The Story Exchange, Krista DeSelms, ZoriaYour Name: Krista DeSelms

Business Name: Zoria’s, a maker of fine art and jewelry

Type of Business: Arts & Entertainment/Clothing & Accessories/E-Commerce

Business Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States


Reason for starting
I started my business because I loved what I was doing as a hobby. I create gorgeous wire wrapped jewelry using only natural gemstones and precious metal jewelers wire. I also love gemstones, they are the center to each piece of jewelry and they are truly the fire and beauty in my work.

How do you define success?
I define success as setting a goal and reaching it. Whether it’s learning a trade, getting your business Better Business Bureau accredited or keeping your business in the black during hard economic times, as long as it’s a goal and you meet it, you’ve been successful.

Biggest Success
My biggest success has been being Better Business Bureau accredited. I felt it was important for my business and hope that it instills confidence in my customers to know that my business is accountable for everything it does.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My biggest challenges are the people who wire wrap and sell at unreasonably low prices. My work is truly an art and most artists don’t know much about business and how to price to make a profit, or even to pay themselves minimum wage. If you poll a group of artists most will tell you they pay themselves minimum wage or less per hour they work on their art. It’s hard to compete with that when I value my time and efforts at more than minimum wage. But I address it by trying to encourage fellow artists to price accordingly, at least so they are paying themselves a good wage per hour, and by doing as much as I can to give my customers reason to buy from me such as using only natural gemstones, being Better Business Bureau accredited, being part of the Argentium Sterling Silver guild. Anything I can do to build trust between my company and my customers I will do it.

Who is your most important role model?
My most important role models are my Mom and Dad. My Mom always does what needs doing, but dreams big. We “pipe dream” together all the time, whether talking about business or family we dream big and do everything we can to achieve those dreams. My Dad is so intelligent and has a very determined work ethic. Throughout my life he’s worked at the same company and has provided for our family, when my Mom and Dad decided to build onto our house he literally doubled it in size and built it with his own hands. My Dad has taught me the meaning of sticking with something and that doing it yourself is a good way to know it’s done right. When I was 17 I was diagnosed with Leukemia. My parents had to split the work, Dad stayed home and went to work and was around for my older sister and younger brother, and Mom worked from a little laptop and helped keep me alive. She spent the next two and a half years basically living in a hospital room alongside me while I underwent chemotherapy, it was just as hard on my Dad having to be apart from us and keeping with a normal routine as the actual treatment and care taking was for my Mom and me. I will be grateful for them and everything they did for me my entire life.