Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Liu, Founder of Petit Anjou, located in Newport Coast, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Petit Anjou is a luxury handcrafted jewelry brand for sensitive skin. With our focus on the quality of our materials and craftsmanship and providing a luxurious retail experience, our customers include a loyal fanbase who've grown to love the seamlessly refined shopping experience they get with our studio.
Tell us about yourself
I've always loved wearing jewelry but struggled to find pieces that didn't irritate my sensitive skin. I was also frustrated with how quickly pieces I purchased from well-known jewelry brands would tarnish and change color, often in less than a year's time. And with today's emphasis on fast fashion and instant gratification, quality and attention to the customer tend to suffer. I decided it was time to bring the focus back to the customer's experience and to make shopping feel luxurious again.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I used to work in law, so making the pivot to pursue something that I'm truly passionate about--especially in a field that has nothing to do with my previous career--was a huge leap. It requires an immense amount of faith and works to build everything from scratch and from the ground up.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest part definitely has to be learning how to wear all the hats. When starting your own product-based business, you are the designer, maker, bookkeeper, web developer, PR agent, and social media manager; all rolled up into one person. Throw in day-to-day life with three kids, and it always feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. I'm still learning how to maintain that delicate balance!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Surround yourself with a supportive, positive community. Starting a business can feel like a roller coaster ride, and there will be days when you feel like throwing in the towel. It's important to have people in your corner who believe in your idea as much as you do and will help you push through the difficult days.
- If something isn't working, be honest with yourself and be willing to pivot and redirect your efforts. This is true of any business, but especially one that's a boot-strapped startup. Your time and resources are so valuable, and one of the keys to using them wisely is to assess often and change course as necessary.
- Know when it's time to outsource. You know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone, and my own areas of weakness became very evident as I started building my business! In those areas, it can be a worthwhile investment to bring in someone else who can do the job better, freeing up your time (and sanity) to focus on what you do well. For many self-motivated founders, it can be tempting to try to do everything yourself, but there's great value in knowing when to let go and delegate.
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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