Thursday, March 5, 2009

Teresa Saldivar >

Teresa Saldivar, Owner, Teresa's Jewelers

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Careful planning and hard work are important, but having the ability to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals is vital.
What did inspire you to start your business?
To open a business that would offer the highest standard of customer service with a professional staff that would create a positive shopping experience

How did you finance it?
Using my personal savings and financial support from my family.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes, being a Latina is an asset, especially because my business is located in Downtown Santa Ana, where 85 percent of the population is Latino.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I see adversity as a challenge that allows me the opportunity to learn whether I have the capacity to endure it or the need for growth in a certain area.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
When I relocated from a 465-square-foot store with three employees to a 1735-square-foot store with seven employees and my overhead tripled overnight.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I would love not having to work weekends.

What was your childhood ambition?
That I would one day become a woman with confidence and poise.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
I admire Coco Chanel, Walt Disney, and Oprah Winfrey, each born into poverty who attained self-satisfaction by being pioneering (Chanel), visionary (Disney), and humanitarian (Winfrey).

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Breakfast or dinner, not lunch, because it keeps me away from attending to my customers.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Having to postpone my continuing education and not being able to share quality time with family and friends.

What is your favorite quote?
There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail – Erich From

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
When you have confidence and initiative—no it is not.

Biggest mistake made?
Not having the resourcefulness to have purchased the building where my business stands.

Do you consider yourself an innovator?
Yes, because I introduced avant-garde jewelry to my Latino customers—a culture that is supposed to be status quo.

About the Company
Nowhere in Orange County will you find a better selection of religious medals or quinceañera jewelry. As a certified gemologist, Teresa can create your custom design for any occasion. Teresa is currently President of the California Jewelers Association

Teresa Saldivar, a Santa Ana native, graduated Santa Ana College and attended California State University at Long Beach. In 1985, after ten years of working in the jewelry industry, Teresa became the first Latina gemologist to own a jewelry store in California. Along with her sister, Patricia, Teresa's Jewelers has been in the same location at the heart of Downtown Santa Ana for over 20 years!

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