Your Name: Jan Hansen

Business Name: Jewels by Jan

Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories, E-Commerce

Business Location: United States

U.S. State: California


Reason for starting
I was encouraged to start the business after re-designing a barefoot sandal that was given to me. It was made with wood beads but after seeing a beach wedding I wanted to design a sandal with crystals and pearls for brides to wear on the beach at their wedding. Friends and family were so impressed and felt that my idea would become popular because beach weddings were just starting to become one of the most unique ways to get married. That was 2009.

Biggest Success
One of our biggest accomplishments was to receive a 100-pair order from a beachwear shop in Dubai. We were also successful in receiving an order for our top-of-the-line bridal design from The Knot.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge has been to grow the business and it has not been addressed because we lack the capital to do so. The business was started by purchasing beads and cord and as I sold designs I would use that to purchase more inventory. After about 6 months my sister joined me as a partner and we hired a webmaster to design a website for us. Some months are good but recently orders are down significantly. More competition and our prices may be too high for the market. We need help.

Who is your most important role model?
I don’t have just one role model, I have many. We would all love to achieve the success of women like Oprah and Martha Stewart. I admire any woman that can start and operate a successful business whether it’s a non-profit that helps people or a for-profit one that allows a better lifestyle. I’m going to enjoy reading the thousand stories because I’ll find out what obstacles others have had to go through to attain success. I’m still working on it!