A true farm girl at heart, Crystal Blinn is originally from Canada and grew up within the purebred cattle industry there. Through the advice of mentors she found herself at a Kansas Community College to begin her college career where she ended up transferring to Kansas State. This is where we met!
We were in the same major, Animal Science and Ag Communication, and served on the school’s magazine together. If there’s one thing I’ve always admired about Crystal, it’s that her attention to detail balanced my “let’s get it done” mentality. But, both of us really value creating freedom in our lives. There’s so many ways to do this and this is Crystal Blinn’s amazing story. Through this interview you will learn:
- How she’s living her best life by creating freedom!
- How she uses beauty, make-up, and jewelry in direct sales to be creating freedom and joy in her life
- How she encourages others to create joy in their lives
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Get to know Crystal Blinn
Crystal loves everything about the ag industry and as she was wrapping up her degree at KU she had to decide whether she was going to stay in the States or if she would head back to Canada.
She did internships at Calgary Stampede for a couple of summers and then she did an internship at the American Hereford Association in the US to help make her final decision. She decided to stay in the States where she ended up meeting her husband and moving to Iowa where they raise purebred Hereford cattle and grow corn and soybeans.
The Biggest Challenge Crystal has Faced
Moving to Independence, IA was hard on Crystal. She didn’t know anyone other than her husband and her corporate job kept her on the road a lot. She worked from home doing marketing for their brands but traveled quite a bit which made it difficult to make friends.
If she did start to make a friend she often had to turn them down for invites because she simply wasn’t going to be home. She’s been living in the area for eight years now but three years ago she got involved with Keep Collective. Initially it was going to be a hobby but she ended up leaving her corporate job last September to pursue it full-time.
Not only is she able to do something she loves, she’s finally been able to get involved in their small community, while creating freedom to do more of the things she loves.
How Keep Collective Has Helped Her Connect
As her jewelry business has grown it allowed her to connect with her community in a way that allows her to share her story and passion while encouraging others to share theirs. She loves the aspect of having an online business since it allows her to connect with her online audience from anywhere.
One of her favorite aspects of Keep Collective is the opportunity she has to design pieces in person with her clients. Often times they’re memorializing a significant event like a loss of a loved or they’re celebrating a big milestone in their life. Both scenarios allow her to get to know them quicker and she loves having that connection.
Advice for Those Wanting to Start a Direct Sales… or Any Business
It’s the era of the side hustle. Crystal believes that you can have a side hustle or begin a business with whatever sparks your interest and creativity most. If you like to do crafts then open an Etsy shop, if you have chickens sell eggs and/or chicks. What she liked about Keep Collective was she paid a fee and had an instant business.
Why Keep Collective? One of the biggest draws for Crystal was that she doesn’t, isn’t allowed to actually, carry inventory. She doesn’t have a room full of jewelry. All the customers order through the website and the pieces are shipped to them.
Most importantly though she’s an advocate for sharing what you love. She hears people all the time tell her “I’ve never sold anything, I’m not good at sales.” However her response is, when you find a product you love what do you do? You tell people about it right? Her philosophy is if she can make a commission off of selling or sharing what she loves, then why not? So her biggest piece of advice is to find what you really love to doing and sharing about?
It’s helped her and her husband pay off debt faster, do improvements to the farm, and even afforded her to fly to Idaho and purchase a cow from a breeder’s sale they had always admired. She loves farming but, as we know, it has it’s ups and downs so that extra income has been great for them.
When Crystal Blinn first started with Keep Collective she figured a couple hundred bucks a month would be helpful to her and her husband but it’s turned into so much more than that. The community that has come with Keep Collective means a lot to Crystal, the company values people’s stories and the people behind them.
The company is pretty high tech because the founder, Jessica Heron, wanted to do direct sales differently. So they have virtual design tools where you can design your jewelry from scratch. When Crystal does this she designs the jewelry and then sends a link to the client who can approve it or give feedback for changes. If there’s a design that she may not have that someone is interested in she can go to a team of designers and get pictures of other designs to help inspire that person for their own piece.
What is Crystal Blinn Excited About for the Future
Crystal has done a vision board for the last three years. She learned about it at one of the Keep Leadership Retreats and loved the idea. It helps shape how she wants her year to look like and when she first did one she was shocked to look back and see how many pieces of it came to fruition. She believes that part of the reason they came to life is because she’s creating freedom in the boards and leaves them where she can see them in her office every day. She’s constantly thinking about those things and developing a plan to reach them.
She’s excited to have her first full year doing Keep Collective full-time alongside the cattle operation, as well as the personal development goals she’s set for herself this year. She’s going to be actively working towards growing as an individual and finding ways for creating freedom in their life.
Her words for this year are brave and joy. She wants to continue to be brave and unafraid of failure. Despite the hard work involved in farming and her Keep Collective business she wants to be sure that the joy and ability for creating freedom is always there.
Her Advice for When Things Get Tough
But sometimes creating freedom in your life isn’t easy. I want everyone to know that it IS possible. And Crystal Blinn knows this, too. She is adamant about having a strong and solid “why.”
Why did you start your business? Why is that success important? When you fail your why needs to be enough to make you get back up and try again. It needs to be what you hold onto when things are hard. If you continuously fail at a goal then your why isn’t strong enough. The why is the key to following through but in order to reach your goal you still need a plan for how to get there.
Why She Chose Keep Collective
If she’s being honest it was because she loved turquoise jewelry and she needed a hobby. She loved her career and never thought Keep would replace that career. A friend of hers introduced her to the jewelry and it snowballed from there. What started out as a way to buy some new clothes when they went to destination weddings that year turned into leadership opportunities and personal development opportunities within the company. That is what really had her falling in love with it and wanting it to be something she shared with the women in her life.
Keep Collective approached direct sales differently and that’s something that Crystal has done within her team as well. Her background in marketing helped with this tremendously and it’s something that she talks to her team about a lot. Marketing is about relationship building more than it is about sales. That has seen her, and her team, a lot of success. She approaches it no differently than the sales clerk at your local boutique. When you walk in and you like a sweater that clerk is going to offer a necklace or pair of jeans to go with it. She views it as the same concept when she’s marketing her jewelry. It’s something she genuinely feels her customer may be interested in. If someone doesn’t buy from her she doesn’t take it personally. It’s no different than someone not being interested in purchasing from their Hereford herd.
Interested in designing your own signature jewelry for you or a friend? Check out this great deal Crystal gave me just for you: Get $10 off your first order of $50!
Crystal’s Thoughts on Balance
Crystal Blinn isn’t a believer in balance. Her and her husband meet in the middle when things need to be done and the day hasn’t gone according to plan. She doesn’t need, or want, to keep all the plates spinning in the air at once. She understands that there are going to be times that she’s working like crazy and the laundry is piling up or there’s going to be times where it’s a little slower and she can plan an elaborate meal or entertain guests. She focuses less on balance and more on being fulfilled with the things in her life.
If you like your feed to include jewelry, cows, lipstick, and lots of dry shampoo follow Crystal on her social media, where she’s very active.
Find Crystal Here:
~ Much Love ~
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