Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dianna Rae High, owner of Dianna Rae Jewelry, located in Lafayette, LA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Custom fine jewelry is my specialty! My passion is helping you create and enjoy jewelry that is unique, personal, and always remarkable. Each piece I create has a story. Sometimes it's your story as I create a new design for a client or re-style a family heirloom. And sometimes, it's my story as I create a one-of-a-kind ring with an exotic gemstone. And sometimes the story is out of this world! I recently signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA!! Dianna Rae Jewelry is the first company to put diamonds on a mission to the International Space Station and make them available for sale to the public. A limited number of diamonds and gemstones are scheduled to rendezvous at the International Space Station, traveling in low earth orbit at a speed of 17,500 mph, flying through space under strict NASA guidelines. Once the diamonds return to earth, my team will be setting them into exclusive space-themed designed jewelry. Diamonds in Space by Dianna Rae - www.diamondsinspace.com
Tell us about yourself
Custom jewelry design has always been my passion! I first fell in love with gemstones when I joined my husband's family jewelry business. Then in 2014, I started Dianna Rae Jewelry so I could focus entirely on a custom design by blending the technology of CAD/CAM design with old-world craftsmanship. Since then, my daughter has joined the business as our third-generation jewelry designer. We both love working with clients.....hearing their stories.....then turning that story into a piece of jewelry art. Every day we get to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, a wedding, a new baby, and any number of special reasons why people buy jewelry. It's a joyful place to be.
I am a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, where I obtained the Applied Jewelry Professional™ Credential and earned degrees in the areas of Colored Stones, Diamonds, and Pearls. I am a Registered Jeweler® of the American Gem Society and serve on the board for Jewelers of Louisiana. I led my team to much success, as Dianna Rae Jewelry has been honored with prestigious awards, including two Jewelers of America CASE awards numerous Jewelers of Louisiana Design awards (one of which was the Best of Show Award at the 2018 Jewelers of Louisiana Convention) Runner-up for Luxury Retailer of the Year by JCK and INSTORE Magazine's distinction as one of America's Coolest Stores.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Growing my business from nothing to a multi-million dollar organization in a matter of a few years. I opened up Dianna Rae Jewelry shortly after our family re-located from Iowa to Louisiana. I didn't know anyone, didn't know the area or the culture, and didn't know if my new city would enjoy custom-designed jewelry. So I immersed myself in the community and the culture, learning as much as I could as quickly as possible. I joined many networking and social groups and met as many people as possible. I worked hard to build my team and create gorgeous jewelry. It worked!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, the hardest thing is building a great team. We've grown fast, so I am constantly looking for quality people. Training is never-ending and time-consuming.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Love what you do.
- Be honest and authentic.
- Surround yourself with quality people.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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