We had the good fortune of connecting with Cydney Putnam and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cydney, what do you attribute your success to?
When looking back on the past couple years that I have spent creating jewelry, I have found that my most successful times came when I was creating things that I personally loved. While designing jewelry I got a lot of feedback from my friends, family, and customers, which I really appreciated, but I found myself obsessing over having at least one design that everyone would love. This led me to put pieces on my website that I didn’t entirely love but I was hoping someone else would. On the other hand, when I put out collections that I was entirely in love with, I found the most success. When I put out collections knowing I would gladly wear any pair of those earrings, I always got the greatest feedback. I am still accepting the fact that not everyone will like something in my shop. There are far too many personalities in this world to be trying to design pieces that fit everyone. I found that my success comes from designing and creating things that I thoroughly enjoy because my excitement and love for my pieces is shared among many others.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When I was 17, I didn’t realize all the responsibilities that went into running a small business. I was sort of ignorant thinking that I could just make some products, set up a website and then sell them and get paid. There are so many things that I had to come to terms with in order to be successful with 402pairs. Thankfully I had so many people around me that could help me get it started. For example, my dad’s friend helped me find the smartest option to start my website. My dad helped me register 402pairs in the state of Nebraska, and he also helped me with things like taxes, which I did not even think about at the start. On top of figuring out how to complete these new tasks, the biggest challenge that I faced during this process was learning to be content with my business and to create things that I loved. I always had some sort of mental block in my head telling me I need to make so many different variants of jewelry to please everyone. This led me to putting out products I was not 100% content with. But, after assessing what I really wanted my business to look like I started putting out jewelry I would want to wear myself and that’s when I started succeeding.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend visiting Omaha, I’d have a lot of stops in our itinerary. I am always starting the day out with coffee so, first, I would take them to Dundee Double Shot. I have been going there to get my oat milk lattes for years and they never disappoint. It is such an enjoyable spot accompanied by the sweetest baristas. For lunch I would take them to Pitch to grab some pizza and brussel sprouts. Next, this is a must, given we’re in Omaha, NE, I would take them to the zoo! It is definitely the biggest tourist attraction in Omaha, NE, but I love it. And since it’s one of the top ranked zoos in the United States, visiting is a must. To cool off from all of that walking we did at the zoo, we could go for a swim at Field Club or the new Cottonwood Hotel. There, we could grab a bite to eat for dinner as well and catch up with some friends. Later, we would go hang out with my hometown friends wherever the spot is for the night, whether it is the Gene Leahy Mall downtown or the many amazing restaurants in the Blackstone District.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have definitely said this a lot but I owe so much of my business’ success to my high school peers. I went to an all-girls school so selling jewelry was a good business to have. Before I was a legitimate business I was experimenting different styles of earrings and selling them right out of my backpack. The support and encouragement of everyone around me pushed me to pursue the idea of being a small business owner. Girls from my school were constantly posting my earrings on their Instagram stories which led to more people finding my business and wanting 402pairs earrings of their own. I also have to shoutout all of my friends I made on social media. I have them to thank because without them I wouldn’t have met the other wonderful business owners who sold my products in their stores or who supported my business in many other ways. Lastly, I definitely need to thank my parents. If they didn’t ground me my Junior year of high school I wouldn’t have stumbled upon the idea of creating earrings. I also took over their oven and the extra room in our house to create my own “art room.” Without them 402pairs wouldn’t be a legitimate business so I am forever grateful for their support.

Website: https://402pairs.com/

Instagram: 402pairs

Image Credits

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