A new interview with a very, very young professional this time. This one is the first of the 2017. I can't really recall when I heard of her, but I've been following her a while now on Instagram and last November I finally got the chance to meet her personally. We had a little chat and I found as she's so young, yes people, she's just 21 years old, she could be a great inspiration for others in her age group or even for younger of older ones. Lets take a look at this passionate youngster.
What's the idea behind the name, Lovelies by Loeloe and what is Lovelies By Loeloe all about?
My nickname is Loeloe and first I thought about Love by Loeloe, but I don't give love as a service (*laughing*), so I needed to change that. So, I changed it to Lovelies, as I do my work with a lot of dedication, energy and make everything with love.
And Lovelies by LoeLoe is a hand made jewellery brand, which consists of collection or custom made items. I work with precious stones, these are crystals taken from the mines, and I try to use only natural materials. Like latex free elastics and the materials come from a good source. I hand pick each stones I use. Every stone I use has a special meaning behind it.
Why did you start a business of your own?
When I was younger, I loved everything about crafts and stuff like that. I made my own little bracelets and I thought I could sell them. I was then 15 or 16 at the time. I went to fairs to sell them. When I finished high school I went to the Netherlands to do a study to become a goldsmith. I was told that my subtle maneuvering of the hands weren't good enough and after 6 or 7 months, I was let go from the school. It was a very strict education. I did another study, but didn't like it. So two years ago, I came back to Curacao. But the idea I had when I was sixteen, was still in my mind. I wanted to make and sell stuff. I sold from cushions to paintings to dream catchers. Whatever I could find in my dad's garage I made something out of it. But then I told myself to focus on one thing. A friend of my mother has her own shop in Sarasota (Florida) and she wanted to give me a Christmas present and that was lessons in jewelry making, laboratory cutting etc. So, I saved up for my ticket and visited her in Sarasota. She taught me everything from precious stones to silver art clay. She introduced me to her wholesaler and that's how I started to make bracelets of precious stones. People were giving positive feedback, so I expanded by working on my branding, packing etc. I always wanted to be a designer, so this was a great way to be one.
As I'm still a full time student, I'm now finishing up my studies of marketing here and after that I'll see how I can embrace this business as a full time business.
I don't feel like I have had low points. When you're a creative entrepreneur, you'll find a way to fix the low points. Maybe a low point for now is, that because I'm a full time student, I can't dedicate all my time to my business. A high point for me is to be registered at the Chamber of Commerce. That really is a way for me to get contact with wholesalers and to present myself that I have a serious business. So, doors will open more easier for you then.
I'm doing a three year study in two years and as far as I know, I'm the only student that has a business running. I have a lot of happy moments. For this short period of time, I already have three stores that are selling my jewelry. One of the stores, also sells them on their website. I have great clients that keep coming back to buy new items. I'm also happy that I don't work from home, but that I have a little space I'm renting to do my work.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Some people find me weird, but I always have my jewelry with me. If I'm not wearing them, they're in my purse and the stones give off a feeling, a good vibration. I'm also inspired by colors. I love different colors. I do get inspired by people around me. Maybe they told me something and maybe one word stuck in my head and I keep working on that. My clients are also a great source of inspiration for me. They come sometimes with suggestions for their pieces and that will give me more ideas.
What advice can you give to those that who would like to be part of the Your Own Boss Club?
Don't force things. You should take risks, but don't force it. Love what you're doing and work hard. And don't think only about making money, if doing so you'll force it and that will bring a negative vibe and that is not a good thing.
This was a great interview from a great, passionate 21 year old, who has big dreams. Beside finishing her studies this year, she hopes (and is going to work hard for it) in a year to have 5 international retailers for Lovelies By LoeLoe. And surely, I really think she can pull it off.
Thank you so much Marie-Louise and I wish you all the best on your creative business adventure.
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Photography by JenPEN Creative Studio