How I Found My Business Bestie on Etsy

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on


Jaclyn Brzezinski & Kelley Bren Burke 

Co-written by Jaclyn Brzezinski

We’ve never met, but we text each other daily. We’ve been friends and business besties for five years. Kelley lives in Minnesota and Jaclyn lives in North Carolina. We both own jewelry shops on Etsy. Kelley’s shop is Gems by Kelley. Kelley designs minimalist gemstone jewelry and natural crystal bracelets. Jaclyn’s shop is Chrysalis Studios. Jaclyn designs jewelry made from ethically sourced real butterfly wings, crystals, insect art, & other gifts from nature. 


Chrysalis Studios

Gems by Kelley 

How Kelley met Jaclyn 

We met via the Etsy Forums in the fall of 2013. We were hanging out in the Forums one night. We were brand new Etsy sellers and with zero sales and zero reviews. Another seller on the forums offered to do a “treasury” to promote new sellers. Treasuries were a way to display a compilation of various items available on Etsy. We both asked to participate, and the seller included us both in her treasury. 

Kelley complimented Jaclyn’s jewelry in the treasury comments. Jaclyn then reached out to Kelley via Etsy messenger and suggested we “purchase” each other’s jewelry via a trade, in order to give each other our first Etsy reviews. Having positive reviews is important to new sellers, because buyers can be reluctant to purchase from a new seller who doesn’t have any reviews or feedback. We both chose an item we liked from each other’s shops and “purchased” the respective items. A week later, after receiving the jewelry, we each wrote one another a 5 star review, kicking off what would become a long history of 5 star reviews for both our shops. 


Our first Etsy reviews that we wrote for each other 

Five years have gone by. We text, Facebook, and talk on the phone. We share stats and offer each other advice and feedback. Usually this advice is about our businesses, but sometimes it’s about our personal lives. We share photos of our dogs, send Christmas presents, and support each other when we’re going through tough times. 

We’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other. We’re both dedicated to growing our businesses, and we rarely get tired of talking shop. Having a business bestie is awesome, because sometimes our friends, family and partners get tired of answering questions about which photo looks best for a listing or how much an item should cost. 


 Chrysalis Studios 

We boost one another up. We let each other know when something is working for our shop and how it might work for the other shop as well. 

We both recently implemented new promotional cards which we send out as a free gift with our jewelry. Jaclyn’s cards feature butterflies with her original photography of the insects and information on each species. Kelley’s cards feature crystals & minerals with information on their metaphysical properties.


Gems by Kelley 

We both love to support other small businesses as well, so when we purchase holiday gifts for one another, we purchase from other Etsy sellers. During the Christmas season, Jaclyn purchased Kelley a diamond-shaped terrarium & air plant from etsy shop SimplyMAEdwithlove. Kelley sent Jaclyn a dragonfly jewelry dish from etsy shop Vumbaca White Ceramic. After Kelley helped Jaclyn with a particularly stressful matter recently, Jaclyn shipped Kelley a box of assorted French macaron cookies from Etsy baking shop, ElleMercedmacarons. 

Since we met in 2013, Jaclyn has had over 6,000 sales on Etsy, and Kelley has had over 5,000 sales. We’ve both resigned from our full-time corporate careers and made Etsy our full-time jobs. We agree that we probably would have been successful on Etsy whether we met each other or not. However, we don’t think we would be quite as successful. Having a business bestie definitely helped grow our businesses.

Thank you, Etsy, for sending us both the best friend we’ve never met.



Real Monarch butterfly wing moon necklace

model wearing stacks of gemstone crystal bracelets

Genuine Rose Quartz Bracelet 

We are doing a combined free giveaway! You’ll receive a Real Monarch butterfly wing moon necklace from Chrysalis Studios AND a genuine Rose Quartz beaded bracelet from Gems by Kelley.

In order to win, simply make any comment on this blog post or on Jaclyn's blog post. Then come back to the Instagram or Facebook post about this blog post and write "PICK ME!" and you'll be entered into the contest! We’ll choose the winner in a random drawing on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018. We will reveal the winner on the Facebook & Instagram pages for both Chrysalis Studios and Gems by Kelley!


Gems by Kelley Facebook

Gems by Kelley Instagram

Chrysalis Studios Facebook

Chrysalis Studios Instagram 

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  • I feel so uplifted reading this blog!
    It’s ironic, but as an Etsy seller myself I’d favourited both of your shops – I love shops that you know you instantly connect with, you just have this feeling they are on your wave length! It can be a lonely business sometimes as a seller and it’s great to know you’ve got support!
    Thanks girls- Melaniex

    Melanie Standen on
  • And the winner is . . . Taryn Colmenares! 🎉 Taryn, Jaclyn will reach out to you and ask for your email address and shipping address. Thanks so much, everyone, for all the lovely comments on our blog post. I read and loved each one!

    Kelley Bren Burke on
  • Love this!! Some people are just meant to be in our lives. ❤️

    Tammy Butau on
  • What a great story! And absolutely beautiful jewelry.

    Amy on
  • I love when that happens…finding friends you’ve never actually met

    Michele on

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