it. Education was the great school of life, but after eight years I needed a change. The idea of staying in one place and one profession until retirement scared me.

Weren’t you afraid to step into the unknown alone, with a mortgage?

Not exactly. I knew that I had an education and that I could make a living elsewhere, anywhere. As a teacher, I still had side jobs to pull everything together. So there was nothing to lose. After all, I could always return to education.

On your blog, you advise women that the important thing is to jump; you will spread your wings later. But what would you advise those who jumped and didn’t spread their wings?

Not to give up – and try again and again. If I had given up at the first hitch or the first month of work, we wouldn’t be interviewing today. Work hard, because building your own brand is hard work. Over the years, there have been many days when I could have gone for a walk or a coffee, but I decided to devote my time to work. Of course, nothing should be exaggerated, but the truth is that no one will do it for you.

As for the business, do you do everything yourself?

Yes, I build everything myself from scratch. From jewellery making, product photography, website management, customer communication and shipping to customer care on the blog or a daily dose of inspiration on social networks. It’s a lot, but I appreciate it even more after.

I have been building the brand for thirteen years, of which I have been running a business for five years, but only in the last two or three years do I feel that the work is starting to pay off as I imagined, and my customers keep coming back. Maybe it’s because I’ve creatively and personally matured as well.

How do you divide your time between the profession that makes you a living and the business that grows?

Most of my time is spent working in marketing. I have the great advantage that it partially blends into the work of my brand. There are days when I am fully devoted to one job, and then there are days when I am only devoted to my brand. The advantage is that some activities can be prepared in advance, incorporated into the assets and then drawn from so I can find a space for other work.

How do you find time for creativity, for designing jewellery only, and not for answering emails?

This is still a bit of a pain for me. I really must mark off that time and adapt to the environment as much as possible. Put the phone and computer out of the room, put on some music, make some coffee, and shut yourself off into your own world for a while.

But these are rare moments. As an unmarried and childless student, I could sit for hours like this. Today, when I have two jobs and a small child, even an hour of such creative time is a reward for me.

Maya Aart Markéta Havlíková

Markéta has been building the brand for 13 years and has matured personally and creatively.

How can one succeed in such a competitive field as the production of jewellery and home decorations? What did you do to not only create for yourself but also to have customers?

I started to inspire other women with how I wear and combine jewellery. My customers are mainly women who come across me on the networks and are attracted by my energy, lifestyle, and approach to fashion. Then they want to wear the same jewellery as me. The biggest reward for me is the phase when they repeatedly return for more and more treasures in their jewellery box and recommend me further.

Let’s take a little deeper look at how you think about business. Why do you focus on inexpensive jewellery, which has a lot of competition, and not necessarily on expensive pieces?

This is due more to the development of the brand than to any well thought-out strategy. I mainly made purely costume jewellery pieces in the beginning because I didn’t have much money to invest in materials.

As the brand has matured with me, I have longed for pieces that will have more lasting value but are reasonably priced. That’s why today I mainly use surgical steel as a base in my earrings, and I also add silver components to other jewellery.

Steel is beautiful, in some jewellery I dare to say on the level of noble metals, but at the same time, it is also suitable for allergy sufferers and does not lose its shine. I can’t even imagine any other material for my original collection of earrings. Customers love them. Shiny, timeless, easy to combine, universal for leisure and social outfits, and at an affordable price.

Maya Aart jewellery

For Maya art, customers return.

Regarding customers, how do you manage to maintain your clientele and reach new ones?

In the case of small Czech brands, the deciding factor in a purchase is mainly emotional – either directly through networks where brands are in contact with customers or transferred to an e-shop that is pleasing to the eye and tempting to buy. I really rely on them a lot.

The main communication channels for me are networks, where I can “meet” customers from all over the country. I don’t pay for any advertising; I try to organically impress like-minded people with my posts. I would say that I have a permanent clientele, which then provides me with new customers.

How has covid changed your business thinking and is it changing with the increasing economic crisis?

I work with the idea that jewellery is an unnecessary thing, but necessary for us to feel good. So far, it works, because every year from 2020 I go a little further with my brand. Apparently, the previous years of work are now paying off. (smiles)

And I see great value in making custom jewellery. I am a creator who designs and wears jewellery herself, and if someone likes my style, they can easily order such a special piece from me. A big chain store can’t do that.

How many pieces of jewellery have you created for yourself?

Quite enough, but it’s true that some of them I’ve just stored nostalgically and I don’t wear them. There have been fewer of them in recent years because I have increased the production of custom-made jewellery. I made one new pair of earrings for Christmas as a reward for another successful year.

How much jewellery do you wear every day?

I regularly wear a set of three bracelets and one stitched pair of earrings decorated with PRECIOSA stones from my designer collection. I combine the other jewellery with it according to the mood or the occasion. Then I have my favourite three boho bracelets that I wear the most in the summer. I have the same thing with rosaries and beaded necklaces, which I enjoy in combination with exposed cleavage.

Maya Art Markéta Havlíková

Markéta inspires other women with how to wear and combine jewellery.

How has Webnode helped your business?

I pay a lot of attention to design and Webnode appealed to me with its templates from the first moment. At the time, I was choosing from three platforms, but Webnode was the closest to me. I liked it because it was different, so when you see it, you don’t feel like you’ve already come across the same template as many other e-shops. I sell individuality, so I wanted an e-shop that would not be like most others.

And why would you recommend Webnode to others?

  • Webnode has quality admin support.
  • It has nice templates that can be tweaked according to one’s imagination.
  • Rich features at an affordable price.

Learn more about how to create an art website and turn your hobby into income too.