I know that this is one of my blog's popular features that my readers look forward to reading each month, but I missed posting a #MonthlyHeroine article in October because I was too busy prepping for the holiday markets that my store participated in (still got possibly 4 more to come until the end of the year!). Plus, I didn't really find anyone I wanted to write about. Not that the women I met in October weren't special. I just didn't want to force it for the sake of keeping the consistency of my blog. I wanted it to be genuine, as I always do it.
So y'all, when I got the email that this lady right here was coming to Dallas and I had the chance to meet her in person, I was like 'this is my heroine for November!' :)
I first came to know the Loren Hope brand when I was sent a few jewelries from Rocksbox to promote on my social media platforms (as many of you might have known, I've been working with them for a year now, use my code MOZDEBXOXO when signing up to get your 1st month of renting designer jewelries for FREE! Click here for details).
I fell in love with her design, branding (that logo is BOMB!), and the quality of her jewelries. So last Thursday, wearing my Loren Hope Abba Earrings, I went ahead and interviewed the talented lady behind the brand, Loren Barham.
1. What inspired you to start this business?
A few years ago, I was an art school dropout who quickly became a military spouse and a foreigner when we moved to England. As you might have known, it is not easy to build a career as a military wife. I basically didn't have a name, because I was known more as Mrs. lieutenant so and so. Having studied metal smithing in college, I then started making jewelry at home and found that jewelry-making actually allows me to be creative and to generate an extra income for myself. So I started selling my jewelries and I even got them into a few local galleries. When we moved back to the US, I changed the name of the brand from Loren Hope Designs to Loren Hope and developed it into what it is today.
2. Did you have any jewelry-making experience in the past ?
Apart from the fact that I studied metal smithing in college, I've always been into fine arts since I was younger. I remember when I was in high school, I would go to my grandma's thrift store, take home a few jewelries (she'd let me take home anything I wanted!) and reassemble them myself.
The process of jewelry-making is very 'rough', messy, and not pretty at all, but the end result is so beautiful. And I really love that contrast.
3. It says on your website that this line is 'the story of a girl, her adventures, and jewelries that transform her' -- in what ways have these jewelries transformed you?
Jewelry has the power to take a person from feeling okay, to feeling amazing. It empowers you. I see jewelry as a really fun way to transform yourself or your feelings.
4. What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far from building this business?
Not to be so hard on myself. It's so easy to focus only on the fact that you're not where you want to be yet, and forget about how far you've come. When the reality is, the journey is what really matters. So be present and be grateful.
Another one is to admit that everyone has their own maximum capacity, including yourself. So do what you do best, and then delegate what you need to delegate to others. Let everyone in your team play their own strength. You don't have to do everything yourself.
5. Any advice for those (esp. women) who wants to star their own business?
Meet as many people as you can and stay in good terms with them, because they might be able to connect you and support you in the future.
Speaking of the future, Loren Hope's is looking brighter and brighter for sure! She just landed a partnership with Nordstrom in October (so go check out her stuff there!), which is huge! And she is working on communicating the brand's story to people in the US and hopefully beyond.
I definitely wish her the best and hope this interview inspires you to use whatever you have in your hand and make your dreams come true. If she can do it, we all can.
Support the heroines around you, and most importantly, be one in and for your community!