NORTH OF TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On this International Women’s Day, we are celebrating two local women entrepreneurs who have been successful despite everything.
Best friends Allie Wardlaw and Bess Callarman are also mothers of young children.
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They found it difficult to wear large earrings or necklaces because their children were always pulling on them. So one day at their kitchen table, they started designing and making bracelets to wear on their own, as a cute but safer accessory option.
Friends started to notice the bracelets and with an investment of only $ 100 from their husbands, they started making and selling jewelry to their friends.
Now, just over a year later, their Allie + Bess jewelry line is expected to exceed $ 1 million in sales despite serious risks hanging over them, including a global pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, we had to completely pivot our business model because the department stores weren’t taking risks on the smaller brands,” Callarman describes. “They were just trying to survive on their own.”
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Allie + Bess pivoted to address consumer sales and designed a website while marketing their products on Instagram. They specifically promoted the uniqueness and versatility of their jewelry line where many pieces are crafted with Vulcanite, an African pearl made from reused vinyl records.
Their advice to other women on chasing dreams that start with seemingly small or crazy ideas? Start small, then do it!
“There wasn’t this huge pressure on us that we love having to be successful at, so it just grew organically and I think it really allowed us to be successful because we didn’t have all this external pressure on us. “, Callarman describes.
“My advice would simply be that you have to be able to take the risk. You have to be able to get uncomfortable with yourself because I think about insecurity and uneasiness, that’s where you see a lot of growth, ”says Wardlaw.
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Allie + Bess is based in Dallas where all pieces are handcrafted by local artisans.