Your Name: Calla Gold

Business Name: Calla Gold Jewelry, a personal jewelry service

Type of Business: Design

Business Location: Santa Barbara, California, United States


Reason for starting
My reason for starting was that I felt if I hired myself I’d get a dedicated, hard working and smart employee and I felt like a cog in the wheel at my job. It seemed like giving good service was something I could do and that was needed and not always given.

Biggest Success
When I sold my cleaning business. I realized in retrospect that I had indeed been a business woman. When I started out at 19-years-old I tried to dress older and felt a bit of a fraud in that I was so young to have employees and be out getting business. I tried to keep my age a big secret. It took selling the business to truly acknowledge to myself that I was a business woman and had created from the ground up a very viable business. My business was viable enough that I sold it for $20,000, which in 1982 was a big deal. From that big financial acknowledgement I knew that owning my own business was the way to go for me.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Re-inventing myself into a person who is creative, and loves what she does takes work. When I first started my jewelry business, I sold jewelry. Once it was viable the blush and excitement were wearing off. I moved into custom designing jewelry for my clients and finally found that adding that value to the business tapped into my inner artist and made me truly happy. It took study, practice and mentoring from other generous jewelers and really promoting that service for years to get the level of productivity high enough for it to be a big part of my business model. I’m glad I studied, I’m glad I persisted and I’m glad women love jewelry!

Who is your most important role model?
My role models have shifted and changed over time. My mom showed me what happens when life throws you a curve ball and you figure it out anyway. My Grandma showed me that there is life after misery. My Dad showed me that if you don’t honor your commitments you burn bridges and you can’t re-build them easily. Paul Canary showed me that if you validate the good in others as a boss you’ll help them find skills that neither of you knew were there. The most important is my mom.