What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur requires VISION, COURAGE, and STAMINA. A vision derives from a dream, without courage one will never take a chance and stamina allows you to take steps each day towards turning your vision into reality. An entrepreneur is only as strong as their family.
An entrepreneur has to be mentally tough in dealing with many demands. There's no guidelines.... you are the leader, innovator and the implementer. Entrepreneurship forced me to learn fast on a tight budget.
What did inspire you to start your business?
My children and Oprah Winfrey inspired me to begin my business. After working in the Engineering and Technology field for over 9 years, I was laid off from an awesome job. Two subsequent employment opportunities would have left only an hour each day with my children.
Heaven Sent Jewelry was formed in order to save family ties.
How did you finance it?
I had a nest egg saved up that allowed me to set the foundation for my business. Thank God that both my parents taught me a strong work ethic and ability to budget and save my money. These traits have been so essential in running my business.
Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
My culture has influenced my business with my new jewelry line. When I married, I did not see any multi-cultural wedding cake toppers. So I added some wedding cake toppers that are Latinas and Latinos plus Quinceanera figurines. In addition, I also introduced my “Lilian wedding jewelry line” that was featured on BODAS USA La Revista . Some of my designs were worn with gowns by International Designer Mitzy during the BODAS Launch in January 2008. The jewelry has various romantic Spanish love themes on them adorned with Swarovski crystals and fresh water pearls. They have been very well accepted by Latina Brides.
In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
My faith has given me the strength, courage and patience in dealing with dark times. My ability to handle each challenge has resulted in countless blessings. As a result, many doors have opened, some which still seem surreal.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Time has been the biggest challenge for Heaven Sent Jewelry. Trying to run a home-based business while caring for two little ones and having a husband that travels extensively presents many challenges.
These challenges forced me to utilize technology in order to grow my business.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
At this point, there are so many opportunities that it is a major challenge to incorporate them all into my business plan.
What was your childhood ambition?
When I was a child, I worked in the fields harvesting crops at a very tender age of 5 in Central California. Having experienced this type of experience, I longed to have a nice house, nice clothes and a good job.
I never thought that I would have a Master’s degree or have my own business.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Maria de Lourdes Sobrino, Founder and CEO of Lulu's Dessert® Corporation, one of the largest and fastest growing Hispanic owned businesses in the United States. While attending the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention, I recall Maria serving on a panel and sharing her experience as an entrepreneur.
Maria was so down to earth and told everyone the reality of business. Her experience inspired me to continue my quest. In 2007, I was invited to speak with her about the “Secrets of Successful Women”. Upon our closing, she encouraged me to write a book about my life experiences.
Ruiz Food Products, Louis Ruiz, founder of a multimillion-dollar company, nearly 2,500 employees, and a place in the Small Business Administration's Hall of Fame.
When I was a college student, I had the opportunity of meeting Mr. Ruiz through my mentor, Carmen Navarro. I enjoyed listening to his entrepreneurship experience. I few years later I meet Fred Ruiz at a conference. It was encouraging to see how this family business started and where it is now!
Daniel Gutierrez, International Business Consultant, Author and Speaker. I have been very grateful that Daniel has always been so positive and extremely helpful during my business journey. He has been a great role model and has always encouraged me. This friendship is priceless. Daniel also invited me to be a guest on his upcoming radio show.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunches have worked out better for me due to my family’s schedule.
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
The first 3 ½ years of starting my business were very exhausting. My business was established in 2003, when my little girl was 2 years old and my son was a year old. During this time, I would stay up until the early hours of the morning, work on the weekends and stay involved in the community in order to promote my business.
Although, the business demands were brutal, I did not give up on my dream. I fought so hard to make my dream a reality.
What is your favorite quote?
Steven Covey “Begin with the End in Mind”
Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Being unconventional can be a way of branding your business. This is what sets you apart from others as you create your path for success by creating your niche within a target market.
Biggest mistake made?
My biggest mistake was not knowing what I was getting myself into. I learned from day to day. If I knew now all the challenges and difficulties that lay ahead it would have taken a lot of motivation to begin my business. Sometimes experience and learning on your own is the best way to reach your goals and realize your dreams.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why
Absolutely, I took control of my business and branded my business nationally by being unique. I designed Swarovski book marks for authors. This idea saved my business and it attracted high profile clients.
Now in my 5th year of business, my business savvy has received national exposure, numerous awards and recognition from businesses and the community. My strong strategic partnerships have resulted in Win-Win situations. My ability to utilize technology and create a buzz for Heaven Sent Jewelry has demonstrated the power of the entrepreneurial spirit.
I also work as a consultant with a Women’s business center assisting other entrepreneurs with their businesses. Currently, I am planning to write a book about entrepreneurship.
Contact Addy at www.heavensentjewelry.com
Heaven Sent Jewelry
"SBA Champion" , "Emerging Latina" , "Business of the Year"