Many would have to agree that time management is an important facet of being a mother. With so many hats to wear, one could only hope to be resilient enough to find success as an entrepreneur. This is what Chrissy Weems did, as she worked alongside her daughter, Bella Weems in starting Origami Owl.
Graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in Fine Art, Mrs. Weems always had a passion for creativity. She would often sketch and tinker with possible product ideas that were unique and expressed her true self as well as others. She was instrumental in helping her daughter, Bella, create customizable lockets that women can personalize with charms that tell their stories. Chrissy and Bella formally launched Origami Owl in July of 2010.
In case you’re not familiar with it yet, Origami Owl is a jewelry brand established by Chrissy and Bella Weems when Bella was just 14 years old. Bella originally wanted to save money in order to buy her own used car when she was 16. Being a driven, passionate young woman, Bella was able to sell several lockets to family and friends and then expanded to help customers at in-home jewelry parties. In November of 2010, Bella and Chrissy Weems opened a mall kiosk on Black Friday of 2010. After finding success at the mall and wanting other women to be able to have the same success that they did, Origami Owl shifted to a social selling model in January of 2012. The brand showcases a line of customizable jewelry with glass lockets, miniature charms and chains that can be personalized by the user according to his/her preferences.
Here’s what Chrissy Weems has to say about her journey to becoming an entrepreneur:
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
I have always been extremely passionate about the arts and design. When I was younger, you would usually find me creating pieces of art that helped me express myself. I love Interior Design, and when I can beautify an environment, I really try to do it. Having this background really helped me support Bella in starting Origami Owl Custom Jewelry.
What was your first job?
My first job was actually helping to sort inventory in a small party favor shop in St. Louis, Missouri.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
Origami Owl was born, out of a desire to help my daughter, Bella follow her dreams. What started out as a dream to have a car for her 16th birthday has turned into an incredible jewelry business that strives to help others reach their goals through flexible entrepreneurship.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
Having a job helps you to understand the value of money and hard work, and helps you learn from people and how they operate their own businesses. Learning and understanding inventory management, as well as some of the more tactical facets of business, have helped me navigate challenges.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
The best day of work I have ever had happened as a result of our Live Sparkly campaign. Our community came together and voted to gift a new wheelchair accessible minivan to a single mother and her son. I will never forget the feeling I had watching the joy on their faces and knowing a burden had been lifted.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
The key to being motivated is understanding why you do what you do. At Origami Owl, we have set out to make a difference and to be a Global Force For Good through creating entrepreneurship and inspiring a community of people who have a desire to spread light and happiness to those around them. As an entrepreneur, you will always face setbacks, it is what you do when you get knocked down that defines who you are.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
I love businesses that inspire people and encourage others to do good. Origami Owl became popular because it connects people with the moments and people in life that matter most to them.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Most product companies would try to succeed in retail sales. However, Origami Owl is a business with a personal touch, so we decided to shift our model to Social Selling. Women can host their own Jewelry Bar and sell our collection to their friends and families. This adds a personal touch and helps empower others to find success starting their own businesses.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my five amazing children and helping them succeed in life. There is nothing quite like motherhood. It is by far the biggest blessing of my life.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
Things I would say to myself when I was younger would be… allowing myself to be patient and see challenges as opportunities. As a young woman, I would tend to be frustrated when things didn’t turn out the way it was planned. So reminding myself to be patient, and understanding that there’s always a purpose for each and every trial you endure. I’ve learned that God has a plan, and if I just have faith in it and do my part, I will succeed.