Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Be Jeweled Designs: Behind the Scenes

A while ago, I interviewed via email Jennifer White, the president of Be Jeweled Designs. I've admired her adorable tutus and designs for a while, since I discovered her on the internet. If you have a minute, go ahead and through her answers. It's always awesome to personify a name and turn that name into a person. Jennifer is a designer and a mom.... what a woman! Even if you have no interest in her business (don't know why you wouldn't! She has such adorable designs!)... perhaps you are starting a business of your own, you might get a few ideas from an old pro!

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your day, Jennifer!

How long have you been a work at home mom?

I have been officially running Be Jeweled Designs for about two years now. Yet I have been creating custom pieces for friends and family for about three.

How many children do you have? What are their ages?

I have two children, my son who is 6 and daughter who is 3. They both have their birthdays in August, so --gulp-- I am soon to have a 7 and 4 year old, where does the time go?!

What inspired you to start Be Jeweled?

My daughter! When she about one and a half she asked me to make her a tutu. Having no clue where to start, I just sat down and made what I thought looked cute for her. She loved it. And so did my husband! He really gave me the push I needed to take my little tutu to the next level. He would come home with fabric and ribbons and say things like, "I believe in you, you are good at what you do and I know you will be big some day." How can you not try after hearing that?! So i did. I started making samples and selling them on eBay, a few at a time, and they got rave reviews. So I took the leap, created a collection, and started my own site. Now here I am two years later going strong. Without my daughter's want/need for everything girly and my husband's constant love and support I know Be Jeweled Designs would not be where it is today.

There are a lot of on line companies created by work at home moms who make tutus. How do you set your business apart?

There are so many tutu boutiques out there now, each just a little bit different from the one before it. I set Be Jeweled Designs apart with our signature styles and great quality. I designed my site to look like an upscale boutique, showcasing our products in the same manner. When people see our online store I want them to be able to see and want their little one in our designs. I have been asked "Why do you not lower your prices, drop your quality and make styles like everyone else?" It is simple. I stand behind what I sell; each tutu and crystal tank is hand made by me and designed by me. You have to be true to your product line and name; believe in what you are selling and treat each customer as if they re your only one. That will never change.

How do you promote your business?

Be Jeweled Designs has promoted itself for the most part. Word of mouth has been our best advertisements. We also offer sales, discounts and new item buzz through our subscriber lists. And recently Be Jeweled Designs has gone blogging! Our blog has been a great way to introduce new customers to our product line! Be Jeweled Designs has also paired with other blog sites and offers fun giveaways.

What have been your greatest challenges?

Besides trying to find the time with two kids, a husband and house to run? lol. I would have to say my biggest challenge has been to stay true to my instincts and not conform to all the other tutu site that are out there. It seems that every site you go to have the same products, styles etc. and Be Jeweled Designs is different. It would have been very easy to copy all the other designs out there, use a lesser quality of materials and mark our items very low, but I couldn't do that. It is longer harder road but one I am grateful to be on.

What have been your greatest rewards?

Honestly it is not the fact that Be Jeweled Designs is sold world wide as far as Bulgaria, or that we are sought out because someone is looking for the perfect piece. It is the look on my son's face when he tells people, " My Mom has her own website and she makes really cool stuff!" Or the look my husband gives me when I create something new. It is knowing that i am doing what I always knew I could do, that I followed through stuck with it and my family is so very proud to be on the journey with me.

What are your business goals for 2008?

For 2008 Be Jeweled Designs strives to have our site triple in size, have our products in more retail stores and grow into a bigger and stronger company.

Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring work at home moms?

Yes! Believe in that you are doing, stick with it and never sacrifice your vision for the dollar signs you think you could be making by selling yourself short. Starting your own business is not the hard part, staying as true and honest as you were in the beginning is. Do your research, know your product line and customers needs. You are not alone there are so many women in business groups out there full of information and support for those time you feel like it is all to much. You can make it happen!


Overwhelmed! said...

I really enjoyed this post and will go check out Jennifer's online store.


Catherine said...

Great post! Very informative. I'm going to go check out Be Jeweled now. =)