Christina Peterson is always equipped with a notebook. She’s
constantly on the lookout for inspiration, and when it hits —
whether it’s from a passing billboard or a passerby’s tattoos —
she’s prepared to catch it, etching every idea in a notebook
that she carries at all times.
In 2009, inspiration hit. She began jotting down designs for an
artistic hobby that, with plenty of work and a little bit of
luck, would strike sterling silver.
is an online store whose story begins with a blog. After getting
married on 7/7/7 and securing an Art degree, Christina, founder
of FashionJunkie4Life, first entered the online space by picking
up different artistic hobbies and blogging about her
experiences. From manufacturing soap to crocheting gloves and
crafting pendants, every artsy avenue was an opportunity to
create a post describing her experience and the final outcome.
But then came jewelry. After dabbling with sterling silver —
creating and crafting designs that she constantly etched in her
notebook — she took a shine to the creative process. Designs
that began as concepts in her head developed into flat,
two-dimensional sketches, and finally into fully-realized,
beautiful creations that were her own.
And as her design ideas came to life in jewelry, so too did her
idea for an online business.
Capitalizing on the jewelry skills she honed by blogging,
Christina decided to venture into ecommerce, first choosing to
sell her products on Etsy, a marketplace centered around selling
homemade goods. When it prompted her for a username, she quickly
plugged in FashionJunkie4Life, looking to sell sterling silver
jewelry as soon as possible.
That untaken username, fittingly one-of-a-kind, has since become
a brand selling similarly one-of-a-kind products. The name
FashionJunkie4Life is unusual to be sure, but Christina and her
expanding team’s fondness for it has grown alongside the brand’s
own growth. Laughing about its origins daily, their motto is
“our name sucks, but our jewelry doesn’t.”
Heart of the Brand
While the silver-tongued jewelry salesman suckers mall wanderers
with the buzzwords “pretty” and “beautiful,”
FashionJunkie4Life’s product portfolio can be summed up in one
Forged with high-quality sterling silver, their jewelry is as
diverse as it is unique. Items are as standard as a modest set
of earrings, as off-the-wall as a moose-in-a-bathtub charm, and
as elegant as an angel-winged locket. And their product catalog
is wide-ranging. From anklets to necklaces and cufflinks, every
article of jewelry one could wear is covered — in sterling
silver, no less.
One-of-a-kind products are the true heart of
FashionJunkie4Life’s brand, evidenced by their best-selling,
anatomically-correct heart pendant. It’s their describability
that makes them both unique and memorable (they even have a
brain charm), and they’re beginning to broaden their assortment
of alloys by moving into solid gold and stainless steel.
That isn’t to say that “pretty” and “beautiful” don’t adequately
describe their products; they do. But for FashionJunkie4Life,
jewelry is at its most beautiful when it’s personal.
As ecommerce continues its relentless boon, competition
continues to fiercen. Although FashionJunkie4Life is constantly
positioning its brand on a variety of established and upcoming
platforms to get an edge in brand awareness, perhaps their
greatest differentiator is one determined by the customer.
The holiday season in 2015 proved extremely successful for
e-retailers, FashionJunkie4Life included. Finding themselves
sitting on a stockpile of extra cash, Christina and Ryan, her
husband, funneled it back into the business by lasering in on a
new business venture: a laser capable of customizing jewelry
After six months of preparation, the personalization of select
sterling silver products was a go. Customers submitted requests
as simple as initials or as complex as fingerprints, and
FashionJunkie4Life seared them into the jewelry. Since launch,
it’s been a major sterling silver mine.
And it’s that customization which elevates a piece of jewelry
from attractive object to memento with emotional significance; a
parent can personalize a pendant with their child’s drawing; an
EKG can be etched on a necklace dangling next to one’s own
heartbeat; the coordinates of a special location can be
emblazoned on a ring, forever marking the place and moment.
By personalizing, FashionJunkie4Life creates jewelry that
contains personal meaning for the customer, making the product
completely their own. Price might reflect the value of an
expensive piece of jewelry, but one that’s personalized is truly
Scaling the Store
Selling online is no silver-spoon affair; some serious elbow
grease is needed if an e-retailer is to grow.
FashionJunkie4Life’s approach is straightforward: divide and
organically conquer. With Etsy as their launchpad, they hopped
onto eBay, Amazon, and Bigcommerce, leveraging sales channels to
expand their reach and introduce their products to as many
consumers as possible.
Up to this point, it’s worked — they ended their first year with
more than 500 items forged and many thousand fulfilled, and
growth over the past several years has been remarkably steady
with a minimum of 200% year-over-year.
Featured in Cosmopolitan, Sky Mall, and Fancy, the brand has had
its fair share of exposure. But even its brand recognition has
been organic and gradual. No paid advertising, no press
pitching. Close attention to keywords, word-of-mouth marketing,
and a product worth wearing remain the primary drivers of
But running an online store on multiple channels can easily lead
to an escalation in the everyday grind, and FashionJunkie4Life
found itself sinking a substantial amount of time into managing
channels. Keeping tabs on orders and making sure inventory
quantities were aligned across all channels meant constantly
monitoring numbers on spreadsheets and manually adjusting sales
channel quantities every single day — it’s operation overload.
There was a silver bullet, though. Scouring eBay’s forums in
search of an inventory management solution to alleviate their
workload, FashionJunkie4Life found Ordoro and gave it a shot.
After integrating their portfolio of sales channels, Ordoro
proved its worth. Because the app collects orders in one place
and automatically syncs inventory throughout every channel, the
many spreadsheets could be shredded and manual work was
minimized. FashionJunkie4Life now has more time for other
functions focused around growing the business, trusting the app
to keep everything in order.
Placing Trust in Trust
And that trust isn’t restricted to the services
FashionJunkie4Life uses. Trust, from the get-go, has been a
cornerstone of the business affecting every aspect of it.
What began as Christina’s own venture into ecommerce has become
a family (and friend!) matter that places trust above all else.
When she first launched FashionJunkie4Life, it was her personal
brand and passion. Now, following years of growth, it belongs to
her employees who just so happen to be pretty trustworthy given
the many years she’s known them.
Ryan, her husband, is her chief advisor (and helps with all the
techie stuff); her operations manager is a close friend from
school; her sister-in-law runs merchandising; and her family
provided the initial funds that got the online store off the
Without trust, all brands rust, especially when they’re dealing
with sterling silver products. That’s why the word’s importance
extends beyond the crew — it’s a crucial element involved in
courting online consumers.
To foster it, FashionJunkie4Life provides tips on how customers
should properly maintain the sheen of their silver jewelry,
they’ve launched social surveys where respondents vote on design
ideas, and they guarantee free shipping on all orders within a
single business day. And over time, their most avid and trusted
customers — those that repeatedly purchase and engage — have
gained just as much ownership of the brand, pitching design
ideas and posting images of their FashionJunkie4Life jewelry.
Fashionable Jewelry for Life
For FashionJunkie4Life, running an online store isn’t solely
about selling sterling-silver based products that are a notch
above second place. It’s about crafting jewelry with true
meaning for the customer. From chainsaw charms to personalized
keychains, they’re committed to providing memorable, describable
jewelry that impacts their lives for life.
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