Handmade Flower Necklaces And Keychains On Etsy
“Two things were turning points for me: strangers buying my products, and checking my budget sheet and seeing that I had struck balance,” Yin Li said of his 2-month business, Pebbles + Herbs.
Put simply, Pebbles + Herbs is an online store on Instagram and Etsy selling handmade botanical accessories. Made by Yin Li, they are made from fresh flowers and leaves which are carved from resin to become jewelry and key chains.
The designer at heart gets her validation by seeing her trinkets come to life while watching customers adore them. For her, this is what makes the business worth running.
In fact, Yin Li quit his full-time job during a global pandemic in pursuit of his profession. She told Vulcan Post, “Towards the end of a crazy year in 2020, I decided to take a break and try out this project I had in mind.”
A solo show
After being obsessed with photography for a long time, when it came to finding a ‘good job’ digital marketing fell into place for Yin Li. For the past 5 years or so, she has been a digital marketer for an arts festival and an international jewelry brand.
Having a foothold in the creative industry, Yin Li is no stranger to freelance. So besides pursuing her dream of photography, she worked on Pebbles + Herbs in the evenings and weekends.
I’m still quite amazed that all of my skill sets can come together for this business. I create the products, I photograph them, I work on its branding, its e-commerce store list and its marketing all by myself. That said, it’s still a never-ending journey to learn and explore.
Yin Li, founder of Pebbles + Herbs.
Trinkets can cost anywhere from RM32 for a pair of earrings to RM68 for a necklace. To determine her price range, she would survey the market to find out how much consumers were willing to pay for similar products. Spreadsheets are his go-to when it comes to managing business expenses.
And conscientious spending has served him well. As mentioned before, Pebbles + Herbs managed to stabilize after 2 months of existence.
This is what gave Yin Li the confidence to keep her business running smoothly, even though she never had full control over the end result of the products.
A natural to his job
Entirely self-taught, his botanical trinkets are built by trial and error. This is especially true for the preservation of the flower.
By using fresh plants in its products, some shrubs can look beautiful by the time they are cast in the resin, but may turn brown after a few weeks.
The difficulty in working with fresh plants comes from the fact that there is always a chance that they will change and oxidize. It’s not like buying a porcelain cup that will look the same even after 100 years, according to Yin Li.
“So I usually keep the pendants for about a week before I photograph them and put them up for sale in my store, because I don’t want customers to feel cheated,” she explained.
After making them for several months now, she has learned to filter and choose only foliage that dries properly and lasts longer.
Initially, she would pick up all the stray flowers, then stick them in her mold while they were still fresh. This was not recommended because the resin releases heat during drying and “cooks” the plants because they contain water.
Despite reading about it in her research, she still continued, curious to try it for herself. A handful of flowers would survive and stay vibrant, while many did not.
The purchase of silica gel was his oracle. When buried in the sand-like chemical, fresh plants dry out, allowing them to retain their colors.
Of course, it would be easier if Yin Li just bought ready-made dried flowers online. But the novelty of Pebbles + Herbs has come to be made by hand with local plants sourced from its manufacturer.
Make them batch by batch
The flowers used are mainly gathered around its environment and its small heavenly garden. Occasionally, fresh flowers are purchased from florists.
The accessories are made in small batches of about 10 pieces each time. They are then dried for a day or two and sculpted into resin, which takes about 20 hours to harden.
Yin Li only attached them to a necklace or keychain when orders arrive, in order to manage his inventory and stock.
Pebbles + Herbs have yet to receive bulk orders so far, but Yin Li is ready to offer them for pre-order to manage customer expectations when the time comes.
For now, she is focusing on marketing to reach a wider audience in her target market. In addition to advertising on Facebook and Instagram, she seeks to improve engagement and convert audiences into buyers.
In the long term, his priority is to earn consistent income from sales of Pebbles + Herbs.
“I don’t plan on scaling too big for sustainability reasons, because then I wouldn’t be able to pick my own flowers, but be able to put out a new batch of produce and sell them all in one day. or two. that would be nice, ”she said.
- You can read more about Pebbles + Herbs here.
- You can read more Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Yin Li, Founder of Pebbles + Herbs
Our sincere thanks to