I was privileged to meet San Francisco based jewelry designer Adrienne Wiley on the set of TLC a few years back. At the time, she had already experienced quite a bit of success with her distinctive hand-crafted jewelry line – Frolick Jewelry. If I remember correctly, she brought her collection to the set and people couldn’t wait to snatch up her distinctively vintage and modern designs. One thing that really stuck out about Adrienne – is a go-getter attitude. She mentioned that at an early age she was motivated by her parents to express herself creatively and follow her dreams.
Adrienne’s startup story is impressive. Why? She topples the excuse that so many people use not to start their own business, “I work full-time and just don’t have the time.” I love it when breakthrough entrepreneurs, like Adrienne, confirm that an excuse is simply an ‘excuse.’ Nothing will stop you from doing what you were born to do. From E-tailer (e-commerce) to Retailer (2 San Francisco Boutiques) featured in WWD, Lucky and InTouch, here’s how she did it.
Company: Covet & Frolick Jewelry
Founder/Age: Adrienne Wiley, 32
Location: San Francisco, CA
Start-up Year: 2005
Start-up Costs: $1500
How I Got Started:
I started my business as a creative outlet from my corporate insurance job and began making jewelry and selling it to my friends and co-workers. From there I began selling jewelry to stores. I would use my lunch hour to go on appointments. After I had a few stores selling the line I realized that it could be a viable wholesale business. So I saved up enough money to pay off my credit card bills and start up cost…then I quit my insurance job and started running Frolick full-time. I recently opened a retail store last May and plan to open a second location in San Francisco on February 8, 2010.
Best Success Story:
I am very pleased with the recent opening of my first retail store. It happened really quickly. I decided to open it on a gut feeling that it was something that I could bring to the market to fill a void, especially in the current economy. It has been going very well so far and we are now opening our second location only 9 months later.
#1 Tip for Newbies:
Don’t be afraid to try. In the years since I started my business I have had to take numerous risks in order to grow the business. It is important to research before making decisions and get as much information as possible to make an educated choice. However, don’t let anyone else make the ultimate decision for you. Their experience may be very different from yours.
Frolick Jewelry’s vibrant line of hand-crafted jewelry combines a wide spectrum of color and a variety of styles. Adrienne has a very distinctive design style that is expressed by mixing unexpected colors and mediums. Adrienne uses elaborate materials to comprise her line, including: vintage Japanese glass, Italian bone feathers, Freshwater pearls from Brazil, Jade from Thailand, vintage cameos from Paris, and Swarovski crystals. Each season, Adrienne creates approximately 80 pieces that can be found in over 200 stores nationwide and at www.shopfrolick.com.
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