My business: Bella Gemma Jewelry
by Doris Benavides
The Orange County Register, (Santa Ana, CA)

Sunday May 7, 2006
 
Owner: Emma Tiebens
Business address: 18685 Main St., Suite A PMB 401, Huntington Beach
Telephone: (888) 658-4550
Web site: www.bellagemma.com
Type of business: Handcrafted fashion, bridal, vintage and fine jewelry
When opened: April 2004
 

Describe your business:

We offer a variety of handcrafted jewelry at all price levels, including our "Lucky Gemstones" bracelet collections. We offer complimentary custom design services for brides and anyone looking for a piece of jewelry to wear for a special occasion. We only use natural gemstones and diamonds that have not been treated, heated or dyed.

 

Where did you get the idea for the business?

I have always been fascinated with jewelry since I was a kid. I started designing jewelry when I worked as an international flight attendant in 1995. In 2004, two years after our child was born, I decided to leave the airlines, work from home and pursue my passion of creating jewelry for clients.

 

How long did it take you to get from the idea to open doors?

Four months for the Web site, and 11 months for the home-based gallery.

 

What did you do during that time?

After I conceptualized the business in April 2004, I secured my domain name, received my business license, registered with the State Board of Equalization, sourced suppliers, worked with a graphics and Web developer, and attended gem and jewelry shows.

 

How much did it cost to start the business?

About $20,000

 

Where did you get the money?

Home equity

 

Your expected revenue this year?

$150,000

 

Is this your first business?

Yes

 

Did you write a business plan?

Yes, a partial business plan.

 

Whom did you seek for advice?

From my husband, business books and SCORE consultants, who advised me to join networking groups such as the National Latina Business Women Association and the Gemological Institute of America.

 

How are you marketing yourself?

Through my Web site, newsletters, advertising in selected newspapers and magazines, and through networking groups.

 

The biggest thing you did not think of before you started:

I should have hired a business consultant from the very beginning, as it may have minimized business growth pains.

 
- Doris Benavides / The Register
 
To be considered for this column:
Your enterprise should be no more than 4 years old.
Write: My business, The Orange County Register,
P.O. Box 11626, Santa Ana, CA 92711-1626
E-mail: business@ocregister.com
Fax: (714) 796-3685 Phone: (714) 796-6706
Caption: The Orange County Register