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September 19, 2008

3 of Our Favorite Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Advice

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female business owners
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Sarah Richardson, 30, owner of Sarah Richardson Jewelry Mill Valley, CA

HER STORY: After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design where I majored in metalsmithing, I apprenticed with a jeweler in Providence and learned the business side of the industry. My father had his own business and I always had the urge to have my own too. So in 2004 with $6000 saved up, I started my own company. Unfortunately, $6000 didn’t get me as far as I thought it would so I looked for ways to supplement my income. I taught metalsmithing and became a part-time manager of a jewelry gallery. To get my business off the ground, I called and emailed galleries relentlessly in my early years trying to get them to feature my work. But it was when I set up my own booths at wholesale shows did I really start to get my work out there. Now I have my jewelry in over 40 galleries across the country, and I can only imagine how things are going to grow.

WORD TO THE WISE: Don't give up. Success can come in small packages. It can be a new contact, show, or store. It could even be as simple as a new design. Each of these steps is the beginning of a successful business. Most career success doesn't happen overnight. You start at the bottom and as you learn, you move up. It’s the same with owning your own company. Then one day you look around and see the company you've created and you'll know all your hard work was worth it.

NEXT PAGE: THE LADIES BEHIND BLACK SHEEP BABY


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