We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline Hannon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caroline, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
A few months into my first job post-college, I found myself in a position that many recent graduates experience. I was stuck in a cycle that involved going to work, coming home, cooking for myself, going to bed, and repeating the process day after day. I felt I was missing a creative outlet, something that was always a big part of my life since a young age, when I started my first small business creating handmade cards. I set a goal for myself in 2020 to find a creative hobby. After trying out a few that didn’t seem like the right fit, I came across polymer clay jewelry. I’d always loved earrings, and I had a gut feeling that this was really something I could do. I truly started creating pieces from a place of curiosity, never intending to turn it into a business. I realized after a few weeks, a girl can only own so many pairs of earrings! As jewelry started to pile up, I decided it was time to share the pieces with others. I brainstormed for days over what to call my business, finally settling on The Little Things Shop. I knew I wanted to remind people to enjoy the little things in life!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My small business sells polymer clay jewelry with the goal of reminding people to enjoy the little things in life. It was important to me that there was a purpose beyond the product. Whether someone makes a purchase to send a small gift to a friend for their birthday or buys a pair of earrings as a little pick-me-up for themselves, I wanted each customer to remember the little things. This message is one of the things I’m most excited about with my business. I’ve also loved seeing my brand develop over the past few years. I was able to work with a friend who is an incredible graphic designer to design marketing and packaging materials. I’m proud of the effort I made to ensure the brand was carried cohesively through each part of the business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many great spots in Washington, DC! If my best friend was visiting for a few days, I’d make sure we’d hit all my favorite neighborhoods. In Capitol Hill, we’d start at the Eastern Market farmer’s market before walking over to the Supreme Court, the Capitol Building, and going inside the Library of Congress. For lunch, we’d walk down East Capitol Street to Lincoln Park to enjoy a quick picnic. After relaxing in the shade of the trees in Lincoln Park, we’d stroll over to 8th Street to grab drinks at the Betsy rooftop. Dinner at Rose’s Luxury would be the perfect way to end the night.
The next day would be reserved for the touristy spots! Before heading to the mall, we’d stop at the old Post Office to get a unique view of the city from the Clock Tower. Then we’d walk over to the mall to browse through a few museums, including the National Gallery of Art, where we could spend some time outside by the fountain. We’d walk through the sculpture garden to get to China Chilcano for a Peruvian lunch from one of DC’s finest (José Andrés!). Then we’d hop on bikes to head back to the mall, riding along the lawn passing the Washington Monument, catching a glimpse of the White House in the distance, and ending at the Lincoln Memorial for sunset. We’d grab drinks and appetizers at Flight Wine Bar before catching a Caps game at the Capital One Arena.
For our last day, we’d hop over to Georgetown for brunch and window shopping. I’d make sure we picked up a Baked & Wired cupcake to enjoy by the waterfront. We’d slowly make our way over to Dupont Circle, taking the long way through Georgetown to admire the historic rowhomes. The trip would finish with drinks and dinner at Astoria!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Two of my biggest cheerleaders in starting my polymer clay jewelry business were the people I was lucky to have as roommates in my first post-college apartment, Millie and Jacky. I randomly found the row home I would later share with them via a Facebook group, and moved in weeks later to replace the third roommate (who was moving to a new city) without ever meeting the two women I would soon be sharing a space with. We became fast friends. They were the first to notice my new hobby, as I tended to take up the entire kitchen when I was working on my craft. I told them my idea for starting a small business, and they each encouraged me and insisted I should go for it, despite my own doubts. After starting The Little Things Shop their support never wavered; they helped me take photos, come up with new design ideas, and told everyone they knew about my small business. I would not have had the courage to start The Little Things Shop without Millie and Jacky, and I know the business would not be what it is today without their constant encouragement and support.Thanks!