Encore Entrepreneurs: Mary Hurst’s Story

Mary Hurst, age 60, founder of Mary Hurst Couture Jewelry.

Mary Hurst designs of crates unique contemporary Celtic jewelry for art galleries, boutiques, and special events.

What makes her business successful?

“My success now has to do with maintaining relationships with my customers and creating one-of-a-kind pieces with perceived artistic value,” is how Mary describes her business.  She is also working at increasing her online and in-person sales.

“Work in progress”

Mary emigrated from Ireland (County Tipperary) at the age of 19, and had had a huge variety of careers over the years.  She has managed small businesses, selling real estate, and teaching English.  But she always knew something about herself: “I have always enjoyed working with art and working with my hands.”  Mary and her husband relocated to Portland, and she started making jewelry because there was a bead store near her house!  There was no grand plan to sell her jewelry at first, but she was asked to consign her pieces.  Nine years later she still consigns her jewelry, and also has a huge holiday show, Champagne and Truffles.

A few years ago, Mary hired someone to design a new website and create a Facebook page that has regular posts, as recommended by Jackie.  She now works with a sales rep, who helps get her jewelry into shops and galleries.  Her income increased.  Her next focus is on Pinterest and more direct sales.

Re-Invention, Re-Vision, Re-Creation

Mary and Jackie continue working together to increase her person-to-person sales, and also to move away from consignment sales. She would like to be more reliant on her own marketing.  “I would like to build my reputation as the go-to Celtic jewelry designer with a focus on Celtic weddings,” she says.  Mary is on track with honing her deep and narrow niche.