I was 17 at the time. I came from a household of over-achievers and a family of poster children for the hard working Texan. I was clearly at risk for failure (according to my father) for never having a "real" job other than temp summer-time work at my dad's office. My dad's expectations were clear, as he rarely minces words - I would get a real job, or he would find me a real job. I grew up on a small farm complete with horse stables and plenty of hard labor, so the job he would find did not strike me as the ideal choice. We began to brainstorm, and inspired by his entrepreneurial spirit - creating my own job was what I landed on.
I was blessed with two hard working parents, a father who started his own business in his early 20's and a mother who refused to believe women couldn't have it all. They inspired me to pursue what seemed impossible, and to believe that only I can truly determine what I was or was not capable of achieving.
I had always had the travel bug growing up. I loved my small town, but also loved to explore the world and learn about new far-away places. This was inherit as well, as my parents loved to explore the world, and my siblings and I were lucky to be able to tag along on many of their adventures. My dad had just begun traveling to China for his business and had noticed that he saw vendors selling pearls everywhere he looked. He brought back a few necklaces as souvenirs for the girls in the family, and it became clear to me: this is the job I wanted to create.
As a family, we went back to China after I graduated high school. Along with seeing the sights, my mission was to find a supplier and bring back as many pearls as I could fit in my suitcase. I was successful in my hunt, and that summer my business was in full swing. My approach was to utilize the great community we lived in- which personifies the great small town qualities of neighborly love and support. My sales strategy included utilizing "pearl parties" where invitees would come shop at a neighbor's home while chatting with friends and enjoying light snacks. I continued this approach throughout the summer and through my tenure at Texas A&M University. This was always fun and allowed me to grow and learn, but as I moved to Dallas after graduation, I knew I wanted to expand and take the business to the next level. That's where, per usual, my best friend Bailey stepped in to help.