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Jack Healy of Soluna Copper: “Making connections with other experts in your field”

“I would define a ‘Thought Leader’ as someone who has extensive knowledge in a niche topic and is credible for educating others. This is different from a typical leader who is in charge of a group and empowers people toward a common goal but may not have extensive knowledge in a topic. An influencer also […]

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“I would define a ‘Thought Leader’ as someone who has extensive knowledge in a niche topic and is credible for educating others. This is different from a typical leader who is in charge of a group and empowers people toward a common goal but may not have extensive knowledge in a topic. An influencer also may not be expert in a topic but has a following and may help to persuade the purchase decision of consumers.


As part of our series about how to become known as a thought leader in your industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jack Healy.

Jack Healy is the president of Soluna Copper which is a resource for designers, architects, and discerning homeowners shopping for unique artisan copper elements for the home. When it comes to producing superior handcrafted artisan copper, SoLuna Copper may be touted as a leader in the industry. Whether it be their timeless copper lighting fixtures, luxurious bathtubs, impressive kitchen and bathroom sinks or home décor accessories, SoLuna Copper has been offering customers the best in quality and service since 2001.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I started my career as a sales and marketing executive for a plumbing manufacture when I decided to make a career switch and start Artisan Crafted, www.artisancrafted.com, with my wife who is an artist. This career switch took place over 20 years ago and Artisan Crafted is still a thriving business focusing on sinks, lighting, furniture and home décor items. When we first started the business, I ran across handcrafted and hand hammered copper on a trip to Santa Clara, Mexico and absolutely fell in love with it. I knew that the human crafted aspect of the copper was right up our alley to offer to our customers. Now, we still run Artisan Crafted but have added www.SolunaCopper.com as well which focuses exclusively on artisan handcrafted copper products for the home.

Can you briefly share with our readers why you are an authority about the topic of thought leadership?

We’ve been involved in the copper industry for well over 20 years and are well versed with every aspect of this precious metal including the health aspects of it. We constantly follow trends to be sure that we’re offering rustic pieces as well as modern pieces such as our new copper lighting that we’re finding homeowners are searching for.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Actually, since the pandemic started, we have tripled the business with sales of our copper tubs including Japanese soaking tubs. We’ve found that people wanted and needed something that would offer them comfort and not only do our soaking tubs offer this, but research has shown that the anti-microbial properties of copper actually kills the COVID virus, a huge selling point for our customers. The health benefits of our soaking tubs is what’s driving the demand for them. Prior to COVID, we would sell maybe 5 of our soaking tubs per week and now we’re selling 10–12 of them. We’re also somewhat unique since we have our own studio and can make custom designs and sizes for our customers.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We actually spent almost six figures on printed catalogs of our initial offerings of handcrafted “functional art” products in the first year we started (over 20 years ago). After a few months, it became apparent that the larger design firms were pushing their vendors to put their catalogs “online”. …so those catalogs had only “one edition” and our first website (GlassArtistsGallery.com) was born. The lesson we learned was to listen to our target market more carefully before making a significant investment. Ironically this first website cost about 10% of what we had spent on the printed catalogs.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define what a ‘Thought Leader’ is. How is a thought leader different than a typical leader? How is a thought leader different than an influencer?

“I would define a ‘Thought Leader’ as someone who has extensive knowledge in a niche topic and is credible for educating others. This is different from a typical leader who is in charge of a group and empowers people toward a common goal but may not have extensive knowledge in a topic. An influencer also may not be expert in a topic but has a following and may help to persuade the purchase decision of consumers.

Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming a thought leader. Why do you think it is worthwhile to invest resources and energy into this?

I think thought leadership comes with time. It isn’t necessarily something that should be your focus to become a thought leader. However, for those that do stay in the same industry for a long time, once you have that niche knowledge, then it might be worth the energy for your company and your own career to educate others about your industry.

Let’s talk about business opportunities specifically. Can you share a few examples of how thought leadership can help a business grow or create lucrative opportunities?

A thought leader can help a business grow or create opportunities as once you’re viewed as an expert or a thought leader within your specific industry, people are more inclined to rely on you for your advice or opinions, which results in growth. Our customers rely on our 20 years of experience offering artisan handcrafted copper products (along with other unique products in handblown glass, hand painted ceramics, etc) and know that they’re getting the best product hand built for their specific needs. Because of our experience in the industry, we’re now also working with resorts around the world as well as restaurants with our copper soaking tubs and copper lighting.

Ok. Now that we have that behind us, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how to eventually become a thought leader. Can you share 5 strategies that a person should implement to become known as a thought leader in their industry. Please tell us a story or example (ideally from your own experience) for each.

Five strategies to become a thought leader include staying in the same or similar industry when growing your career, continuing to stay on top of the latest research in your industry, keeping in touch with consumer needs in your niche, educating your audience (blogs, magazines, videos), and making connections with other experts in your field.

In your opinion, who is an example of someone who has that has done a fantastic job as a thought leader? Which specific things have impressed you about that person? What lessons can we learn from this person’s approach.

The first person that comes to mind is one of my first bosses who ran a small manufacturer’s rep firm. He was very charismatic and because he spent the first part of his career as a buyer for a retail chain in the Northwest (and rose to the top in that department), he was well respected when he walked into similar buyers offices with product to sell. He would not just pitch a product but show how the product would perform in a certain amount of shelf space, how it would offer their customers something unique that they didn’t have.

I have seen some discussion that the term “thought leader” is trite, overused, and should be avoided. What is your feeling about this?

I do think the term “thought leader” can be overused and isn’t a one size fits all term. However, the term “thought leader” can help define someone’s knowledge in an industry.

What advice would you give to other leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

Continuous networking and following trends in your specific industry, which can help with keeping ideas fresh. I’d also recommend not letting work consume you; we all need time away from work, to rest our minds and refresh. I find that time away with my wife gives me the energy I need to get excited about new opportunities.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Be kind and considerate and realize that we all have our own stories and going through our own ordeals.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Be flexible and receptive to change.”

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

My first thought was my family, but outside of that, I would say Steve Jobs. His vision, persistence and creativity was inspiring. If the person needed to be walking amongst us, I would say Barack Obama.

How can our readers follow you online? www.artisancrafted.com and www.solunacopper.com

Thank you so much for your insights. This was very insightful and meaningful.

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