Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Reine Krief, Owner of BijouRocks, located in Solana Beach, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
BijouRocks is more than a handcrafted jewelry shop, it is a personal experience. The curated collections of carefully selected semi-precious stones, top-quality components, and repurposed vintage pieces come together in coherent handmade collections. In addition to the jewelry and personalized custom design services, I also design collections of eco-friendly fashion comfort footwear and luxurious leather handbags made in Italy, offering a selection of leisure and loungewear and an array of accessories for a complete look.
Our loyal base of supporters spans the range from grandmother to granddaughter, and there are a few men in the mix too. I customize jewelry to suit their needs and offer a jewelry repair service as well.
Tell us about yourself
My passion for jewelry began as a teenager when I would attend estate sales and flea markets. Attracted by the glamour of a bygone era, I collected vintage jewelry and began to transform them for myself and to gift them to my friends and family. After a time, I taught myself to hand knot, a technique in which silk is knotted between individual stones and beads to upload their place and integrity.
Moving from Canada to California in 2004 with four children in tow was a life-altering experience for us. With no other family or support, I was basically a stay-at-home mom with a hobby. It was my husband that encouraged and nudged me to sell some of the inventory I had amassed over the years in our garage. After a year of trial and error, trying to build my own website, BijouRocks launched the first website in the Spring of 2016, and the remake on Shopify launched in 2021. Today we have a beautiful store and showroom in Solana Beach, California, where we connect with the community and host events.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Getting an award for the Best Jewelry Store of Solana Beach 2022 was a great surprise and a highlight, but it really makes me feel amazing and legitimizes what I do when my customers come back to add more of my pieces to their collection.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The difficulty for me personally is striking the right balance between being a creative person and an administrator. Wearing many hats is common for small business owners, so knowing when to delegate and let go is so important.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Starting a new business has always been a challenge, and there are many stages to go through to establish a brand. In today's economy, it is even more difficult. You need to have a great story to tell, understand your market, and know how to navigate social marketing. Plus, you need to be frugal and have a budget to follow, with growth factored into it. Tenacity and a positive outlook are a must!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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