Ever wonder what it's like to start your own business? I asked Christine Spreng from Glamour and Glow to share what it was like to create her own handmade jewelry line and open up a fashion boutique! I think you'll find her story inspiring and informative!
A: I have always known what I wanted to be and that was a fashion designer. I have made jewelry for most of my life and dabbled in sewing. I was very eager at a young age to start into my passion. My plan was to move away and attend design school. After meeting my now husband weeks before my high school graduation, my plans changed. My husband who is very goal oriented and business minded, suggested that I open a store that stocks my own line. In 2007, at the age of 22, I opened Glamour and Glow in a very small space in my local shopping mall. At this time it was just me and my jewelry. Today Glamour and Glow has molded into a full independent fashion boutique stocking clothing, jewelry, accessories, and footwear from independent designers and labels. In 2012, the name Christine Elizabeth Jewelry was born as a way to distinguish my collections apart from Glamour and Glow labels.
A: Before G&G, I was planning, saving, and counting the years until I could start my passion. I graduated early, worked 3 jobs in high school, had a full-time job and waitress-ed on the weekends. Occasionally I threw home parties to sell my designs. With a strong creative side, my weakness lied in the business side. I attended college for business administration.
Q: Have you always been interested in fashion?
A: Yes. I have always been mesmerized by fashion. When I was 2 years old, I told my mother to change her sweater or I wasn't going to leave the house with her. I spent my adolescence climbing trees in dresses, begging to paint my room in ballgowns, cutting off bows on people's slippers to hoard them, and collecting anything sparkly.
Q: What inspires the designs of CE Jewelry?
A: I love interior design and frequently get inspired by a color scheme, architecture, or a chandelier. However, it can be anything that sparks my creativity, sometimes it's a certain feeling or mood.
A: My favorite part is that it's mine. I am free to be creative, make executive decisions, and I am allowed to mold it and keep making it better and that is so rewarding in itself.
Q: What is your least favorite part of owning a business? What are the biggest challenges?
A: 4 years ago I would have said the hours. When I first opened I worked my mall store by myself for 4 years...we're talking mall hours...7 days a week...Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter off.....during holiday time I think it translated to 102 hours in one week and that doesn't count the behind the scenes stuff. But today, I would say it is balance. It is easy to become a work-a-holic when it is your own business. When you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work. I am now trying to separate personal time from work time, because they are different!
A: A typical day involves answering emails, printing invoices and shipping labels, opening the store, packaging and shipping, making jewelry, helping customers, synching deliveries, planning photo shoots, updating inventory counts, processing shipments, etc.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business or jewelry line?
A: I would tell you to follow your dreams, if it's truly in your heart, you will make it work. Before I started if I knew everything that I have been through in the past 7 years would have happened, I probably would have been too overwhelmed to start. I just jumped in and figured everything out as I went. I build my businesses on trial and error....and I am still using this method. Hard work, persistence, and diligence will get you far!
A big thanks to Christine for sharing her story! I hope you'll visit Glamour and Glow to take a look at all the pieces in the Christine Elizabeth Jewelry collection. Glamour and Glow also sells fun statement necklaces, other jewelry and accessories, and an amazing collection of women's clothing!