Nov 30, 2022 marks five years since Tini Lux first launched. The idea came to me one day while scrolling Instagram. One of my favorite influencers had been posting earrings frequently over the weeks before that. I had a bad habit of buying (or wanting to buy) everything this one influencer posted, and I loved this particular pair of earrings she posted. Unfortunately, I knew they would never work for my ears because every time I tried to wear earrings I would get a painful reaction (and for that reason hadn’t worn any in years). That sparked me to start researching what actually caused my sensitive ears and to try to find a solution. I found lots of posts and comments with people similarly looking for a solution, but no one had an answer. I realized at that point that if there was no answer yet, then maybe I should create one. That moment set off my journey to find a solution which eventually turned into Tini Lux.
I never once doubted that starting Tini Lux was a good idea. I knew it was a good idea and I knew a lot of people wanted a product like this. No one ever told me I was crazy; almost every single person I’ve told has agreed it’s a needed product when I explain it to them. The questions I most often get are about how many people this problem really affects. Almost everyone asks, “if it’s so needed - how come no one else has done it yet?” I think there are a lot of reasons why people haven't created a solution before - from lack of awareness of the problem to the difficulty of manufacturing titanium - but I'm glad I didn't let any of those doubts stop me.
Those early days were scary because I really had to put myself out there. Before Tini Lux, I was a systems engineer. I grew up in rural Maine, was living in Washington DC, had no experience in business or fashion or jewelry design and no connections whatsoever in those areas. No one I knew had started a business or taken a risk like this. Everyone I went to school with worked in very traditional fields like engineering, medicine, and finance. Everyone had always been so impressed when I told them I worked in engineering - I thought people would laugh when I told them I was now selling earrings. Even so, I wanted a solution so badly and I knew other people did too so despite my fears I dove in.
Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster without a seat belt. Looking back, I’m so thankful to my now husband CJ who never once doubted the idea or that I could be the person to make it happen. I was terrified to spend money on inventory and marketing in the early days because I didn’t know if I would ever get it back but he never questioned any of it. When I was scared to put my idea out into the world he gave me the confidence to keep going. Now, we are both entrepreneurs and there are many days when we both feel isolated from the rest of our network of people working in traditional careers. We are now expecting our first child and have friends in the same position discussing family leave and company benefits, while we know that is a luxury we do not have. The safety net of a traditional career does not exist for us, but we find comfort in knowing deeply how much passion and effort it takes for each other to keep going every day in entrepreneurship.
5 years ago - Tini Lux was just me. I did every single role - from design to photography to fulfillment and customer service. 5 years later - we are a team of 5 women plus a network of agencies, manufacturers, suppliers, and a warehouse that makes the team feel even bigger. In the last 5 years the two things that I’m most proud of are 1) that we are creating a product that really works and truly brings joy to our customers and 2) that I’ve been able to create jobs for 5 women that allows each of us to be creative and fulfilled and have the flexibility and work life balance that most careers don’t allow women to have. Two of our team members are working moms who have been able to have a fulfilling career and keep their young kids home with them and that makes me very happy that Tini Lux has helped to give them that experience.
My dream for Tini Lux is to really be a household name so that everyone with metal allergies and sensitive ears knows there is a safe option out there for them. I hope that we can accomplish this in the next 5 years of Tini Lux. Even more than that, I hope that as we grow we can maintain our connection with our customers. I’m still excited by every single order we get and I still feel the same as I did 5 years ago when it was just me and I was shocked that a stranger took a chance on my earrings. Thank you all for giving Tini Lux a chance and for going on this journey with us!