Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in accessories but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Beryl Oduor, Founder of Beryl Oduor Designs, located in Saint Petersburg, FL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I run a gemstone jewelry business as well as an aura photography business. I have a product that is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, but if I had to pick a demographic, it would be men and women between the ages of 21 and 50 years old.

Tell us about yourself

I worked as a caregiver taking care of the elderly for many years, and I started to get burned out from the repetitive nature of the work, as well as the loss of each of my clients after they passed on. I needed a change. Right before my last client passed away, I met my mentor, who asked me what I’d like to do & it was clear that I couldn’t stop talking about gemstones. I started the business part-time while still keeping my job, but I was able to go full-time three months later.

Every day I’m motivated by my desire to expose more people to the emotional benefits of wearing crystals and gemstones, as well as understanding your aura and what impacts it.

I’m also motivated by my desire to succeed and have a stable business for years to come. I put my heart and soul into everything I do, and I believe that my customers can feel that. It makes what I do absolutely pleasurable.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being able to save and successfully take care of myself for the last six years while running a full-time business. That’s nothing to sneeze at since most small businesses fail within the first 2 to 5 years of inception. In addition, I’m forever thankful to have crossed paths with my business mentor, who taught me everything I needed to know about business & how to structure it correctly from the beginning.

My business has given back to the less fortunate every month for the last six years. A portion of the proceeds from the business helped support a school in rural Kenya that was started by my late grandfather. The students are all under 14 years old, and the school has grown from 46 students to over 150 students. We just built our first 7th-grade classroom. It’s been a heartwarming accomplishment so far.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Discipline and Time dedication. I actually work more now as a business owner than I did as an employee. I am involved in every intricate part of the business, and that includes marketing, manufacturing, designing, inventory assessment, and planning future events, and somewhere in the middle, I sleep 😁. I love what I do, but in order to be successful, you have to be disciplined and be willing to sacrifice time spent on socializing and partying temporarily. Focus is key.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find a mentor who has been where you’re at and is where you want to be. I can’t stress that enough. Having a great business mentor at the start of your business is wonderful because their knowledge will help you avoid pitfalls and unnecessary mistakes. Plus, chances are higher that you’ll be making money fairly quickly. If you’ve already started a business, I still recommend that you find a good mentor & seek their guidance.
  2. Plan for success by understanding your margins. Margins are the biggest determining factor of whether your business will flourish or you’ll have a cash flow problem (which is defined as not having enough cash in the company to pay back all expenses, pay yourself, and purchase product to replace what was sold). The better your margins, the more successful your business will be. Be sure to watch your expenses, though - keep them as low as possible for as long as possible.
  3. Start small. I started selling gemstone bracelets out of my handbag! 😁 Do what it’s in your capacity at that time. Don’t be ashamed of your journey (we all start somewhere!), and just take it one step at a time. I have learned so much this way.
  4. BONUS TIP: Make sure you keep a spreadsheet of your business! Numbers don’t lie, and you can watch your business progress. This should be mandatory for every business!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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