Merchant Spotlight: Freshie and Zero
Beth “Freshie” Lawrence is the Owner & Designer at Freshie & Zero, a brand with an adorable and personal name. When she was newly out of college, her manager started calling her “Bethie Beth,” à la “Marky Mark,” which soon morphed into, “Freshie Beth.” It wasn’t long before her coworkers and friends all started calling her, “Freshie,” too.
“Zero was my Jack Russell Terrier and yes, he was totally nuts – and a total sweetheart,” she says.
However, the products and practice came well before the name, as Beth started making jewelry when she was still a kid.
Using eco-friendly plastic, a very popular crafting material of the ’80s, 11-year-old Beth made earrings that she sold door-to-door out of her Caboodle for $3 to $5 a pair. She even sold her jewelry to a local boutique!
“I had lemonade stands in the summer and hot chocolate stands in the winter,” Beth says. “I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart.”
Upon graduating from Belmont University with an Arts degree, Beth thought the only way to make a living as an artist was to paint, something she had little passion for. So she put her artistic aspirations aside and worked in different art and craft galleries for a few years.
One day while displaying some handmade jewelry with wandering thoughts, she suddenly remembered that she had made jewelry when she was a child. She thought that perhaps she could make it again.
Maybe she could be a jewelry artist!
“I first used beads and vintage components until one day I explored making shapes with wire and a hammer. After making my first circle and hammering it, I immediately knew I had found my medium.”
Today, Freshie & Zero is thriving, so now Beth has an all-women team that makes jewelry, takes care of customers, and handles any random odds and ends in between. They work together in a studio in an ever-expanding downtown Nashville arts district.
Beth says her team mostly listens to music and true crime podcasts, laughs, hammers, and wire wraps the day away.
Beth shares that one of her business’ strengths is the ability to pivot with the times while still maintaining its authenticity. In 2019, just months before the pandemic started, Beth opened a small shop attached to the studio space.
However, no one was shopping in person, so Beth moved all of the store products to the website. “We’ve seen steady growth throughout the pandemic and are excited to see how we continue to grow!”
Beth also uses Orbit’s Shopify app Wholesale Club to expand her business not only to her customers but to other retailers as well. With Wholesale Club, Freshie & Zero are able to use their existing retail website to sell to their wholesale customers that don’t like shopping with 3rd party marketplaces.
According to Beth, her favourite feature is the Custom Prices option included in the Wholesale Club Professional plan. It’s helped her set individual pricing easily since she installed the app in early 2017.
“We used custom code before Wholesale Club. It’s been a while since I set it up, but I remember it being a simple process,” said Beth.
Beth leaves new entrepreneurs with a word of advice: Charge more than you’re comfortable with! You’ll be glad you did!
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