A young entrepreneur is taking advantage of a must-have fashion trend: sparkly jewelry.
At just 22-years-old, Jasmine Gemmell has not only opened a store for her jewelry business, Bellezza Moda, but is also distributing her products across Western Canada.
She offers piercings and eyelash extensions along with products like earrings, necklaces, bracelets and even vintage engagement rings.
She both makes and imports her jewelry from the United Kingdom, India and China.
Aside from her five employees, Gemmell pays 30 people across Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta to sell her products out of their homes or in their own stores.
“With a popular product, it sells itself,” she said.
She’s also a business student at the University of Regina, but isn’t in a rush to finish her degree. She said it’s more corporate-oriented and prefers to learn about entrepreneurship from experience.
For Gemmell, who opened Bellezza Moda in Regina this past October, handling money responsibly is one of the keys to success.
“I’ve never ran a loss here. I’ve been profitable since day one. I never spend more than what’s in my bank account, so maybe that stunted growth as it could have grown faster; however, I don’t have any loans to pay off,” she said.
Before she opened her store, she sold jewelry at trade shows every weekend.
“If I made $1000, I’d probably put about $500 of that into my savings and then I kept my savings growing and growing until I had enough to open a store,” she explained.
Supporting charities is another important aspect of Gemmell’s business model.
She sells flower headbands made by nine-year-old entrepreneur Marigold Mioc from Calgary, with the proceeds supporting girls’ education in Kenya.
Similarly, 10 per cent of the proceeds from her Girl Power Necklaces go towards the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women national inquiry through Walking with our Sisters.
Gemmell’s individualized her jewelry to stand out from similar companies like Hillberg and Berk.
In 2005, Saskatchewan-born Rachel Mielke founded Hillberk and Berk with the goal of empowering women. The company is recognized worldwide.
Both known for their glittery studs, Bellezza Moda’s are called crystal ball earrings. They’re waterproof and come with a lifetime warranty.
“Our goal is to have good price points, good quality and back our product. We want people to come back and purchase more,” emphasized Gemmell.
Five years ago, Gemmell knew working her retail job wasn’t how she wanted to make money.
With a nudge of advice from her dad “to start her own thing,” she began selling handmade jewelry online and at trade shows like What Women Want.
“I had $130 in my bank account and I drained (it),” she said.
Taking the risk paid off.
Giving advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, she said to start young when you don’t have expenses for rent, food or tuition.
“I know I started at 17, but I wish I would’ve started at 12,” said Gemmell. “Start saving young; start thinking young. Create tons of business plans and don’t act on them until you really figure something out that works and that you love.”
Opening up another business could be in her future, she added, unsure of whether or not she will sell Bellezza Moda or expand it when her lease is up in five years.
“I definitely want to be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life.”
Bellezza Moda is located at 120 – 4830 Gordon Road.