Every girls loves a little sparkle in her life, especially when its coming from some seriously stunning jewelry. And no one knows that better than our Woman We Love this week: Emily Armenta of Armenta Collections. She is a serious expert in sparkle, as her jewelry and accessories are carried in the Neiman Marcus group, including Bergdorf Goodman, throughout the USA. Plus in 2009, her company also began expanding internationally and are now carried in Russia, London as well as Switzerland and France. She thrives on creativity, helping other female artists and more…
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS PROCESS AND LINE?
We do all of our own manufacturing in our production studio in Houston, Texas and the product is hand made. It is crafted using ancient jewelry making techniques mixed with cutting edge technology by a team of artisans. Our company’s social mission is to train women from disadvantaged backgrounds and develop the next generation of artisans.
The jewelry is made from oxidized sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, sterling silver, diamonds and precious and semi-precious gem stones. We have jewelry in all categories, designed to be collected for everyday wearability. The collection has an accessible price point in the luxury jewelry sector.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO REACH THIS POINT IN YOUR CAREER?
I come from a family of artists so I was introduced to beautiful works of art at a very young age. Surrounded by artists, I have always had a lot of support to express myself through my art work. As a result, I have been designing, sketching, and working with stones ever since I was a young girl and it has always been a passion of mine. Designing jewelry has not only been a vehicle for me to express my creativity, but also my thoughts and emotions.
However, I did not realize that my passion could become a reality and a career path until I began the MBA program at Rice University. While taking an entrepreneurship class at Rice, I was given an assignment to create a fictitious company and write a business plan. I chose to focus my project on my passion, which is designing jewelry. I was very fortunate to have the support of the school and an amazing mentor who not only believed in me, but also gave me a chance to fulfill my dream.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
My studio is a source of inspiration. I am inspired by the creativity that surrounds me on a daily basis. I cannot imagine outsourcing my art to another country and missing out on the creativity that takes place every day. Spending time at the studio provides an incredible opportunity for me to invent and create something that can never be duplicated. Furthermore, the studio is a magical place for me as I am able to see firsthand how believing in dreams can make the impossible become a reality.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’VE LEARNED PROFESSIONALLY?
After I started the company I realized that this was a great opportunity to not only make beautiful jewelry, but also tell an amazing story about inspiration and dreams. The story behind the women who work at the studio is truly one of inspiration and is what the American Dream is all about. I feel that I have been given a chance in life to make a difference in the lives of others and challenge the status quo. This belief is a guiding principle that we all embrace and strive to pass on to others.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
My biggest reward is being able to give opportunities to those around me and watching them thrive and grow and together accomplishing things we never thought were possible. I believe by empowering those around me and building a strong culture my employees stay happy and in return their happiness and the passion for what we are doing shows through to the customers.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST?
As the company grows the biggest challenge is the rising demand for my time while wearing multiple hats as designer, CEO, wife, and mother. I have put my heart and soul into this company and I look around at so many people who are doing the same. I know that they are depending on me to lead us in the right direction.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN COMPANY?
To follow your dreams and give back to those around you.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Our domestic goals are to continue to expand in territories where we do not currently have a presence, while continuing to grow internationally. We would like to continue to pursue the growth of our handbag line which will permit a natural progression into small leather goods.