Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jaimie Weiss, COO of Jean Dousset, located in West Hollywood, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Jean Dousset is a fine jewelry and engagement ring brand based in Los Angeles and founded by the great-great-grandson of Louis Cartier. Our mission is to make high-quality, luxury diamond jewelry more accessible to couples and women around the world.
Our customers come to Jean Dousset because they’re seeking a level of personalization, service, and quality, all within their budget, that they can’t find at other jewelry companies. All of our jewelry is made-to-order, with unique personalization elements that allow each client to feel like their piece is truly one-of-a-kind.
In 2021, we launched our exclusively lab-grown diamond jewelry and engagement ring collection, Oui by Jean Dousset. Lab-grown diamonds, which have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as natural diamonds, have come so far in technology and sustainability and are about a third of the price of natural diamonds. We believe lab-grown diamonds are the future and have allowed us to offer the level of personalization, craftsmanship, quality, and customer service that every customer deserves.
Tell us about yourself
I started working with our Founder Jean in 2018. I met Jean as an MBA student at UCLA, working on a consulting project that was looking into how to scale the business and make the brand more accessible, all without losing the high-quality Jean is best known for. At the completion of the project, it was obvious that Jean and I got along very well, and he offered me a role at the company to actually bring the project into fruition. I turned down a full-time role at a “safe” multi-billion dollar company and took a chance on a brand I thought had a lot of potential. Plus - I guess you could say I have the entrepreneurial bug from my father and wanted a challenge. In retrospect, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and never would have imagined the incredible journey we’ve been on over the last few years -- and this is just the beginning.
What motivates me each day is working for a brand and a company that I truly believe in (and let’s be honest, getting to wear the incredible jewelry doesn’t hurt). Our mission to democratize luxury jewelry and engagement rings allows consumers, and particularly couples, to “have it all.” No longer do couples have to sacrifice size, quality, customer service, or personalization. There’s something magical about allowing couples to enjoy this special moment and not worry so much about what they can and cannot fit into their budget. It’s truly rewarding to see how much we have grown in the last few years (not to mention I get to work with rockstars every day) and how we came out of the pandemic even stronger. We have big growth plans over the next few years, and I am excited by all the possibilities ahead of us.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I’d say my biggest accomplishment as COO of Jean Dousset was transforming a predominantly brick and mortar business into a scalable e-commerce brand with two websites that offer the high level of personalization and customer service we are best known for, and that allows us to grow as a business and reach a much broader audience.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about running a business is having to simultaneously manage a million different priorities with limited resources. In any given week, I could be working on sales, customer service, supply chain, pricing, marketing and content, e-commerce, hiring, etc. You have to take one day at a time and do the best you can with the resources and budget you have available.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You only ever hear the “success” part of people’s stories. They don’t share all the failures and bad days along the way. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, exhausting, and defeating, but you have to get back up and keep going. Failure is what teaches you to adapt and improve and ultimately get it right.
- We always think that other people know exactly what they are doing, or perhaps that we’re not “ready or prepared” for our next career move, but the truth is that most people have no idea, and they just figure it out along the way, and so will you. So don’t be afraid to take on more than you think you can bite off. If you’re smart, work hard and surround yourself with good people, you will figure it out.
- Running and growing a business is rewarding, but having a work/life balance and spending time to take care of myself, my friends, my family, and my partner make it even more rewarding. Don’t let running a business consume you.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.