Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julia Winter, Founder of Jewel Ya, located in Phoenix, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Jewel Ya is a locally designed and handmade jewelry line. I work with fine metals and gemstones to create current yet classic pieces that can be worn daily. My client is a woman who cares about what she does in the world and looks her best. My designs are offered thru trunk shows, local events, online, thru reseller partners, and by appointment at my studio.
Tell us about yourself
I began Jewel Ya 19 years ago. Working with a life coach, I took the leap from corporate America and started showing my designs at personal trunk shows and local retailers. All of a sudden, it's been almost 20 years. I love working directly with women and the connections I've made. So many of the personal friends I have today are because we met thru my business. Delighting shoppers in person or online is a highlight.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Having "staying power" and being able to give back to many charities. During the last 20 years, I worked hard to build retail and wholesale clients. Being able to last thru economic downturns and the Covid pandemic is because I never gave up. It wasn't an option, and frankly, I have always loved my job.
Thru charity relationships, I have been able to create unique designs for fundraising and participate in give-back trunk shows. Finding a way thru my business and personally to give back to those in need is a cornerstone of Jewel Ya.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Staying on track. There are so many opportunities that come up and are enticing. But, not every avenue that sounds good is right for your business. Staying the course is critical to have the "staying power" that has kept Jewel Ya growing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My first tip is persistence. I have always called it counting your "No's." In the beginning, when I started, I had to collect a lot of "no's" to get to the "yes's." Second, find mentors. I had numerous mentors to ask for help. Suppose someone has done something well that you like take the time to find out how.
Most business owners love to share ideas and lessons. Finally, don't give up. It gets hard, but at some point, everything is hard. Stay the course.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Say thank you. Suppliers, workers, clients, and family members all need to know that you value them.
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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