My story is one of luck. Good and bad. Its a story of staying strong, not just for me but for my family. It’s also a story of opportunities and grabbing them. I was a full-time UCLA student with two very young children. Needless to say, I could not work a 9-5 “normal” job.
I was lucky to be introduced to a lady who sold jewelry at the LA Mart. She had a line called Rock Candy. She would wire wrap crystals onto silver chains. She taught me how to do this and I began making jewelry for her. Even though I started out making very little money, I was able to learn the craft. I soon realized that I could do this for myself. So I began to sell my own jewelry. I created my own designs with gemstones, not the crystals I learned with. As many small businesses start, I did home shows, selling to friends and families. Asking them also to get the word out. I realized this could be great in so many ways besides the increased income. It offered me freedom to make my own schedule. I applied to little street fairs.
The more I succeeded, the more incentive I had to learn more. There was a lot of competition at these fairs, so I had to stand out and get better. I took adult classes for jewelry design. I continued for two years, and also learned the craft of metalsmithing. I was now able to show my designs at prestigious art fairs. At that point, when things were looking up, my husband left me (and our two grade school children) for another woman. Wow, just what I needed! I had to dig in even more! I focused and worked even harder doing jewelry full time. Thankfully because of my flexible schedule, I was able to drive my children to school, and pick them up.
As my business grew, I was able to hire an assistant to help with the shows and production work. Someone once said that “it’s funny, the harder I work, the luckier I get.” So true. My online website and Etsy shop began to take off. I was designing more, creating more, including a line of charms. Besides my increased income, I have so much more confidence in every aspect of my life. I had various personal issues that I have overcome. If these opportunities didn’t exist, I don’t know where I’d be.
I’ve branched off into Real Estate, and now have a large long time client database. Being the rebel and independent person I am definitely drove me to endure through the tough times. I couldn’t sit in an office my whole life. I love to network. I love to be my own boss. I feel this is also a great example for my children. And this is just the beginning!