In 2004, Jennifer Ciostri, took a jewelry making class to learn how to make jewelry for her daughters. After making a few pieces for family and friends she was asked “Why don’t you start your own business?”. Later that year, Jennifer started The Birds & The Beads Jewelry. Now her designs adorn customers all over the United States and even in the Dominican Republic.
“It really started as a ‘small’ business in every sense of the word,” comments Jennifer. “I still do much of the work out of my home and many of my clients are referrals which I’m always thankful for but being on the internet is an opportunity to showcase my work to people outside of the Chicago suburbs too. Oftentimes as I do home parties, people tell their friends and family in other states about my products and they want to know more. The web site offers them that opportunity.”
“In starting out with Jennifer, she really wanted a very whimsical look for her web site. She had begun using some clip art elements to build a brand and a logo for her business and what we essentially did was take those elements and build off of it. We even added some simple animation to the homepage to further enforce that ‘whimsical’ look,” said John Schwarberg, Creative Director at Integrated Web Solutions. As The Birds & The Beads Jewelry grew over the next few years, the web site slowly and steadily grew with her needs as basic e-commerce and order taking functionality was added. The product line grows with each year and has nearly tripled since Jennifer started the business.
“John and Rick at Integrated Web Solutions are terrific. They have answered dozens of questioned, built me a wonderful site, provide great hosting service and support and they’ve done it all while being sensitive to the fact that in the end, I’m a small business owner. They know I have a budget and they are as prudent with my budget as I am. I can’t recommend them highly enough,” said Jennifer.